At Apple’s financial report revealed yesterday there is might be found evidence that Apple has entered into secret long-term contract with suppliers of key components. The contract concerning the key strategic resources used in Apple’s products going into the future is worth $3.9 billion. Apple’s officials mentioned that the deals are similar in nature to the flash memory deals made in late 2005 concerning flash memory supply for many of Apple’s portable devices including the iPhone and then the iPad. According to some websites, the most likely component, which might be the subject of the recent deal, is high density display that Apple uses in its iPhone 4 and the fourth generation iPod Touch.
This Tuesday analyst Shaw Wu from Kaufman. Bros. has increased Apple's price target for AAPL stock from $395 to $415 despite the fact that Steve Jobs will take a leave of absence soon. He is assured that Apple's share growth will be intact in the nearest future.
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Wall Street Analysts expect Apple to post $5.38 in earnings per share (EPS) on approximately $24.38 billion in revenue. Yet, bloggers and unaffiliated analysts who tend to almost always outperform Wall Street analysts are looking for significantly stronger numbers out of the company. Bloggers are looking for Apple to post $6.32 in earnings per share (EPS) on approximately $26.4 billion in revenue. Bloggers are looking for Apple to beat on the top-line by over $2 billion. Apple could be immediately sold-off on great earnings given the humongous run it has had since August. The stock is up over 50% in just 6 months time.
Yesterday Apple has issued new press release, which included a note from its CEO Steve Jobs. In this document he notified the company's employees that Tim Cook (who is Chief Operating Officer at Apple) will replace him for some time in Apple's day to day operations.
"At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company."
The newest next-generation iPad case designs from Chinese accessory manufacturers show off two additional openings that haven't been seen before. The images above and below reveal a left-upper slot and a top-middle slot. A recent report from Engadget claimed that the new iPad will have an SD card slot. The most likely location for that seems to be the top-left opposite the current volume buttons. The top slot is more of a mystery but it could be for a video output such as mini DisplayPort.
In early November Apple announced that it would discontinue its Xserve line of rackmountable servers at the end of this month. This statement has caused turmoil among the product's fans, while Steve Jobs has suggested that poor sales were the reason for the decision. But the Xserve discontinuation may only be the beginning of a move by Apple to pare down its storage- and server-focused offerings. Xsan and Final Cut server could be among the programs being discontinued, as Apple's management would be wondering whether to continue to develop and support them in the future. Apple could opt to do away with its Mac OS X Server releases entirely, although the company is still expected to release a server version of Mac OS X Lion later this year.
Some rumors claim that Apple is working to merge its iTunes application into its Safari browser later this year. As a result the company will create a single application for browsing web and media content. The move to merge Safari and iTunes into one software solution appears long in the works, which may arrive this fall at Apple's usual iPod special event. Оne reason for the push is to boost Safari's market share among Internet browsers, where Apple has yet to crack the 5% mark. Perhaps, Safari will be the only browser able to access iTunes, as iTunes is built into the browser itself. "Moving iTunes organizational side-bar into Safari isn't a monumental task" claimed a source, adding "Safari would skyrocket in use as a result of integrating the software titles together."
With the rumors of a 2048x1536 high resolution screen for the iPad 2, one question that has emerged is what graphics processing unit (GPU) can adequately power the device. AppleInsider claims that the new iPad and iPhone 5 will use a dual-core SGX543 GPU from Imagination Technologies. The company will not only be upgrading its video core, but also going to multiple cores. The most likely configuration of Apple's next custom chip is reportedly the SGX543MP2, which pairs two SGX543 cores to work as one, offering around four times the capability of the previous A4 in graphics and video tasks. We had previously revealed that the latest iOS 4.3 beta SDK had drivers for the new SGX543 GPU, so it should be no surprise that it is the most likely contender to be the next GPU for the iPad.
Google Places allows to look for locations and places nearby and mark visited places by posting individual ratings and reviews. There are default lists of places located nearby, but there is an option to customize this list by adding favorite places found with the help of Google Places. Google Places also provides “Hotspot” rating and review system in order to give an opportunity to rate favorite shop, restaurant or a night club via an iPhone.
Research firm Asymco has published a new report that details the average number of apps that have been downloaded on every iOS device, including iPhone, iPod touch and iPad — but not the Apple TV. Asymco noticed that app downloads have been growing at a faster rate than song downloads from the iTunes Store in the past three years. By dividing the cumulative apps downloaded by the cumulative devices sold, Asymco noted each iOS device has downloaded 60 apps on average. In 2008, the apps were 10. At the end of his report, Asymco also concludes app consumption is increasing at a rate that will soon overtake PC software.
One parts supplier began selling the screen part for Apple's next-generation iPad from Globaldirectparts.com. The part listed is the "iPad 2 LCD Screen" which is "out of stock" but is listed for a price of $218.19. Since the website currently offers replacement screens for the original iPad for $63.35, the higher price of the so-called "iPad 2 screen" could possibly corroborate reports of a 2048x1536 resolution display on the second-generation tablet. Globaldirectparts.com is also selling an "OEM Apple iPad Vibrating Motor" for $9.99. No photo is provided, but it's a curious part since the iPad currently has no vibrating motor. It's possible this is simply a mislabeled iPhone part, but does raise the possibility of the feature making its way into the next iPad. The part may be evidence that Apple is working on vibrating alert functionality for the second-generation iPad.
New post on Consumer Reports' blog written by Mike Gikas and Paul Reynolds reveals that the company thinks Verizon iPhone 4 will have a short life as soon it will "be replaced by a newer, cooler version more quickly than is customary even for the die-young life expectancy of most smart phones."
It is true that Apple made the CDMA-enabled iPhone a mid-year carrier expansion, and most observers expect new iPhone 5 will not replace its less than 6-month old predecessor as at launch it will support only GSM / UMTS technologies. However, Apple's rivals do not propose any product cycles anyway and release new handsets every few months, so the position of Consumer Reports looks pretty inconsistent.
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