Apple’s New iPhones Face Shipping Delays

Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s new iPhones will take as many as four weeks to ship, a sign that early demand for the smartphones is outstripping supply.

The iPhone 6 Plus, which has a larger display, will take three to four weeks for shoppers who pre-ordered online yesterday, according to Apple’s website, as people rushed to buy the handset hours after the company began taking pre-orders. Certain iPhone 6 models, which have a slightly smaller screen, will take seven to 10 business days to arrive, though some versions are still available for delivery on Sept. 19 when the devices are set to go on sale in stores. Pre-orders through some individual carriers’ websites indicate shipments could take even longer.

“Response to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been incredible, with a record number of pre-orders overnight,” said Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman with Cupertino, California-based Apple.

Apple this week unveiled the new smartphones with rounded edges, thinner frames and higher-resolution displays, and they became available for pre-order starting at 3 a.m. New York time yesterday. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is counting on the new devices to usher in demand for other products he introduced this week, from the iPhone-compatible Apple Watch to the credit card-substituting Apple Pay service.
Demand for the latest iPhone is the greatest AT&T Inc. has seen in two years, Ralph de la Vega, CEO of its mobile division, said yesterday at a Goldman Sachs media conference.

“Every time there is a change in design, and this is clearly a change in design for Apple, there is an uptake,” de la Vega said. “I think there’s going to be a great uptake, which is good for us.”

Familiar Pattern

This isn’t the first time Apple and phone carriers have seen iPhone models delayed well before they were available in stores. In 2012, the iPhone 5 was delayed for shipment by a week after a rush of orders, and in 2011 the iPhone 4S sold out at AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint Nextel Corp. only five days after pre-orders began.

“The iPhone 6 Plus experiences severe supply constraints,” Brian White, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, wrote in a note to investors.

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch display and the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch one, while the previous iPhones have a 4-inch screen. The iPhone 6 costs $199 to $399 with a two-year contract, while the 6 Plus is priced at $299 to $499. The devices will come in silver, gold and space gray.

“It’s the biggest advancement ever in iPhone history,” Cook said yesterday in an interview with Charlie Rose at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. “We think that the upgrade cycle here and the number of people that will switch from other smartphones — it will be enormous.”

Twitter Gripes

Customers took to Twitter to complain of difficulties loading Apple’s website to place pre-orders. The website had problems loading at about 3:22 a.m. New York time yesterday, according to Isitdownrightnow.com, a site that tracks Internet issues.

Shares of Apple rose less than 1 percent to $101.66 at the close in New York yesterday. The stock is up 27 percent this year.

While the company normally doesn’t disclose figures for its production runs of new products, it typically has a supply of its new devices in stores on the first day.

Carriers, which often offer deals when a new iPhone comes out to lure more data-hungry smartphone users and bolster their market share, are again offering incentives that may be bolstering interest.

Carrier Incentives

Verizon is promoting a “Trade In & Trade Up” smartphone sale on its website, offering $100 to $300 for used devices. AT&T said earlier this week it will let customers swap in their old iPhone for a new iPhone 6 and as much as a $300 credit. Sprint is offering the “iPhone for Life” plan, which for $70 a month lets users rent the iPhone 6 and upgrade to a new version every two years, while T-Mobile US Inc. says it will top the best trade-in price with an added $50.

“Right now, we’re in an online, preorder phase, and will share info on in-store when it becomes available,” Debra Lewis, a Verizon spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

While AT&T is planning on having new iPhones in stores by Sept. 19, the company won’t comment on which specific models will be available, said Mark Siegel, a spokesman for the carrier.

Legere Apologizes

T-Mobile will have the iPhone 6 Plus in stock in stores when the device goes on sale next week, said Tolena Thorburn, a spokeswoman for the Bellevue, Washington-based company. The company’s website was unable to process orders part of yesterday, with its site carrying a message attributing the errors to “strong demand for preorder devices.”

T-Mobile CEO John Legere apologized to customers on Twitter, saying “demand has been huge but we are on it.”

Michelle Mermelstein, a spokeswoman for Sprint, declined to comment on whether the Overland Park, Kansas-based company would have the iPhone 6 Plus in stores on Sept. 19.

The iPhone remains the most important piece of Apple’s business.

The handset accounted for about half of Apple’s $171 billion in revenue in its last fiscal year, and with sales of the iPad slowing, the company needs to keep the iPhone a blockbuster to maintain growth.

The handsets will initially be available in a limited set of markets — including the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the U.K. – – for pre-order and shipping on Sept. 19, the company has said. China, one of Apple’s biggest markets, won’t get the new devices at first, though the company said it plans to have the phones in 115 countries by the end of the year.

Salesforce.com Update BUY

CRM : NYSE : US$55.71 BUY 
Target: US$65.00
WHAT THE FIRM COULD DO TO HELP THE STOCK OUTPERFORM THE MARKET.
Investment thesis
As the best-in-class cloud software firm, Salesforce remains our favorite large cap
growth stock. With more transparency (revenue run-rates of the various clouds was
a good start), the firm could see multiple expansion; however, even if this doesn’t
happen, we expect the shares to advance at least 20% over the next 12 months.
That’s a worthwhile potential return for a large cap stock. BUY.
 Another upside print. CRM reported Q2/15 revenues and non-GAAP EPS of
$1.32B and $0.13, which were respectively $29M and a penny ahead of our
estimates. Constant currency revenue growth was 37% in the quarter, and
calculated billings of $1.35B were nicely ahead of our $1.30B estimate and up
33% compared to a year ago. Total backlog (billed and unbilled) ended the
quarter at $7.35B, which is up 17% versus Q2/14. Lastly, CRM generated FCF
of $174M, or $0.27 per share, which was well ahead of our $0.18 estimate;
YTD FCF is up 90% compared to 1H/14.
 Color from the call. The firm noted an 8-figure deal (one of several) with 3M in
the quarter as well as a Salesforce1 Platform deal with Safeway. In the quarter,
sales cloud was 49% of subscription revenue, service cloud 26% (though the
fastest growing), SF1 platform 15%, and marketing cloud 10%. On the event
front, CRM will host its Connections marketing cloud conference in late
September (which could pressure a stock like MKTO as the firm makes noise on
that front), and management suggested that the firm will be introducing an
entirely new product line and category at Dreamforce in October.
 Outlook: F2015 revenues increase ~$40M, EPS inches up by a penny. This was
a classic beat and modest raise quarter. Revised guidance points to 32%
revenue growth and ~150 bps of operating margin expansion in F2015.
Interestingly, Q3/15 marks the first full quarter that CRM will have lapped the
ET acquisition, and implied billings guidance suggests healthy, 25% growth

John MCAFEE gives Blackberry A Big PR Push

http://www.rtphone-on-privacy-concerns-m_NBADwgTsWDLonopLMLfw.html

http://www.rtphone-on-privacy-concerns-m_NBADwgTsWDLonopLMLfw.html

Video on smartphone lack of security.

 

McAfee: Dump Your Smartphone to Protect Privacy: Video
Antivirus Pioneer John McAfee discusses his internet privacy concerns on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg TV

McAfee: Dump Your Smartphone to Protect Privacy

 

Twitter Update

Twitter stock slumps 50 percent as Goldman, Deutsche Bank still say `buy’

13 hours ago – Reuters
Twitter stock slumps 50 percent as Goldman, Deutsche Bank still say `buy’By Supantha Mukherjee and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed(Reuters) – Twitter Inc investors who heeded the advice of high-profile banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Deutsche Bank AG to buy the social media company’s shares might be kicking themselves.

Much more accurate calls were made by Wells Fargo, Atlantic Equities , Macquarie Research, and Jack A. Bass ,who advised clients to get out of the high-flying stock about the time it peaked in December.

On Wednesday the stock fell as low as $37.24, 50 percent below its peak of $74.73 the day after Christmas, wiping almost $18 billion off Twitter’s market capitalization.

The downgrades, and the subsequent swoon by the stock, reflect concern about slowing growth in Twitter’s user base and the company’s ability to reverse the trend. Year-on-year growth in the number of Twitter users has fallen for five straight quarters, and the company said on Tuesday that its 255 million monthly users, on average, appeared to check the service less frequently than a year ago.

That in turn has fueled doubts that Twitter could one day attract as many users as Facebook Inc’s 1.2 billion, or match its much larger rival’s power as an advertising vehicle. It’s also raised questions over whether it can sustain growth over the long term. While no one is suggesting Twitter will lose its consumer cachet as happened to companies such as MySpace or Orkut, neither can anyone guarantee that as tastes change newer rivals won’t usurp it.

“Can they become a mainstream company? That’s the open question,” said Ben Schachter, the Macquarie Securities analyst who downgraded Twitter’s stock to “underperform” on December 27 – the day after it peaked.

It’s a far cry from the enthusiasm that greeted the company when it debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7 and its shares soared 73 percent over the offering price. There was no let-up for the next two months, as the stock scaled fresh highs with little or no news to justify the valuation.

That got some analysts worried. Schachter, speaking to Reuters on Thursday, recalls a “runaway momentum.”

Google Update

Shares in Google have dropped 5% despite the technology giant reporting a first-quarter profit rise of 3%.

Profits were $3.45bn (£2.05bn), but investors are preoccupied by Google’s inability to maintain advertising prices.

A widely watched measure, the average “cost per click”, was down 9% from a year earlier.

Another weak spot highlighted in the report was the firm’s discounted sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo.

Google sold the smartphone maker to Lenovo in January for close to $3bn, after paying $12.5bn for the firm less than two years ago.

Despite investors’ reaction, Google’s chief executive, Larry Page, was upbeat: “We completed another great quarter,” he said in a statement.

“We got lots of product improvements done, especially on mobile. I’m also excited with progress on our emerging businesses.”

However, Google continues to struggle with its ability to charge advertisers higher prices for mobile ads, which are increasingly important with more and more consumers accessing Google’s browser through their smartphones.

Advertisers have proven reluctant to pay as much for ads on mobile screens compared to Google’s bread-and-butter desktop ads, which have been the main revenue generator at the firm.

Rates for mobile ads can be half as much as on personal computers, according to Needham & Co analyst Kerry Rice.

However, Google expects mobile ad prices to catch up with PCs eventually as it becomes easier for consumers to buy products using mobile devices, Google chief business officer Nikesh Arora said.

‘A little bit dodgy’

Google has greatly diversified its portfolio of products in recent years, speculatively branching out into phonesdronesGoogle Glass, and even thermostats and fire alarms, CNet technology analyst Larry Magid said.

“Some of these crazy ideas need to become less crazy and more profitable,” he told the BBC. “Their core business, what really brings in the money, that’s beginning to get a little bit dodgy for them.”

Google’s results were not the only ones to disappoint investors on Wednesday.

Technology giant IBM reported its lowest quarterly revenue in five years.

IBM attributed the drop in revenue, which went down 4% to $22.5bn, to weak hardware sales.

Enterprise technology spending has shifted away from traditional computing giants as governments and corporations move towards online services, large-scale data analysis and IT security, FBR analyst Dan Ives said.

Facebook Target Price $ 60

 

FB : NASDAQ : US$48.45
BUY 
Target: US$60.00

 

INITIATING COVERAGE WITH BUY; EARLY STAGES OF MONETIZING THE USER BASE
Investment recommendation
We initiate coverage of Facebook with a BUY recommendation and $60 price target. Despite the stock price’s recent doubling, we believe the company is very early in generating revenue from its enormous user base.
While the path higher may not be linear, we expect Facebook’s reach, robust network effects, vast self-disclosed user data, and product innovation will increasingly make it a high-priority target destination for many marketers.
Investment highlights
 While the US is close to saturation, Facebook’s global penetration currently stands at only ~20% and we believe there is still room for user growth. Facebook already has nearly 1.2 billion monthly users, but we believe the user base can grow by roughly one-third by 2015.
 In light of the continuous user shift to mobile consumption, Facebook mobile monetization has become vital. We believe that Q2/13 was a turning point in the company’s mobile monetization. While some categories of mobile ad spend may be volatile (app downloads), we believe Facebook’s sponsored stories product is at last compelling brand advertisers to commit more spend to mobile.
 We believe Facebook is early in innovating both for ad and user products. We expect the long-anticipated video ad product and forthcoming Instagram monetization could lend upside to our outlook. In addition, new features such as real-time social metering and more ties to consumer media and entertainment could put the user base on a steeper engagement curve.
Valuation
Our $60 price target is based on 45x our 2015 EPS estimate of $1.33.
Risks
Competitive platforms might impact usage. Individuals may opt out of “sharing overload” over time. Higher ad loads could impact user satisfaction. Dual share class structure with the CEO controlling 53% of voting rights.

LinkedIn BUY Target $ 200

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

LNKD : NASDAQ : US$176.95
BUY 
Target: US$200.00

COMPANY  DESCRIPTION:

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 200 million members in over 200 countries and territories. LinkedIn generates revenue through selling Hiring Solutions to corporations, Marketing Solutions to Advertisers, and Premium Subscription to members and recruiters.

Investment recommendation

We areincreasingly confident in the company’s strategy, opportunity, competitive position and long-term outlook. We note greater interest in
the transition occurring within Marketing Solutions and the timing of when growth might reaccelerate, and we will be watching the company’s progress with feed-based Sponsored Updates advertising for signs of inflection later this year.
Investment highlights
 We continue to expect Marketing Solutions (MS) revenue growth to be relatively flat sequentially for Q2 and Q3, as ~$8-10 million per quarter in “legacy” ad revenue rolls out of the model; we believe Sponsored Updates can return MS to growth by Q4.
 Member engagement continues to climb, and our new engagement index shows a doubling of per-member activity over the past five quarters.
 The transition to in-house hosting could contribute to as much as 500 bps of gross margin expansion over the next four years, although we are only modeling 300 bps.
Valuation
Our $200 price target is unchanged and is based on 60x our 2016 EPS estimate of $4.96 discounted to present at 11%.

Tech Trends That Will Make Someone Billions Of Dollars Next Year

Big Data

Big Data (Photo credit: Kevin Krejci)

The world will spend a whopping $2.1 trillion on tech in 2013

The world will spend a whopping $2.1 trillion on tech in 2013

401

2013 will be a make-it-or-break-it year in mobile for some vendors

2013 will be a make-it-or-break-it year in mobile for some vendors

Steve Kovach, Business Insider

When it come to mobile, 2013 will bring us these three things:

  • Mini tablets with screens less than 8 inches in size will be the rage, accounting for 60% of tablets sold.
  • The market for smartphones and tablets combined will grow by 20%.
  • 2013 will be a make-or-break year for mobile platforms. Those that don’t attract interest from at least 50% of app developers won’t survive. Google and Apple are past that threshold. Microsoft now sits at 33%. RIM is at 9%.

Big IT companies will feast on smaller cloud players

Big IT companies will feast on smaller cloud players

The software-as-a-service phenomenon really grew up in the past 12 months, with big vendors like Oracle and SAP spending billions to buy their way into the market.

IDC thinks we haven’t seen anything yet.

“There will be over $25 billion in SaaS acquisitions over the next 20 months, up from $17 billion in the past 20 months,” it says.

Some companies are too highly valued to make for easy acquisitions, like the publicly traded Salesforce.com, worth $22 billion, or the fast-growing, still-private Box at $1.2 billion. But a bunch of others could be ripe for deals: Okta, Zenoss, and ServiceMax come to mind

A lot of smaller, specialized clouds will sprout up

A lot of smaller, specialized clouds will sprout up

In 2012, a lot of new cloud tech came out that made it easier and more affordable for anyone to build a cloud.

That means that in 2013, a whole bunch of new clouds will crop up. These will serve specific industries, for instance hospitals, construction companies, banks.

Big data will get bigger

Just like 2012 was the year that mobile devices and cloud computing became the must-have things for every company, big data will be the thing everyone will use in 2013.

IDC says the big-data market will grow at an annual rate of 40%. It will hit about $5 billion in 2012, $10 billion by 2013, and $53 billion by 2017.

The data center as we know it is over

The data center as we know it is over

Meet Yellowstone, the super hero supercomputing fighting climate change

NCAR

New data-center technologies that took root in 2012 will become the big thing in 2013.

These include “converged systems,” where companies buy machines that have computation, storage, networking, and software bundled together.

Another is software-defined networks, which is a new way to build networks.

These represent a tremendous opportunity for the established players like Cisco, Dell, HP, and Oracle. But they are also a big risk if they get it wrong. A whole class of startups are rising up to disrupt these guys.

Your work computer will be an ID you keep in your head

Your work computer will be an ID you keep in your head

AP

The bring-your-own-device trend, also known as BYOD, will morph into BYID—bring-your-own-ID.

That is, your work computer will be available to you anywhere, on any device. All you have to do is properly log in.

This is the ultimate result of investments in new cloud, mobile, and data-center technologies

iPhone 5 New York Times Review

English: The logo for Apple Computer, now Appl...

English: The logo for Apple Computer, now Apple Inc.. The design of the logo started in 1977 designed by Rob Janoff with the rainbow color theme used until 1999 when Apple stopped using the rainbow color theme and used a few different color themes for the same design. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sept.12.

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple introduced a new iPhone on Wednesday with a larger screen, faster wireless Internet speeds and a more powerful chip, as the company again seeks to demonstrate the staying power of one of the technology industry’s great franchises.

The new iPhone 5, which will go on sale Sept. 21, will start at $199 with a two-year wireless contract, as have previous versions of the device. Apple said the new device would be 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than the previous version of its smartphone.

“IPhone 5 is the best phone we’ve ever made,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president for worldwide marketing, at an event in San Francisco where the device was introduced.

In what could be one of Apple’s more vexing moves with a new product, though, the company got rid of the traditional 30-pin dock connector for connecting the iPhone to power cables, stereo docking stations and other peripherals, replacing it with a smaller connector it calls Lightning. The change means that owners of existing iPhone accessories will have to purchase an adapter from Apple so they can plug the new phone into the those devices. The company did not say how much that adapter would cost.

Apple said it was making the change because the new connector is more durable and frees up space for other technologies inside the iPhone. The company said many of the functions of traditional iPhone cables, other than charging, were now handled by wireless connections like Bluetooth.

The bigger screen in the iPhone 5 marks the first time Apple has altered the dimensions of the iPhone’s display, which has measured 3.5 inches diagonally since the original iPhone Apple released in 2007. While the display at that time seemed gigantic compared with the tiny screens on most cellphones, Apple’s competitors have been far more aggressive in pushing more capacious displays on their smartphones, with some screens approaching nearly 5 inches.

Apple said the new display offered a bigger canvas for activities like reading a book, browsing Web sites and watching movies. It also shows how the dividing line between phones and tablet computers is becoming fuzzier.

Apple is developing a new model of the iPad with a 7.85-inch display that it could announce before the start of the holiday shopping season, according to people with knowledge of the project who declined to be named discussing confidential plans. The size of the display on the current iPad is 9.7-inches.

Apple’s closest rival in the smartphone market, Samsung, has experimented ceaselessly with different screen sizes. Its Galaxy S III smartphone has a 4.8-inch display, while its Galaxy Note tablet has a 5.3-inch screen.

The iPhone 5 is a more significant overhaul of the design of Apple’s smartphone than the iPhone 4S, a product criticized by some for featuring mostly incremental improvements inside a device that looked nearly identical to the iPhone that came before it. Apple seemed to denote that product’s more modest changes by reserving the iPhone 5 name for the product it introduced on Wednesday.

Even so, the iPhone 4S went on to be a big seller.

Apple will continue to sell its iPhone 4S, dropping the starting price of the device to $99 with a two-year wireless contract. The iPhone 4 will be free with a contract.

The new, faster Apple-designed chip inside the iPhone will let users open e-mails, load music and interact with other applications more quickly. The game developer Electronic Arts showed a photo-realistic car-racing game running on the new device with graphics that closely resemble those of high-end console systems.

The device will also work on the latest variety of high-speed data networks with wireless carriers, known as LTE.

  The iPhone 5 has a new feature that will allow users to easily stitch together multiple images into a panorama, a feature that has been available in some apps and stand-alone digital cameras for some time.  

Apple also announced a revamping of some parts of its product line that have received less attention in recent years — its iPod media players and iTunes software. It redesigned the iPod Nano with a bigger screen that supports multitouch gestures. And a new version of the company’s most popular iPod, the iPod Touch, will come with the same 4-inch high resolution display as the new iPhone will have. The new iPod Touch will also support Siri, Apple’s voice-activated assistant, and will come in a variety of colors.

Anticipation for the new iPhone ran high ahead of the event, as it always does leading to the late summer and early fall period when Apple typically introduces new electronics products. The usual swirl of rumors around the latest Apple phone were so intense this year that Apple said they were hurting sales of current iPhones, leading to a rare earnings disappointment from Apple.

The iPhone has become a gold mine for Apple, accounting for $16.2 billion in sales, or 46 percent of Apple’s total revenue, during the quarter that ended June 30.

But the company has also faced growing competitive pressure, most notably from Samsung, which extended its lead over Apple during the second quarter of the year. Samsung accounted for 32.6 percent of global smartphone shipments during that period, compared with 16.9 percent for Apple, according to IDC.

Most of Samsung’s share of the smartphone comes from products that run Google’s Android operating system, which powered 68.1 percent of smartphones shipped worldwide in the second quarter, IDC estimated.

Apple’s share of the phone market, though, often gets a big boost over the holiday season and in the quarter immediately after the company introduces a new iPhone model. Wall Street analysts expect that pattern to continue with the new iPhone.

Apple is also fighting Samsung in courtrooms, where it has said that the company has violated Apple patents. Last month, Apple won a huge victory in the most significant of the legal fights against its South Korean rival, after a jury in a federal court in San Jose, Calif., awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages. Samsung has said it would appeal the decision.

YELP – Post IPO Lockup

Image representing Yelp as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

August 30

Yelp

YELP : NYSE : US$22.22

Over 50 million shares of Yelp became available for trading after their post-IPO lockup on Wednesday, and after falling by more than 30% in the past three weeks, shares rallied as bearish investors looked close their short positions. With many of 2012’s tech IPOs getting smacked down on their first free trading days ( Facebook (FB ) down 6.9% on August 16 and Groupon (GRPN)  down 8.9% on June 1), investors were unloading and shorting shares of Yelp in advance of the lockup expiration.

As of Tuesday, 29% of Yelp shares were shorted according to Markit. The end result? A short squeeze as short sellers were forced to buy back shares, pushing the price higher. As the stock climbed, more short sellers were required to buy back their positions at even higher prices helping push Yelp deep into the green and above its IPO price.

 

 

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