Analysts Still Love Apple Even As Battery Replacement Gets Pricier

The Daily Observations

“Gentleman” Jim’s still big on Apple, battery replacement costs are going up, and health and fitness in the “year of you.” 

Citi Analyst: AR, Buybacks, and India Keep AAPL a ‘Buy’

Strong in his conviction on Apple is Citi analyst “Gentleman” Jim Suva. A headline from a Yahoo! Finance piece has the analyst saying that he and his team “like the stock here at these levels.” Worth noting, he liked the stock as a “Buy” last February when Apple was trading ~$170. And in April at ~$157. The same in July at ~$145. And he likes the stock “here at these levels,” when the stock is trading at ~$130. 

I am not saying he’s wrong. I’m saying he’s strong in his conviction. Speaking to Yahoo! Finance, Suva said he and his team see Apple demand setting up for a “stronger 2023.” According to the piece:

The analyst’s upbeat call on Apple reflects his optimism on new AR/VR glasses dropping in 2023, a fresh push into India, and a stepped-up pace of share repurchases and dividends.

Whether he’s super into the mixed-reality thing or Yahoo! just knows clickability when it sees it, the piece leans a bit on Apple’s headset plans. The piece has Suva saying, “Apple has been building out that [AR/VR] app ecosystem, so that’s why we see now the hardware coming out later next year as a positive.” 

You can translate “later next year” as “sometime this year.” The Yahoo! Finance piece hit last Thursday 29 December. As previously mentioned, Mr. Suva has a “Buy” rating on Apple shares. His price target on the shares is $175.

Apple Increasing Cost for ‘Out of Warranty’ Battery Replacements

If there’s a battery replacement for an Apple device in your future, you might want to make it a near-future event. The prices for nearly all of them will be going up come the first of March. 

A number of sites, including iDownloadBlog, ran reports Monday that had Apple upping battery replacement prices in a couple of months. “Beginning March 1, 2023,” the piece says, “Apple will increase the price of its out-of-warranty battery replacement service for iPhone, iPad and Mac devices by up to $50.”

Increase Only Applies After Your Device’s First Year

If your device is less than a year old, this is not a concern for you. iDownloadBlog says Apple’s standard, one-year warranty will still see the firm replacing batteries who’s max-charge is 80% or lower at no cost. Outside of that, the piece has Apple indicating that:

  • Battery replacements for an iPhone 13 or older with Face ID will go up by $20. That’ll move them from $69 to $89. 
  • Battery replacements for an iPhone with a home button will also go up $20, moving from $49 to $69.
  • Battery replacements for various iPads will go up by $20. 
  • Battery replacements for the MacBook Air line will go up by $30. 
  • Battery replacements for all MacBooks and MacBook Pro units will increase by $50.

Again — the aforementioned increases are for “out-of-warranty” battery service fees only. More info is available on Apple’s site

Researchers: Apple Watch Shows Promise for Monitoring Stress Levels

Breaking news from the site My Healthy Apple. According to the recent post, researches have found Apple Watch to be accurate when used for predicting Stress Levels. Here’s how it works: The watch accesses its Calendar app. If they day in question ends with a “y,” there’s likely to be stress. 

I’m kidding. 

In reality though, researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada say that the ECG sensors built into Apple’s chronometer “could be used to develop a robust and accurate stress prediction tool.” Here is how it really worked, according to My Healthy Apple

Participants in this study were given an iPhone 7 with iOS 15.0 and an Apple Watch Series 6 containing an installed Apple Watch ECG app (WatchOS 8.3) for two weeks.

They were instructed to collect data 6 times during the day in approximately three-hour intervals. Before the ECG collection, participants were asked to complete a stress questionnaire on the iPhone using the app developed by the researchers.

After building machine learning algorithms to analyze the collected data and factoring in several variables that could impact participants, the piece had the researchers saying that “In general, the ‘stress’ models had a high level of precision,” and that “the results presented were quite promising.”

It’s sort of surprising that Apple hasn’t pursued this avenue for Apple Watch. My Healthy Apple says wearables makers “such as Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin have offered a Stress monitoring feature for some time now.”

For more on the Apple Watch possibilities, you can check out the researchers’ full report on the website for Frontiers Digital Health.

Apple Fitness+: Welcome to the Year of You

And finally today, start the new year off right you fat %&$#! That was one way to look at Apple’s splash page on Monday. A visit to Apple’s home page on the first day of the first week of the new year had a bunch of individuals working out individually. Under a Fitness+ banner were overlaid the words, “Welcome to the year of you.”

You fat %&$#… 

Almost as soon as one might grok what’s happening on the screen, it’s replaced by the message, “Now all you need is iPhone,” along with a picture of an iPhone. As marketing copy goes, I personally think this is an excellent line. “Now all you need is iPhone” could be read either as a continuation of the Fitness+ implication, or as a masterful sales pitch — indicating (perhaps subliminally) that all you need to make 2023 “the year of you” is an iPhone.

All You Need Isn’t Love, It’s iPhone

And — in case you’re wondering — Apple sells those. In fact, this may just be a sales pitch. That may sound like I’m being obtuse, but stick with me. The “Now all you need is iPhone” page includes two buttons: One to “Learn about Fitness+” and one to “Try Fitness+ Free.” But the free offer referenced is only for people purchasing a new Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. If you did that in the last three-months, you’re still eligible for a three-month free trial, provided you’ve never had Fitness+ before. A piece on the promotional page from MacRumors says folks who have not bought a new device recently are still eligible for a one-month free trial — again, provided they’ve never subscribed before. 

After the free trial, Apple Fitness+ costs $9.99-per-month. There’s a reduced price annual plan available for $79.99. Of course, it’s also available as part of some of the Apple One service bundles… so… you’ve got the gear… you’ve got the trial… “Welcome to the year of you!”

You fat %&$#…

Today on The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations Podcast

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney ended 2022 hinting at Fortnite’s return to iOS in 2023. TMO Managing Editor Jeff Butts wanted to talk about that. I did not. We did anyway. Plus — We hit the comments from Citi analyst “Gentleman” Jim Suva. That’s all today on the Daily Observations Podcast from The Mac Observer.

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