Farmers Might Hurt iPhone Production In India and Other Predictions

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A minus and a plus on iPhone, a prediction and a hurdle for iPhone manufacturing, and a fine that might actually be fine for Apple.

Chatterjee Drops His Apple Target on Lack of iPhone Supply

A bit of a whoops on Apple 3.0. The site had Evercore analyst Samik Chatterjee cutting his price target on Apple shares Monday. Thing is, the analyst following Apple for Evercore is Amit Daryanani. Chatterjee is the analyst following Apple for JP Morgan. Based on the final price target, I’m thinking Apple 3.0 got the analyst right but named the wrong firm. Let us go with that. 

Basically, he’s felt the need to cut his iPhone estimations again, though not as much as last time, according to the analyst. Quoting his note:

While the rapid extension of lead times for the iPhone 14 Pro / Pro Max has slowed down and in fact began to moderate in recent weeks, it still remains elevated relative to the lead times seen prior to the COVID outbreak in Zhengzhou as we continue to see the supply shortfall continuing through year-end and impacting the typical seasonal uptick in iPhone volumes seen in Dec-Q.

While he does not expect every missed sale for the December-quarter to be made up in March, some of them will be. The analyst says that is thanks to “supply constraints easing” and “the historical precedent for Apple consumers to wait through a delay.” 

The analyst maintains an “Overweight” on Apple shares. He’s cut his price target on the shares from $200 to $190, which is why — I assume — it was the firm that got messed up in the post, not the analyst. Evercore analyst Amit Daryanani already had his Apple target set at $190. 

MacRumors Notes Improved Wait Times for iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max

Chatterjee’s not the only one noting moderation of lead times for iPhone 14 Pro. A piece from MacRumors says waits for the phones are getting shorter, though would-be buyers are likely still missing Christmas. The site had been tracking wait times of three-to-four weeks for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Now, the piece says, specific builds of both the Pro and Pro Max “are estimated to begin shipping in just one to two weeks.” 

Wedbush Analyst Lists Two Apple Predictions for 2023

The “stating the blanking obvious” award goes to Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives. Apple 3.0had the analyst posting his list of tech predictions for 2023, only two of which were tied directly to Apple. 

The less obvious of the two — he says Apple’s AR play, Apple Glasses, will be released in the summer of 2023. One wonders whether he means the mixed reality headset most are expecting, or does he actually think Apple can leapfrog that and go straight to glasses one might wear walking down the street? The latter seems unlikely. 

As for “stating the blanking obvious,” number-five on his list of predictions:

5. Apple starts moving iPhone production out of China. With the nightmare seen this Christmas around the China zero Covid lockdowns and the Foxconn situation, the time has finally come for Apple to diversify iPhone production out of China and build out a bigger manufacturing presence in India/Vietnam for 2023 and beyond.

I really like and appreciate Daniel Ives’ work. But, if every weatherman in town spends a week-and-a-half calling for rain on a certain day, then you say “I think it’s gonna rain on this day,” I don’t think you get to call that a prediction. I think you have to call that “stating the blanking obvious.”

Mr. Ives has a “Buy” rating on Apple shares. His price target on the shares is $200. 

Bloomberg: Local Politics, Farms May Hamper Expanded Manufacturing in India

What might stand in the way of expanded iPhone production in India? Local politics and farmland. 9to5Mac highlights a Bloomberg report saying “rivalry between local and national government, and the stance of small-scale landowners” may stop planned manufacturing. The piece explains that “India has three levels of government: national, state, and local.” According to 9to5Mac:

While the national government is fully in favor of growing its manufacturing economy, local government is often more concerned with protection of existing land use, and frequently opposes new developments. In particular, local government typically works to protect small-scale landowners like farmers from compulsory purchase orders by the national government.

According to the Bloomberg report:

Small landowners may not be interested in giving up their farms to make room for a sparkling phone factory, and local officials see their control over land policies as a way to exercise their leverage.

Bloomberg has one professor at a university in India arguing that the country “continues to grapple with overcomplicated policies in areas such as labor law and taxes.” While he thinks the country is moving in the right direction (in terms of becoming a manufacturing center), he does say, “Any point in the last 30 years, I could have told you we were on the brink of cracking it.”

Apple Details Recent AirTag Firmware Updates

It is a Festivus miracle! Apple has revealed the secret of the latest AirTag updates. So often, Apple updates the firmware for the tiny device trackers without saying what has changed or why. Now, a piece from 9to5Mac says the Cupertino-company has revealed what changed with AirTag firmware versions 2.0.24 and 2.0.36. 

2.0.24 is the kind you’d think they’d brag about. According to Apple’s notes on the firmware, it:

  • Enables Precision Finding to help locate an unknown AirTag detected moving with you.
  • If your iPhone is awake, a notification alerts you when an AirTag that’s separated from its owner is traveling with you and emitting a sound to indicate it has been moved. 

So, this one addresses a lot of the stalking fears tied to AirTag… but Apple chose to keep that quiet? 

As for 2.0.36, Apple’s notes say it “Resolves an issue with the accelerometer not activating in certain scenarios.” I either didn’t know or totally forgot the thing had an accelerometer. 

Still can’t prompt an update. 9to5Mac says:

Apple says that the item tracker is automatically updated when it is in range of the iPhone. Another thing to keep in mind is that AirTag firmware updates are rolled out in phases, so not everyone gets them at the same time.

Okay — that could explain the lack of timely notes. Maybe.

Apple Fined Almost Nothing By French Authorities

News of a fine that Apple might fight, even though there is no part of the company that would feel the amount. 

I know. I know. It’s business. 

AppleInsider highlights a Reuters report that has the Paris Commercial Court issuing a “fine against Apple over abusive App Store commercial clauses affecting French app developers.” According to the piece, investigations by France’s finance minister found “‘significant imbalances’  in the relationship between developers who create (…) apps and the companies operating (…) app stores.”

Two things might keep Apple from appealing the ruling. One — the court saw no point in forcing Apple to change its ways since the EU’s upcoming Digital Markets Act will change the rules for them. The other reason Apple might not fight the fine — it’s tiny by Apple standards, coming in at $1.06 million. And yet… According to AppleInsider:

An Apple spokesman said the company would review the ruling and believed “in vibrant and competitive markets where innovation can flourish.”

Apple TV+ Announces Date for ‘Liaison’

And finally today, news of a new limited series for Apple TV+. The Cupertino-based streamer issued a press release Monday, revealing the launch date of the six-episode thriller “Liaison.” According to the release:

“Liaison” is a high-stakes, contemporary thriller exploring how the mistakes of our past have the potential to destroy our future, combining action with an unpredictable, multilayered plot where “espionage and political intrigue play out against a story of passionate and enduring love.”

The bilingual series marks the first for Apple TV+ told in French and English. Starring César Award winner Vincent Cassel (“Black Swan,” “Westworld”) and BAFTA Award winner Eva Green (“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”), the first episode of “Liaison” hits Apple TV+ on Friday, Feb. 24. They’ll hit one-per-week each Friday after that through the end of March.

Today on The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations Podcast

If you’re giving Apple devices this holiday season, there are some steps you might want to take ahead of time. TMO Managing Editor Jeff Butts fills us in. Plus — we talk over Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives’ 2023 predictions… and offer one or two of our own. That’s all today on the Daily Observations Podcast from The Mac Observer.

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