Healthy iPhones and a Sluggish App Store

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A healthy new year for iPhone, a sluggish start for the App Store, and price changes on old gear and new batteries.

JP Morgan Sees Healthy January for iPhone, Significant Switching to iOS

The iPhone 14 line looks healthy — that’s the boiled-down take from JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee. Both Apple 3.0 and AppleInsider ran notes on his most recent note, which was based on a Wave7 survey of US carrier stores. According to that, the current round of iPhones is stronger today than it was headed into the holidays. It’s also stronger than other iPhone lines in recent years. Of course, that has to be taken with a grain of salt. “Importantly,” writes the Chatterbox:

…the latest surveys from Wave7 highlighted a significant improvement in the supply chain at the end of the month of December and early January, particularly for 14 Pro and Pro Max models, which accounted for 36% of (the 69% in total) iPhone share in January (vs. 34% in Nov-22)… 

That could be indicative of some of the sales missed in the December-quarter, due COVID-related production disruptions, being made up in the March-quarter. The analyst says, “iPhone share at all three carriers remains elevated above pre-launch levels and is also seasonally higher relative to prior product cycles.”

Whatever the case, the health of the pro-end of the iPhone 14 line is notable. Chatterjee says the Wave7 numbers underscore “a healthy mix shift to the high-end iPhones over the past couple of months…” Checking the January numbers on “average across all the US carriers,”  the note says:

  • iPhone 14 Pro Max was on top with a 19% share
  • iPhone 14 had an 18% share
  • iPhone 14 Pro had a 16% share
  • iPhone 14 Plus had a 7% share

Two more points to point out. The first point — JP Morgan says the Wave7 survey happened before the release of the Samsung Galaxy S23. And the second — There seems to be a whole lotta switching going on. According to Chatterjee’s note, “half of the sales representatives surveyed also suggested more users are switching from Android to iOS.” Looking at those numbers:

  • 50% say people are switching from Android to iOS
  • 5% say people are switching from iOS to Android
  • 13% say switching between the two operating systems is about even
  • 32% says there’s “largely no switching”

Chatterjee has an “Overweight” rating on Apple shares. JP Morgan’s price target on the shares is $175.

Evercore Sees Drop in App Store Revenue, Still Expects Services Growth for Apple

Growth in the App Store is still a day-after-tomorrow thing — that is the word from Evercore analyst Amit Daryanani. Apple 3.0 ran part of a note he wrote. Quoting part of that:

We had expected the App Store to return to growth in the Mar-qtr, but revenue declined 1% again in February despite comps getting easier. We still expect a reacceleration in CY23, but it may take some more time as Japan and the gaming market remain notable drags on growth.

Hitting pause on games — an Apple privacy feature, believe it or not. Daryanani says growth in games is being negatively affected by App Tracking Transparency, which the analyst says “has made it more difficult for mobile gaming companies to effectively target new users.” That drag on games may be what’s dragging down the App Store in Japan, though Evercore’s man seems less certain on that. 

If you’re looking for good App Store news, look to the Middle Kingdom. “Encouragingly,” writes the analyst:

…China reported a second straight quarter of growth and we would expect growth to continue through CY23 as the Chinese economy rebounds.

While the lack of App Store growth is notable, Daryanani still expects growth from Apple’s Services segment this quarter, with subscriptions and entertainment making up the shortfall. He’s got an “Outperform” rating on Apple shares. He’s set Evercore’s price target on the shares at $190. 

Second Betas of Apple OS Updates Available to Public Testers

OS betas for public testers are hot on the heels of betas for developers. I told you Yesterday that Apple had released betas of the latest builds of iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS 16.4, as well as watchOS 9.4 to developers. Tagging along was one for macOS Ventura 13.3. Now MacRumors says same goes for public testing people. 

If you’re in the public testing program, you probably know what to do. If you’re not but wish you were — don’t dream it, be it. More info awaits at

Apple Makes Peer Group Benchmarks Available to Developers

There was a bit of newness for developers on Wednesday. A piece from 9to5Mac says they can now use peer group benchmarks for metrics through App Store Connect. If you’re not a developer, you may not know what App Store Connect is. The piece explains, “App Store Connect is the platform where developers can manage their iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS apps available on the App Store.”

As for the benchmark thing, the report says:

The tool can compare an app’s performance with others in the same category, business model, and download volume to “ensure relevant comparisons.”

Of course it is Apple, so privacy is key. The piece has the company telling developers that:

Using industry-leading differential privacy techniques, peer group benchmarks provide relevant and actionable insights — all while keeping the performance of individual apps private.

Developers wanting more info can find it on Apple’s Developer site.

Apple Ups Potential Trade-In Prices on Select iPhones, Macs, and More

Your gently used Apple kit may be worth more than it was yesterday, though not the day before. MacRumors says Apple has upped the maximum trade-in value on select iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Most iPhones on the MacRumors list saw no change, though potential trade-in values did tick up for iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and blasting in from the past — iPhone 7 Plus. iPad Air and iPad both saw their possible trade-in values rise. Most Macs saw their trace-in potential go up, though one — the iMac Pro — actually saw its potential drop a bit. Most eligible Apple Watches also saw their potential trade-in values increase, according to the piece.

Worth noting, while the trade-ins are higher than they were recently, they’re not as high as they once were. MacRumors points out that “many of [the] prices are still lower than 2022 prices as Apple decreased trade-in values back in January.” 

You can see the complete list of trade-in values, including for gear from competing manufacturers, on Apple’s trade-in site.

Apple Increases Out-of-Warranty Battery Replacement Cost for iPhone and Mac

Apple giveth more, and Apple taketh more, too. A piece from AppleInsider says the Cupertino-company has raised the price for battery replacements on out-of-warranty iPhones and Macs. According to the report:

  • An out-of-warranty battery replacement for iPhones older than iPhone 14 has gone up by $20
  • The same service for a MacBook Air is $30 higher
  • For MacBook and MacBook Pro the cost is $50 higher

Prices remain unchanged for iPad out-of-warranty battery replacement, according to the report. Devices still under warranty or covered by AppleCare+ also see no change in price for battery replacement. 

Target Plans More ‘Apple Shop-in-Shop’ Locations

More Apple Stores inside Target stores are on the way. Target issued a press release earlier this week announcing a number of initiatives across the retail chain. Among those, the company plans to spend between $4B and $5B to expand “guest-centric services.” 

Blink and you’ll miss the part about Apple, though it’s there. After announcing roughly 20-new stores this year, the release says:

Target is also making investments in about 175 of its existing stores, ranging from full remodels to the addition of Ulta Beauty at Target or Apple at Target shop-in-shop experiences, or expanded capacity for same-day fulfillment services.

No, there’s no telling where those store will be. Nor when. Nor how many. Still, more Apple Stores inside Target stores are on the way.

Newest Sony Bravia TVs Compatible with Apple TV Services and Protocols

More Apple TV on more TVs. AppleInsider says new TVs in Sony’s Bravia line now support Cupertino’s many answers to television. “Although the TVs are based on Google’s Android TV system,” the report says:

…each model supports the Apple TV app, AirPlay 2 for wireless streaming, and Homekit for controlling various smart home devices. They also have compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google services like Assistant voice search.

So not an exclusive deal. But, a deal’s a deal. 

New models with the compatibility include:

One day. One day, a TV maker is going to get the simplicity of iPhone, iPad Pro, MacBook Air… Wanna make the TV everyone will buy? Name it something everyone will remember. 

Nobody asked me. Nobody cares. Whatever. 

‘Real Madrid: Until The End’ Begins Friday, March 10 on Apple TV+

And finally today, can you ever have too much soccer? The TV side of Apple seems to think not. To that end, Apple TV+ has announced a new documentary series, “Real Madrid: Until The End.” 

I’m assuming that’s sort of like a “Richmond ’til we die” thing. 

According to the release, the offering:

…is a three-part series that steps onto the field and, for the first time ever, goes behind the scenes with the iconic football club for a look at their astonishing 2021–2022 season, filled with dramatic come-from-behind victories and no shortage of on-field heroics from both veterans and newcomers alike.

Introduced by David Be — hey! A name I know! Introduced by David Beckham, “Real Madrid” hits Apple TV+ on Friday, March 10. Between now and then, you can catch a trailer for the docuseries on YouTube.

Today on The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations Podcast

Will there or won’t there be an Apple Silicon Mac Pro? TMO managing editor Jeff Butts wonders aloud about that… Plus — is Apple exiting China or just locating the exits? That’s all today on the Daily Observations Podcast from The Mac Observer.

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