India Ascends and a Goertek Exec Exits

The Daily Observation Deck Feature

An Apple target goes higher, Apple’s reportedly eying India more closely, and a bearer of bad news takes the exit.

Wedbush Ups Apple Target to $190

Another Apple analyst has raised their price target on Apple, though when you hear who you’ll likely not be surprised. Apple 3.0 ran part of a note from Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives on Wednesday. He sees several factors working in Apple’s favor. Those include strength for iPhone, a growing installed base, monetization of that installed base, and hot newness on the horizon. 

To begin, let’s go to the phone. “Rhymes with Chives” indicates that despite concerns over weakening demand across the board, he and his “are seeing no major unit cuts from suppliers in Asia around iPhone production yet…” 

Adding “yet” to that kind of kills the mood, but I get it. As for the next iPhone, he and his think “the baton handoff from iPhone 14 to iPhone 15 looks to be a steadier transition than some other peak to valley iPhone cycles of the past.” Continuing sales are also likely to greet or be greeted by iPhone Average Selling Prices approaching $900.

On the installed base monetization, Ives writes:

We believe with another 100 million+ new iPhone users on the Apple ecosystem added over the past 15 months and improving attach rates on services, coupled by price increases, that Apple’s services business should reaccelerate over the coming quarters back to a double digits trajectory… 

And addressing the hot newness, Ives and Co. anticipate:

  • Apple’s mixed-reality headset, launching “by the summer timeframe,” in his estimation
  • A hardware subscription plan, which could/would contribute to Apple’s Services segment
  • “more services bundling options” 
  • Something or things new in the Mac line

According to the analyst, the “golden installed base of Apple is creating more stability in this uncertain macro and remains key to [his firm’s] bullish thesis.” Mr. Ives has an “Outperform” rating on Apple shares. He used Wednesday’s note to raise his price target on Apple shares from $180 to $190. 

Cleveland Says Apple Rocks

Ives is not the only one accentuating the iPhone positive. Also on Wednesday, Seeking Alpha (via Apple Stocks) had Cleveland Research analyst Ben Bollin pointing to pluses for Apple’s communicator and — you guessed it — hot newness. Saying that demand for iPhone for the current quarter looks “better-than-expected,” Bollin cast his eyes toward the near-future. Not only does he expect Apple to maintain or gain share across its various hardware categories, he also anticipates the “launch of an AR/VR device potentially at WWDC in June,” though “unit forecasts” in the line are “still unclear.”

Bollin has a “Buy” rating on Apple shares, though I could not track down a stated price target. 

Report: Apple to Internally View India as Its Own Sales Region

India is reportedly gaining more prominence inside Apple. 9to5Mac highlights a Bloomberg report that says the Cupertino-company is elevating India to it own “sales region.” To this point, the region has been lumped into the Europe, Middle East, and Africa heading. Now though, the company seems to think it’s worth looking at on its own. That’s said to be due to a recent “demand surge” on the subcontinent. 

There are at least a couple of things to note about the change. First, it is said to be internal-only. “The latest changes will affect Apple’s management structure,” according to Bloomberg, “but not the way it reports regional sales in public financial results.” Externally, that would still leave Apple counting the Americas, EMEA, Greater China, Japan, and the rest of Asia Pacific. Additionally, you didn’t hear it from anybody. 9to5Mac has Bloomberg citing “people with knowledge of the matter,” said to know something, though not supposed to say anything.

Goertek Exec Leaves Company Days After China Supply Chain Comments

News of a resignation that’s hard to not read into… 

Last week, Goertek deputy chairman Kazuyoshi Yoshinaga made waves with comments about calls for his company to shift at least some production out of its home country of China. Goertek makes AirPods for Apple, making what goes on with it kind of a big deal. A piece midweek last week from Bloomberg (via Taipei Times) had Yoshinaga saying he’d been beset by client visitors over the past several weeks. Conversations with each were dominated by one question, “When can you move out?”

In the article, Yoshinaga highlighted a US$280M investment by Goertek into a plant in Vietnam, though moving some production to India was not off the table. Regarding such a move, Yoshinaga said:

We get requests from our clients almost every month. ‘Do you have any plans to expand to India?’ If they decide to build up the production lines in India, we may have to think about it seriously.

Well, somebody may. But it won’t be Yoshinaga. On Wednesday, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) ran a piece saying he is “leaving [Goertek] just days after he sounded [the] alarm on [a] supply chain exodus from China.” According to the report, “Goertek said Yoshinaga was leaving for ‘personal reasons,’ but the move comes after he painted a gloomy picture for China’s manufacturing sector.” 

The primary issue with Yoshinaga’s statements seems to have been not the diversification of various supply chains, but the speed with which it’s happening. SCMP says:

Yoshinaga’s remarks were the first time that a key player in Apple’s Chinese supply chain not only acknowledged the problems, but said the exodus was happening “far faster” than anticipated.

Not that this… has anything to do… with that… Quoting the Post:

In a stock exchange filing on Tuesday, Shenzhen-listed Goertek said Yoshinaga was leaving for “personal reasons”, without providing details. The statement did not mention his recent comments about the supply chain, and there is no evidence to show that his resignation was related to the fact that he painted a gloomy picture for the future of the Chinese manufacturing sector.

I’m not sure saying that repeatedly has the intended effect. Unless it does. The piece goes on to say: 

Yoshinaga submitted his resignation on Tuesday and it came into effect immediately, according to [a Goertek] statement. He does not own any shares of Goertek and will not have any role in affiliated Goertek entities after the resignation, the company added.

The Guardian Heads Back to Apple News in UK

In a move that could be seen as a sign of strength for Apple News, a major publication is returning to the service. Jonny Evans at Apple Must says The Guardian is headed back to Apple News U.K. after a five-year absence. Absence in the U.K., that is. The piece points out that Guardian content has been available on Apple News in Australia, Canada, and the US the whole time. But it pulled out of the service in the U.K. in 2017 because “it wanted to build up its own subscription revenues,” according to Evans. Now, it’s going back to the service for the same reason. 

Evans says “The Guardian now thinks working with Apple News will help it reach a wider audience and grow subscription revenues.” According to the report:

Apple has been tweaking Apple News and what it offers publishers since inception.

It is now easier for publishers to generate supporter and advertising revenue through the service, which offers them access to a vast audience of users, a slice of ads revenue and the chance to sell subscriptions and accept reader donations. Apple already offers publishers 100% of ads a publisher sells and 70% from ads inventory sold by Apple.

Public Testers Get Third Betas of iOS/iPadOS 16.4 and macOS 13.3

Public testers are just a day behind developers on at least a few betas. On Tuesday, Apple released a slew of betas to members of its developer program. Now, MacRumors reports on a smaller slew for the public testing crew. One piece from the site says the testing program got the third betas of iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4 on Wednesday, while another says they got the third beta of macOS Ventura 13.3.

If you’re in the program, you know the drill. If you’re not but wish you were, more info is available at

Apple TV+ Releases Big Trailer for ‘The Big Door Prize’

And finally today, word of a new trailer for an upcoming Apple TV+ series. The Cupertino-streamer issued a press release Wednesday, teasing/promoting the Chris O’Dowd-led, character driven comedy “The Big Door Prize.” Of the show, the streamer says:

Based on M.O. Walsh’s novel of the same name, “The Big Door Prize” tells the story of a small town that is forever changed when a mysterious machine appears in the general store, promising to reveal each resident’s true life potential.

Part of Apple’s “Must Watch Wednesday” (that’s my name for it, not Apple’s), the first three episodes hit the stream on Wednesday, March 29. The rest of the ten-episodes will run one-per-week through May 17. You can catch the trailer now on YouTube

Today on The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations Podcast

TMO writer Nick deCourville and I talk over India’s changing status within Apple. Plus: talk of an opt-out clause in the Apple/MLS deal. That’s all today on the Daily Observations Podcast from The Mac Observer.

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