New Earnings and Old Controllers

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Sizing up phone sales, prepping for an earnings report, and again with all the OS betas. 

Sizing Up Phone Sales

Corning Notes Q3 Drop for Smartphones, Tablets, and Laptops

Another sign of slowing smartphone sales. AppleInsider had Apple supplier Corning reporting September-quarter earnings on Tuesday. The company missed Wall Street expectations, thanks to “a 14% year-over-year decrease in smartphone sales volume and a 17% drop in orders for tablets and laptops glass.” That was for the September-quarter. For the rest of 2022, Corning CEO Wendell Weeks was quoted as saying:

We now expect smartphones to be down about 12% for the year, and we expect notebook and tablet demand to decline 15%… We expect the year-over-year decline in smartphones, notebooks, and tablets to be greater in the second half than in the first half.

What does this mean for Apple? Not surprisingly, Corning doesn’t break out sales for specific clients. That leaves AppleInsider leaning on the likes of “analysts from JP Morgan, Cowen, and Morgan Stanley…” While sales of budget-conscious phones may lack luster, the aforementioned analysts think “premium smartphones, like the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, are doing great.”

JP Morgan Eyes iPhone Share Among US Carriers

Speaking of the analysts — Apple 3.0 has run part of a note from JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee. He and his have had a look at Wave7 Research data for U.S. carriers in September. The note is positive, though not without a bit of confusion. First, the decidedly good news from Apple’s standpoint:

  • “iPhone share at all three carriers improved significantly” once the iPhone 14 line launched
  • …despite constrained inventory for Pro models, mix is clearly better as iPhone 14 Pro is turning out to be a clear leader within the portfolio, relative to more balanced preferences between the Pro and the base model in the past.

As for the bits of confusion:

  • “absolute share for iPhones is tracking lower than in September 2021 following the iPhone 13 launch,” according to the analyst
  • …lack of differentiation for iPhone 14 base models and absence of inventory of Pro models are being cited as primary reasons for certain stores expecting lower iPhone 14 sales over iPhone 13.

Apple 3.0 suggests part of the reason the 14’s market share is down “is that more customers may be ordering their phones direct from Apple.” The site lists that as a bit of carrier insight, though it’s unclear whether it came from the Chatterjee note or other sources. Whatever the case, the analyst is still into Apple. He’s got an “Overweight” rating on the company’s shares and a price target of $200. 

Evercore: Apple TV+ Price Rise is Thoughtfully Timed”

We started the week with Evercore analyst Amit Daryanani saying Apple would raise the price for its streaming video service, Apple TV+, at some point — you know, once it got live sports and a lot more content. The next day, Apple upped the price of the service by a couple of bucks. Now, one analyst is saying that increase highlights the success of the service. That analyst — Evercore’s Amit Daryanani. 

Referencing the note with which we started the week, the analyst says “the price increase adds to [his firm’s] conviction that Apple is organically building a best-in-class premium streaming service.” While the earlier note had indicated that he didn’t think Apple has enough content to raise the price yet, he now thinks the increase is:

…thoughtfully timed as Apple recently released the second season of the critically acclaimed Acapulco and over the next 6-9 months we expect new seasons of some of their biggest shows including Ted Lasso, Severance, and Mythic Quest. 

Plus, it’s still cheaper than Netflix, HBO, and Hulu, so… you know…

Daryanani goes on to say:

Apple has done a good job of building out their content library, but over the next 3-5 years they should become far more competitive in terms of available content as long as they can maintain their impressive hit rate. 

Net/net: The increase follows similar moves by other streams and provides support that Apple is organically building the next HBO.

Daryanani has an “Outperform” rating on Apple shares. His price target on the shares is $190.

Wedbush: “Directional Commentary” Key for Apple Quarterly Call

The activity on the financial front may just feel like a day that ends in “Y,” though it’s got a bit more urgency this week. That’s because this week, Apple reports numbers for the fourth-quarter of its FY2022 — aka the September-quarter. Offering his take ahead of those numbers is Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives. Apple 3.0 ran part of the note he wrote. 

Working against Apple in his estimation are foreign exchange headwinds and “a noisy few months” from skeptics. On the first one, the analyst thinks sales of iPhone 14 that’ve skewed to the high-end should help Apple meet (maybe just beat) Wall Street expectations. As for the noisy skeptics, guidance and commentary from Apple CEO Tim Cook may be of some comfort. Quoting his note:

While not expecting specific December quarter guidance given the macro/FX/backdrop, we believe directional commentary from Cook should be positive around iPhone 14 Pro demand heading into the all-important holiday season. 

Ives thinks Street expectations for the December and March quarters are beatable, though foreign exchange headwinds could mess that up. Ives has an “Outperform” rating on Apple shares. His price target on the shares is $220.

Apple 4QFY22 Earnings Report Set for Tomorrow

As mentioned a moment ago, Apple’s Q4FY22 earnings report is set for this week — tomorrow to be precise. Numbers will go out via press release after the closing bell. Then at 2PM Pacific/5PM Eastern — about half-an-hour after the numbers hit, Apple execs and Apple analysts will hop on a call. You can listen to that as it happens on Apple’s site. The company will make it available as a podcast soon after [Apple Podcasts link]. And — of course — we’ll go over the big points on Friday 28 October.

Study: Apple Watch Blood Oxygen Readings Comparable to Medical-Grade Hardware

Curious how good the blood oxygen sensor in Apple Watch is? At least one study says it’s as good as a “medical-grade device.” 9to5Mac highlights a study published with the National Library of Medicine. “According to the results,” according to the report, “the Apple Watch Series 6 is able to ‘reliably detect states of reduced blood oxygen saturation’ in comparison to medical-grade pulse oximeters.” Compared to the medical-grade Masimo Radical-7 pulse oximeter, the study’s conclusion says the tech used in the smartwatch “is sufficiently advanced for the indicative measurement of [peripheral blood oxygen saturation] outside the clinic.”

Apple Hits Developers with a Slew of OS Betas

From the “no rest for the wicked” file, the software beta parade is once again on the march. Apple released updates for everything on Monday, including the debuts of macOS 13 Ventura and iPadOS 16.1. Now, a piece from 9to5Mac says the Cupertino-company’s out with the first betas of iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, macOS 13.1, and watchOS 9.2. Meanwhile, a piece from MacRumors says the company has also hit with the first beta of tvOS 16.2. 

Early days of course, but 9to5Mac is already spotting new and/or anticipated features. A piece on the iOS 16.2 beta says that one lets people let Apple know when Emergency SOS is triggered accidentally. I mean… “oops, an accident” accidentally, not “I’ve been in an accident” accidentally. 

Over on the iPad side, another report from 9to5Mac says the brand new 16.2 beta adds the tablet’s anticipated Freeform collaboration app. It also brings Stage Manager external display support, according to the piece.

Apple Updates Add Support for Retro Nintendo Controllers

And finally today, if you’re a Nintendo gamer and an Apple gamer — you may have one less controller to worry about. Or a few new ones to consider. New… old ones, anyway. 

AppleInsider says this week’s updates have added support for “a pair of nostalgic Nintendo controllers.” Apparently the company makes a modern, Bluetooth-enabled version of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) controller, as well as a Bluetooth model of the Nintendo 64 controller.  While Apple announced support for Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons and the Nintendo Pro Controller at WWDC, this week’s updates snuck in support for the retro-trollers as well. AppleInsider says they’ll all now work for gaming on tvOS, macOS, iOS, and iPadOS  — provided you’re running the latest updates. 

Today on The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations Podcast

Mac Geek Gab co-host Dave Hamilton and I discuss the possibility of a post-hardware Apple. Plus, Dave’s been spending time in macOS Ventura — he’ll tell us what he’s seen and what to consider when considering an update. That’s all today on the Daily Observations Podcast from The Mac Observer.

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