Yet Another View on Mac Shipments

The Daily Observations

From JP Morgan forecasts to new Apple TV+ content announcements, we’ve seen plenty of great news from the Observation Deck today. Let’s just skip all the formalities and jump right in, shall we?

JP Morgan Sets December 2023 AAPL Price Target at $200

Wobbly macro be damned, JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee is standing firm on Apple. Apple 3.0 ran part of a note he wrote on Wednesday, wherein he predicted strong results for the September and December quarters and planted his flag for CY2023. 

It has not moved. 

Near term, he thinks revenue for last quarter and the current quarter will be buoyed by strong sales for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. For the full year though, he is concerned about lackluster demand for the consumer end of the 14 line. Quoting his note:

While still early days in the iPhone 14 product cycle, we do expect the weaker consumer spending environment to impact the earnings trajectory and could drive softer than consensus earnings in some of the later quarters in FY23.

And yet, he is not budging. The note says he and his “believe the resilient fundamentals are unlikely to change in the near-term.” Chatterjee used the note to reiterate JP Morgan’s “Overweight” rating on Apple shares. The post closes with the analyst saying, “We are establishing a December 2023 price target of $200…” That is the same target he set last year for December 2022.

Canalys Estimates Sail Between IDC/Gartner Difference on Q3 Mac Shipments

Earlier this week we heard a tale of two quarters where the Mac was concerned. Market tracker IDC said that shipments of Apple computers were up over 40% in the September-quarter — cresting 10 million units. Standing in stark disagreement was IDC competitor Gartner. That firm said that Mac shipments were under six-million for the quarter, marking a decline of roughly 15-and-a-half-percent.

Let us now mess with Mr. In-Between. Market tracker Canalys hit Wednesday with computer numbers for the September-quarter. Like IDC, that firm had Apple showing the only growth for the quarter in terms of shipments, though just barely. They had the Cupertino-company shipping just under 8-million Macs last quarter — an increase of 1.7% over the 7.86-million they say Apple shipped in the same quarter a year earlier. 

And everybody else was down in the same order about the same amount as the other two trackers said. Returning to a question posed by Apple 3.0’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt earlier this week, how do market trackers pretty much agree on every firm except Apple? 

I remain your ever faithful shrug emoji.

Bloomberg: Unionized Apple Store Iced Out of New Benefits

A pretty bad look for Apple at its unionized store in Maryland. MacRumors highlights a Bloomberg report that says the Cupertino-company is denying employees at the Towson Town Center location benefits being enjoyed by non-union stores. According to the report:

Apple this week announced plans to offer employees additional funds for education and new health care features in some states, but unionized employees at the Towson, Maryland Apple Store will not receive these benefits.

I will say, I have no idea how negotiations between unions and management work. In some of its messaging in the first half of the year, as Apple was apparently trying to stifle unionization, the company did say that perks provided by Apple would have to go through the union, if a union was formed. So — you know… maybe they’ll end up with the benefits, post negotiation. 

Then again, maybe not. The MacRumors piece says:

Bloomberg suggests that Apple’s decision to withhold perks from the Towson store could dissuade other stores from unionizing, but it could also lead to further worker upset. Other companies like Starbucks that have been fighting unionization have also provided exclusive benefits at non-union stores.

If it sticks, it’s really not a great look. MacRumors says formal negotiations between Apple and the Towson store union are expected to begin soon.

Developers Get Fifth Beta of watchOS 9.1

It’s not right to say “a day late,” though “a day later” would be accurate… I told you yesterday of a few new betas for developers from Apple. Those included betas of iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS 16.1, as well a beta of macOS 13 Ventura. As it has done the past few times, the latest watchOS developer beta has lagged fashionably behind. But here it is. MacRumors says the Cupertino-company has seeded beta number-five of watchOS 9.1 to developer types. 

No new features found, so who knows what it’s doing. You know, besides letting developers keep up with what’s coming. 

Apple Card Not Working in Apple Wallet? It’s Not Just You!™

If you’re having a problem using Apple Card on your iPhone, it’s not just you™! AppleInsider hipped me to the issue. A piece early Wednesday said that some folks were getting a message in Apple Wallet that “Apple Card can not be used.” That started Wednesday morning, according to Apple’s system status page. As of this writing, the issue is listed as ongoing. There’s a pretty easy fix for affected users, though: Turn it off and turn it on again. Kind of. As of the middle of the night Wednesday night/Thursday morning Apple’s system status message said:

Some users may see a message in their Wallet that Apple Card can not be used. Please follow the instructions to remove your Apple Card, re-add it to the Wallet by tapping the (+) Add button, tap Previous Cards, and follow the steps on the screen. Your transaction history will reappear after re-adding your Apple Card.

Apple Services Finding New Homes on Windows

Apple services and Mr. Softy are getting a bit more cozy. iDownloadBlog has word of three of the Cupertino-company’s offerings nestling into the Windows and Microsoft world. 

First on the list: Apple Music. The piece says an app for the streaming audio service has launched for Xbox One, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X. That is available now in the Microsoft Store. 

Next up — eh… that might be sort of a tie. Next up as far as an official release, iDownloadBlog says Windows Photos is integrating with iCloud Photos starting next month. According to the report, the “upcoming integration will let [users] access any iCloud photos and videos from [their] iPhone within the Windows Photos app.” That functionality should be turned on in a Windows 11 update expected in November.

As for the maybe sort of tie, the report says a Windows app for Apple TV is set to go live in 2023. That’s when the app will launch officially, though the piece says a beta version of the app will be available “later this year.” 

Ghosts of Shows Yet to Come…

Apple Outs Trailer for ‘Mythic Quest’ Season Three

We’ll wrap the day with news of three titles headed to Apple TV+. A piece from Cult of Mac says there is a new trailer out for Mythic Quest. Dialog in the trailer indicates that the show’s picking up one-year after the end of season two. The 10-episode third season kicks off with a two-episode premier. Those will land on Friday 11 November. You can catch the latest MQ season three trailer now on YouTube.

Apple Posts Trailer for Holiday Musical Comedy ‘Spirited’

Moving now toward holiday fare, a separate piece from Cult of Mac says Apple has outed a trailer for yuletide musical/comedy Spirited. Starring Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds, and Octavia Spencer, this trailer has a few surprises. We already knew it was a retelling of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Where it gets weird — the characters in the film seem to know about the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol as well. At the same time, one of the Christmas ghosts (played by Farrell) seems to be one of the ghosts from the novel. Oh — and it’s modern day, with shots that are reminiscent of Scrooged, the star-studded Bill Murray Christmas Carol retelling from the late 1980s. 

I know. That’s a lot. But — you know… Will Farrell! Ryan Reynolds! Octavia Spencer! Singing!

Spirited will see a release in theaters on Friday 11 November. It starts streaming on Apple TV+ one week later — Friday 18 November. You can catch the trailer on YouTube.

Jony Ive-Produced Animated Short Headed to Apple TV+ for Christmas

And finally today, news of a show that none of us saw coming. Apple issued a press release earlier this week announcing the animated short film The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.

Based “on the internationally best-selling book of the same name,” the release says the animated short features author Charlie Mackesy’s “distinctive illustrations brought to life in full color with beautiful hand-drawn animation…” Apple says the title is a “story of kindness, friendship, courage and hope for viewers of all ages…” 

The short comes with star power, featuring the voices of Tom Hollander, Idris Elba, and Gabriel Byrne. Likely the most surprising name — Apple says one of the film’s executive producers is former Apple design king Jony Ive.

The film will be presented by the BBC in the UK. Everywhere else, it’ll hit Apple TV+ on 25 December.

Speaking of Ghosts…

Today on The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations podcast: TMO writer Nick deCourville sits in to talk over a couple of topics — or does he? 

First, there is talk again/still that Apple may try advertisements on Apple TV+. We’ll talk about why people think so and what that might look like. Then — Joe Rogan interviewed Steve Jobs this week, except — obviously — no he did not. Sure sounds like it though… We talked about that creepy podcast on the Daily Observations from The Mac Observer.

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