The shares of Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) have received a price target of $180 from JPMorgan. And JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee reiterated an “Overweight” rating on the company shares.
Chatterjee had increased the price target from $175. And Chatterjee is continuing to see Apple shares set up for multiple catalysts into the back end of the year such as the upcoming iPhone 13 launch and low investor expectations for the total revenue for fiscal 2022 led by concerns relative to cycling past the peak upgrade cycle associated with 5G.
Plus Chatterjee also increased the 2022 iPhone volume estimates to 246 million units and sees substantial upside relative to the consensus expectations. And the estimated moderation in the upgrade rate to iPhone 13 relative to iPhone 12 will be offset by the higher volumes for a lower-priced phone as the 5G-enabled iPhone SE expected to be launched next year provides upside through the upgrade of a large installed base.
Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes. Before making any investment, you should do your own analysis.
Apple reportedly told corporate employees on Thursday their expected return to the office would be delayed until January amid a surge in cases of COVID-19 and new variants.
The iPhone maker said in a memo to employees it would confirm its reopening timeline a month before employees are expected to return to the office, Bloomberg reported late Thursday. The new delay comes a month after Apple told employees they would be expected back in the office in October, which followed an earlier return target of September.
The company’s offices have largely sat empty for the past year, its employees working remotely as businesses all over the world shuttered facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But as cases initially dipped, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly told employees in June they would be expected to return to the office three days a week.
The resurgence of COVID and especially the emergence of the delta variant has led tech companies to reconsider their reopening plans. Apple employees have been especially vocal in pressing for a delay, saying decisions on the frequency of remote work should be left up to individual teams and that there shouldn’t be a
The company has said internally that it believes in-person collaboration is an essential part of its culture.
Semiconductor firms that supply Apple with chips for iPhones, iPads and Macs might sound like a safe bet for investors but they also come with an element of risk, according to one analyst who follows the sector.
UBS’s Francois-Xavier Bouvignies told CNBC Wednesday that his firm has a “neutral” rating on French-Italian chip firm STMicroelectronics because of the company’s exposure to smartphones and Apple in particular.
Work with smartphone firms account for 30% of STMicroelectronics total revenues, and the company has 25% exposure to Apple, Bouvignies said.
“For us, it’s kind of a risk to have such exposure to one customer, which is always difficult to predict,” Bouvignies said.
Apple and STMicroelectronics did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.
Apple has been bringing an increasing amount of chip development in-house over the last few years, hurting smaller players in the process.
The Cupertino-based company decided to cut ties with British chip designer Imagination Technologies in 2017 to develop processing units for the iPhone and iPad in-house.
That news sent the once-listed firm’s shares tumbling as much as 71%, due to concerns it would heavily impact its future. And it did. Imagination Technologies was subsequently sold to China-backed private equity buyer Canyon Bridge Capital Partners for £550 million ($727 million).
Apple and Imagination Technologies announced a new relationship in Jan. 2020.
UBS said it prefers German chipmaker Infineon over STMicroelectronics because it doesn’t have the same level of exposure to the smartphone industry, Bouvignies said.
While STMicroelectronics has a neutral rating from UBS, Infineon has a buy rating.
Both companies, however, are poised to benefit from the electrification of the car, according to Bouvignies, who said the automotive industry accounts for 10% of the global demand for semiconductors.
“We would prefer Infineon over STMicro but it will still benefit from the electrification of the car,” he said.
Infineon is the world leader in the semiconductors that are used to manage power in cars, according to Bouvignies, who said that the company has about 30% of global market share.
STMicroelectronics is investing significant amounts of capital in the space as part of an effort to keep up, he added.
Cars with internal combustion engines typically use around $80 worth of semiconductors in the powertrain, but electric vehicles use around $550 worth, he said.
Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is seeing huge demand for iPhones in China, ahead of the expected launch of a newer version sometime next month, Barron’s reported on Wednesday, citing a Morgan Stanley analyst.
What Happened: Apple’s iPhone shipments in China in July were up 79% on a year-over-year basis, as per estimates by Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.
While iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max are the most popular models in China, iPhone 11 sales remain “resilient,” the analyst said.
The jump in July numbers far outpaced China’s own handset vendors, which saw just a 27% increase over the same period.
Apple’s share of the installed base of smartphones in China grew by 90 basis points in July to 20.7%, a 27-month high.
The brokerage estimates that both Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies lost market share in China in July while domestic phone makers such as Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi saw small market share gains.
See Also: How To Buy Apple Stock
Huberty said the demand indicates iPhone can see continued shipment strength after the launch of the new iPhone 13 model this fall.
Why It Matters: China is a key market for Apple. Sales in the region grew 58% to $14.76 billion in the quarter ended June.
Apple reportedly shipped 7.9 million smartphones in China in the June quarter, up merely 2% from 7.7 million a year ago, according to a market research firm Canalys.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp overtook Apple in the second quarter to become the world’s No. 2 smartphone maker. In China, Vivo and Oppo have the bigger smartphone market share ahead of Xiaomi and Apple, as per the latest Canalys report.
Price Action: Apple shares closed 2.55% lower at $146.36 on Wednesday.
(Reuters) – More than 90 policy and rights groups around the world published an open letter on Thursday urging Apple to abandon plans for scanning children’s messages for nudity and the phones of adults for images of child sex abuse.
“Though these capabilities are intended to protect children and to reduce the spread of child sexual abuse material, we are concerned that they will be used to censor protected speech, threaten the privacy and security of people around the world, and have disastrous consequences for many children,” the groups wrote here in the letter, which was first reported by Reuters.
The largest campaign to date over an encryption issue at a single company was organized by the U.S.-based nonprofit Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT).
Some overseas signatories in particular are worried about the impact of the changes in nations with different legal systems, including some already hosting heated fights over encryption and privacy.
“It’s so disappointing and upsetting that Apple is doing this, because they have been a staunch ally in defending encryption in the past,” said Sharon Bradford Franklin, co-director of CDT’s Security & Surveillance Project.
An Apple spokesman said the company had addressed privacy and security concerns in a document Friday outlining why the complex architecture of the scanning software should resist attempts to subvert it here.
Those signing included multiple groups in Brazil, where courts have repeatedly blocked Facebook’s WhatsApp for failing to decrypt messages in criminal probes, and the senate has passed a bill that would require traceability of messages, which would require somehow marking their content. A similar law was passed in India this year.
“Our main concern is the consequence of this mechanism, how this could be extended to other situations and other companies,” said Flavio Wagner, president of the independent Brazil chapter of the Internet Society, which signed. “This represents a serious weakening of encryption.”
Other signers were in India, Mexico, Germany, Argentina, Ghana and Tanzania.
Surprised by the earlier outcry following its announcement two weeks ago, Apple has offered a series of explanations here and documents to argue that the risks of false detections are low.
Apple said it would refuse demands to expand the image-detection system beyond pictures of children flagged by clearinghouses in multiple jurisdictions, though it has not said it would pull out of a market rather than obeying a court order.
Though most of the objections so far have been over device-scanning, the coalition’s letter also faults a change to iMessage in family accounts, which would try to identify and blur nudity in children’s messages, letting them view it only if parents are notified.
The signers said the step could endanger children in intolerant homes or those seeking educational material. More broadly, they said the change will break end-to-end encryption for iMessage, which Apple has staunchly defended in other contexts.
“Once this backdoor feature is built in, governments could compel Apple to extend notification to other accounts, and to detect images that are objectionable for reasons other than being sexually explicit,” the letter says.
Other groups that signed include the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Access Now, Privacy International, and the Tor Project.
Apple has encountered monumental backlash to a new child sexual abuse imagery (CSAM) detection technology it announced earlier this month. The system, which Apple calls NeuralHash, has yet to be activated for its billion-plus users, but the technology is already facing heat from security researchers who say the algorithm is producing flawed results.
NeuralHash is designed to identify known CSAM on a user’s device without having to possess the image or knowing the contents of the image. Because a user’s photos stored in iCloud are end-to-end encrypted so that even Apple can’t access the data, NeuralHash instead scans for known CSAM on a user’s device, which Apple claims is more privacy friendly as it limits the scanning to just photos rather than other companies which scan all of a user’s file.
Apple does this by looking for images on a user’s device that have the same hash — a string of letters and numbers that can uniquely identify an image — that are provided by child protection organizations like NCMEC. If NeuralHash finds 30 or more matching hashes, the images are flagged to Apple for a manual review before the account owner is reported to law enforcement. Apple says the chance of a false positive is about one in one trillion accounts.
But security experts and privacy advocates have expressed concern that the system could be abused by highly-resourced actors, like governments, to implicate innocent victims or to manipulate the system to detect other materials that authoritarian nation states find objectionable. NCMEC called critics the “screeching voices of the minority,” according to a leaked memo distributed internally to Apple staff.
Last night, Asuhariet Ygvar reverse-engineered Apple’s NeuralHash into a Python script and published code to GitHub, allowing anyone to test the technology regardless of whether they have an Apple device to test. In a Reddit post, Ygvar said NeuralHash “already exists” in iOS 14.3 as obfuscated code, but was able to reconstruct the technology to help other security researchers understand the algorithm better before it’s rolled out to iOS and macOS devices later this year.
It didn’t take long before others tinkered with the published code and soon came the first reported case of a “hash collision,” which in NeuralHash’s case is where two entirely different images produce the same hash. Cory Cornelius, a well-known research scientist at Intel Labs, discovered the hash collision. Ygvar confirmed the collision a short time later.
Hash collisions can be a death knell to systems that rely on cryptography to keep them secure, such as encryption. Over the years several well-known password hashing algorithms, like MD5 and SHA-1, were retired after collision attacks rendered them ineffective.
Kenneth White, a cryptography expert and founder of the Open Crypto Audit Project, said in a tweet: “I think some people aren’t grasping that the time between the iOS NeuralHash code being found and [the] first collision was not months or days, but a couple of hours.”
When reached, an Apple spokesperson declined to comment on the record. But in a background call where reporters were not allowed to quote executives directly or by name, Apple downplayed the hash collision and argued that the protections it puts in place — such as a manual review of photos before they are reported to law enforcement — are designed to prevent abuses. Apple also said that the version of NeuralHash that was reverse-engineered is a generic version, and not the complete version that will roll out later this year.
It’s not just civil liberties groups and security experts that are expressing concern about the technology. A senior lawmaker in the German parliament sent a letter to Apple chief executive Tim Cook this week saying that the company is walking down a “dangerous path” and urged Apple not to implement the system.
The shares of Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) have received a price target of $175 by JPMorgan. And JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee maintains an “Overweight” rating on Apple shares.
Chatterjee pointed out that the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology disclosed that international brand mobile phone shipments — which are a proxy for mobile shipments — had rebounded in July and are now back to the historical average levels of 2.8 million following the weaker previous month of June.
The international shipments in July showed a 75% year-over-year increase after a 15% year-over-year decline in the previous month.
Chatterjee also pointed out that a comparison of the trends between Apple and industry volumes indicates that Apple is continuing to gain market share in China.
Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes. Before making any investment, you should do your own analysis.
(Reuters) – Apple Inc is working with more Chinese suppliers to produce its latest iPhones, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper said on Wednesday, as a tech feud stemming from a trade war with the United States prompts Beijing to strengthen domestic firms.
Luxshare Precision Industry Co Ltd is set to build up to 3% of the upcoming iPhone 13 series, and two firms it acquired last year will supply key components and parts for the latest iPhones, the paper said, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Lens Tech Co Ltd will supply metal casings and Sunny Optical Tech Group Co Ltd will supply rear camera lenses, the paper said on its website, with BOE Tech Group Co Ltd also supplying components.
Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Luxshare has won orders over its Taiwanese rivals Foxconn and Pegatron Corp, and will start building the iPhone 13 Pro this month, the paper said.
Reuters reported that Foxconn set up a task force to fend off the growing clout of Chinese electronics manufacturer Luxshare to study it the company was supported by any Chinese government entity, among other concerns.
Last month, Apple forecast slowing revenue growth as a global chip shortage starts to affect iPhone production.
Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez