Additional Thoughts on Apple Music on Echo, Apple Is Emphasizing Hardware, The Wireless Headphone Wars

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Additional Thoughts on Apple Music on Echo

  • Apple Is Emphasizing Hardware 

  • The Wireless Headphone Wars

We begin today’s update with additional thoughts on Apple’s decision to make Apple Music available on Amazon Echo speakers. In particular, we cover divergent opinions when it comes to Apple services vs. hardware. The email then turns to why I think moves like bringing Apple Music to Echo actually are a sign of Apple emphasizing hardware. The discussion concludes with why I think wireless headphones have the best shot of being the battle to watch in tech land next year.

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Apple Pushing Additional iPhone Promos, Qualcomm Goes on PR Offense Against Apple, Inside the Battle for Streaming Video Content

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Apple Pushing Additional iPhone Promos

  • Qualcomm Goes on PR Offense Against Apple

  • Inside the Battle for Streaming Video Content 

We begin today’s update with my thoughts on Apple unveiling new sales tactics and promos for iPhone. We discuss how the moves aren’t necessarily a sign of weak iPhone demand. The email then turns to some questionable comments from Qualcomm and why I think it’s part of a PR battle against Apple. We conclude with the content wars and the two paths forward for a video streaming company.

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A Cheaper Apple Stock Buyback, Apple Supplier Cirrus Logic Issues Revenue Warning, Interest in AirPods Exploding Higher 

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • A Cheaper Apple Stock Buyback

  • Apple Supplier Cirrus Logic Issues Revenue Warning

  • Interest in AirPods Exploding Higher  

We jump into today’s update with additional comments on the latest Above Avalon article, “Leveraging Apple's Share Buyback.” In particular, we take a deeper look at the numbers and Apple’s overall philosophy when it comes to buyback. The discussion then turns to Cirrus Logic, an Apple supplier, issuing a revenue warning on smartphone weakness. We go over what the news says, and doesn’t say, about iPhone demand. The email concludes with AirPods and how customer interest in the product is exploding higher. We go over the data, including what I think is behind the surge in interest versus last year. We also discuss my AirPods sales estimates.

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Apple Bringing Apple Music to Echo Speakers, Apple’s Services Goals, A More Confident Apple Music Strategy

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Apple Bringing Apple Music to Echo Speakers 

  • Apple’s Services Goals

  • A More Confident Apple Music Strategy

Today’s email is a deep dive into Apple’s decision to make Apple Music available on Amazon Echo speakers. We go over my thoughts on the news, and what it says and doesn’t say about HomePod sales, Apple Music, and Apple’s services strategy.

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Apple Comments on iPhone XR Sales, A Sign of Apple Product Sales Disclosure to Come?, Thursday Q&A

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Apple Comments on iPhone XR Sales

  • A Sign of Apple Product Sales Disclosure to Come?

  • Thursday Q&A

We kick off today’s email with a closer look at Apple VP Greg Joswiak’s comments about iPhone XR sales. We go over both what Joz said, and didn’t say, about iPhone XR demand. In addition, we look at what his comments suggest about the overall iPhone sales mix heading into 2019. The discussion then turns to the topic of how Apple may address false narratives regarding product demand mix without providing unit sales data. We conclude with the latest installment of Thursday Q&A. I answer the following questions from Above Avalon members:

  • Berkshire vs. Apple. Why has Berkshire Hathaway’s stock remained near its all-time high while its largest equity investment, Apple, has fallen by more than 20%? 

  • iPhone 8 vs. iPhone XR. What is the implication for Apple’s iPhone strategy given an uptick in iPhone 8 sales after the XR launch? In a mature market with late adopters, does this limit Apple’s ability to push the market forward and take risks, such as with the Face ID/all-screen design?

  • Screen Sizes. The iPhone X performed very well at $999, although the XR doesn't appear to be selling any better at $749. Could Apple have been too aggressive with larger screens at the mid-priced segment? Is it possible that the mid-tier prefers more size options?

  • Buyback Pace. How much leeway does management have quarter to quarter for share buyback? Given the decline in Apple's share price, could we see an uptick in the buyback pace?

  • Buyback’s Impact on EPS. How would you think about Apple's share buyback and the lower share price when it comes to 1Q19 EPS expectations? How could a lower share price and/or larger buyback affect EPS?

  • Marketing. Why has there been such little marketing for some of Apple's new products?

  • iPhone Sales. What would a worst case scenario look like for iPhone sales? 

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Inside the Apple News Machine, YouTube Backs Away from Paid Subscriptions, Apple Partners with A24 for Movies

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Inside the Apple News Machine

  • YouTube Backs Away from Paid Subscriptions

  • Apple Partners with A24 for Movies

We kick off today’s email by going over the NYT’s recent Apple News profile. The discussion includes why I think Apple News is a symbol of how Apple thinks differently about services. We then turn to the video space and YouTube backing away from paid subscriptions. The email concludes with my thoughts on Apple partnering with indie studio A24 to produce movies.

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Mosaic Theory for iPhone Order Cuts, Initial Thoughts on Apple’s iPhone Strategy in 2019, Apple’s Answer to Overserving iPhone Users

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Mosaic Theory for iPhone Order Cuts 

  • Initial Thoughts on Apple’s iPhone Strategy in 2019

  • Apple’s Answer to Overserving iPhone Users

We begin today’s update by discussing my strategy for using the mosaic theory to come up with a good handle on the current iPhone demand environment. The email then turns to my initial thoughts on Apple’s iPhone strategy in 2019. We go over my stance on various iPhone models and pricing options. The discussion concludes with a closer look at how Apple has been planning for the era when iPhone users become content with less.

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Apple Cuts iPhone XR Pricing in Japan, Apple Resumes iPhone X Production, Canary in an iPhone Coal Mine

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Apple Cuts iPhone XR Pricing in Japan

  • Apple Resumes iPhone X Production

  • Canary in an iPhone Coal Mine

The iPhone news cycle continues to come in strong. Today’s email will be dedicated to discussing the latest developments. 

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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Deep Dive into Apple Product Sales Estimates, Apple as a Toolmaker, Valuing a Toolmaker

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Deep Dive into Apple Product Sales Estimates

  • Apple as a Toolmaker

  • Valuing a Toolmaker

In today’s update, we continue the discussion about my new Apple financial estimates for FY2019 and FY2020. In particular, we look at my Apple product sales estimates and how Apple is positioned financially from a product viewpoint in 2019 and 2020. Above Avalon members have access to my working Apple earnings model. The discussion then turns to the idea of Apple as a toolmaker and what it means in terms of valuing the company.

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New Apple Financial Estimates, Thoughts on AAPL Valuation, Legacy Watchmakers Still Dragging Feet

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • New Apple Financial Estimates

  • Thoughts on AAPL Valuation

  • Legacy Watchmakers Still Dragging Feet

In today’s update, we will go over my revised Apple financial estimates for FY2019. I am also introducing my FY2020 estimates. Above Avalon members have access to my working Apple earnings model. The discussion then turns to AAPL valuation. Given the past few weeks of market volatility, there have been some noteworthy updates on the valuation front. We conclude with a look at the latest efforts from legacy watchmakers to compete with Apple Watch.

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WSJ Supports iPhone Order Cut Explanation, Additional Thoughts on iPhone Order Cuts, Sonos Earnings

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • WSJ Supports iPhone Order Cut Explanation

  • Additional Thoughts on iPhone Order Cuts

  • Sonos Earnings

In today’s update, we continue our discussion regarding possible iPhone order cuts. In particular, we go over whether the WSJ’s iPhone order cut claims are plausible. We also discuss a few other big picture thoughts regarding iPhone demand. The email concludes with a look at Sonos earnings. 

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Apple Unit Sales Became a Crutch, Apple Unwraps Custom Silicon Strategy, Netflix’s Tug-of-War

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Apple Unit Sales Became a Crutch

  • Apple Unwraps Custom Silicon Strategy

  • Netflix’s Tug-of-War

We jump into today’s update with additional comments on the latest Above Avalon article, “Apple Outgrew Unit Sales.” In particular, we go over why I think Wall Street fell in love with unit sales data. The discussion then turns to Apple management shining light on its custom silicon strategy and its broader place within Apple’s product development process. We conclude with my thoughts on a recent Netflix profile by the WSJ. There are signs of Netflix’s culture changing. We look at the change and what it may mean for the broader video space.

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Disney's Video Strategy Update, An iPhone Slump?, A Possible iPhone Explanation

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Disney's Video Strategy Update

  • An iPhone Slump?

  • A Possible iPhone Explanation

We jump into today’s update with Disney earnings and then conclude with the market’s ongoing concerns with iPhone demand. Disney CEO Bob Iger spent much of Disney’s earnings call discussing the company’s video strategy. We go over the main takeaways and my thoughts on Disney’s positioning in the space. The discussion then turns to iPhone and we go over some possible scenarios that may explain what is behind these iPhone supply chain order cuts.

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Apple's 3D Laser Supplier Announces Order Cut, The Finisar Wild Card, Early Read on iPhone XR Sales

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Apple's 3D Laser Supplier Announces Order Cut

  • The Finisar Wild Card

  • Early Read on iPhone XR Sales

Today’s email will be focused on the latest developments regarding iPhone component order cuts and questions surrounding iPhone demand. We begin with Lumentum, an Apple supplier, slashing guidance due to receiving a very large order cut. The discussion then turns to why I think Finisar, another Apple supplier, should be part of the debate regarding Lumentum. The email concludes with a look at the latest iPhone adoption trends.

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Spotify 3Q18 Earnings, Estimating 3Q18 Microsoft Surface Unit Sales, Previewing Black Friday Promotions 

Today's Above Avalon daily update includes the following topics: 

  • Spotify 3Q18 Earnings

  • Estimating 3Q18 Microsoft Surface Unit Sales

  • Previewing Black Friday Promotions 

The email begins with Spotify earnings. We then turn to Microsoft earnings to estimate Surface unit sales during 3Q18. The discussion concludes with my thoughts on this year’s Black Friday sales for Apple and its peers. We go over the takeaways from the largest retailers’ Black Friday promotions.

This daily update is available for Above Avalon members. To continue reading, click here.


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