All posts in “Tim Cook”

Apple hits an all-time high and is seemingly in striking distance of being a $1 trillion company


Apple had a semi-blowout quarter — though, really, the story is about what’s happening in the next quarter — sending the stock to an all-time high.

The big jump means Apple is now a company worth more than $800 billion. It seemed not too long ago that Google might have a fair shot at being a bigger company than Apple when it comes to its market cap, but now Apple is on a steady march upwards. And that continued march means the company may be a $1 trillion company before too long.

Apple’s report, where it signaled a big fourth quarter with its guidance, sent shares up more than 5 percent in extended trading. On the year, Apple shares are steadily climbing. Shares had risen nearly 30 percent this year prior to this earnings release. This crescendo seems to be building up to the moment when Apple breaks ground as a $1 trillion company as the next quarter will more or less make or break the company, deciding whether or not it continues to be a huge growth story.

Apple is expecting to unveil a radically new iPhone that will look to unlock as much user demand as the release of the iPhone 6 when it increased the size of its phones. In the bull case for Apple, it may unlock even more. There are a lot of positive signals across Apple’s portfolio of products, like the iPad growing year-over-year or strong growth in its services. But the iPhone is, and for the foreseeable future will be, Apple’s biggest growth driver — and all eyes are on the fourth quarter this year.

Today’s big performance is building a lot of good will for the company as anticipation grows for the next quarter and the first look at the next iPhone. Apple has had to contend with a lot of leaks of details of the next iPhone. That has seemingly tempered demand for its existing phones, which means its core growth engine is stalling. If Apple can deliver — and that wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility — we may end up seeing the company somehow drive past the $1 trillion mark in the next year.

To be sure, $1 trillion is probably a ways away. Apple’s shares are up 30 percent on the year, but it’ll still require a significant climb if the company is going to cross that semi-vanity mark. But if Apple can deliver — and that wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility — we may end up seeing the company find itself adding that extra zero to its market cap.

Featured Image: Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Apple is signaling a huge fourth quarter and Wall Street is loving it


Apple set its expectations for the fourth quarter above what Wall Street was looking for today in its earnings report — just in time for a huge iPhone launch coming up soon.

Apple said it expected to generate between $49 billion and $52 billion in the fourth quarter. The midpoint of that falls above what Wall Street expected — around $49.2 billion — and it alludes to a big quarter where Apple has traditionally unveiled a new iPhone. The next one is expected to be a huge redesign, which could reignite Apple’s stalling growth engine. Ahead of this, Apple has relied on growth in the rest of its product portfolio, particularly in services. Apple’s Services bucket includes products like Apple Music and iTunes.

All this means that the company is expecting to rake in a nice bit of cash sooner than we might have expected. The stock is up more than 5 percent after the report, tacking on additional gains to an already solid year for the company. This huge quarter means that Apple has now hit an all-time high. Any jump for Apple — especially one as “large” as 5 percent — can add tens of billions of dollars to its market cap.

And speaking of predictable, the company’s services grew 22 percent year-over-year. It generated around $7.3 billion in revenue from the company’s soon-to-be-a-Fortune-100-company division according to CEO Tim Cook, up from nearly $6 billion in the third quarter last year.

For now, Apple is in a complete holding pattern. The next iPhone iteration is expected to be a radical change in design — possibly the biggest one since the company made the phones a whole lot larger. Those significant changes, should they tap into latent demand like it did with its larger phones, end up driving massive growth for the company. But the downside to all this anticipation for the phone is that a ton of people are holding out on buying new phones, which is where Apple generates most of its business.

It’s done a few things to offset that recently, such as launching new variations of its iPad that are larger and more suited to enterprises. That may, in the future, be a play to get inside companies, but for now, they are more or less pretty glass slates that are very large and work well with a little stick.

Here’s another story line we weren’t necessarily expecting: the iPad is growing again. Apple said it sold 11.4 million iPads in the third quarter of 2017 — up from 10 million iPads in the third quarter last year. While unit sales are up, what’s worth noting is that the company actually saw an increase in revenue year-over-year. It was a 2 percent jump, so it’s pretty marginal, but any signs of life in the iPad is a good sign for Apple as it looks to have a complete portfolio of devices that can coexist and grow with the iPhone.

Apple also beat expectations across the rest of the board. Wall Street overall was expecting $44.89 billion in revenue and earnings of $1.57 per share. The company said it brought in $1.67 per share in earnings and revenue of $45.4 billion. Apple said it sold 41 million iPhones, about in line with what Wall Street was looking for at 41.1 million iPhones. It also sold 4.3 million Mac units.

While Apple holds out for those phones and the hope that they will end up being blockbusters for the company, it’s trying to build out consistent revenue streams. That includes watches, a set-top box, a music streaming service and an array of other products that can help create a more predictable line of revenue. Predictable is great for Wall Street, as it means that the company will have a regular flow of cash to invest in those big swing-for-the-fences products — though Apple is an edge case given that it is sitting on hundreds of billions of dollars in cash.

Featured Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple is secretly funding a legal battle against a rival

This dude is not messing around.
This dude is not messing around.

Image: JIM WATSON/Getty Images

Suits, countersuits, and everything in between. When Apple and billions of dollars are involved, you know things are going to get messy. 

Well, messy and interesting. Because, in what can only be read as a “don’t mess with us” play from Apple CEO Tim Cook, it turns out that the Cupertino-based behemoth is financially backing the legal defense of four iPhone manufacturers in their battle with Qualcomm — a company that just so happens to own the chip technology that allows iPhones to connect to cell data networks. 

And while at first glance this may look like a Peter Thiel-esque legal battle by proxy, Apple’s motivation appears to be mostly business (and probably only partly personal). 

Here’s what’s going down: As Reuters reports, on July 18, Wistron Corp, Compal Electronics Inc, Pegatron Corp, and Foxconn’s parent Hon Hai Precision Industry Co all claimed antitrust violations by Qualcomm. Specifically, the companies allege Qualcomm violated the Sherman Act — an 1890 U.S. federal law “aimed at preserving free and unfettered competition as the rule of trade.”

But this move didn’t come out of thin air. Rather, it stems from an ongoing legal dispute between Apple and Qualcomm. Apple sued the company in January over unpaid patent license rebates, claiming Qualcomm owed it close to $1 billion, and told the aforementioned iPhone manufacturers to cease license payments to Qualcomm while everything got worked out in court. 

Qualcomm then sued them all. But, with a little help from Apple, they’re not taking it lying down. 

A Pegatron building in Shanghai, China.

A Pegatron building in Shanghai, China.

Image: VCG/GETTY

“Qualcomm has confirmed publicly that this lawsuit against our clients is intended to make a point about Apple and punish our clients for working with Apple,” lawyer Theodore J. Boutrous, who is working with the four manufacturers, said in a statement picked up by Reuters. “The companies are bringing their own claims and defenses against Qualcomm.”

It’s not exactly clear when Apple, apparently not one to shy away from a fight, stepped in — but stepped in it has. A company spokesperson confirmed to the wire service that it’s throwing down cash for the four manufacturers’ legal tussle. With somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 billion in cash reserves, you better believe that Apple can afford it. 

So, to recap: Apple is suing Qualcomm, Qualcomm is suing four iPhone manufacturers, and Apple is at least partially funding their defense. 

Like we said, messy. One takeaway, however, is crystal clear: If you come at Apple, you’d better not miss. Apple has cash to burn, and it’s clearly not afraid to light some of it on fire. 

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We tried out the Apple Pencil case, and it’s everything we could have hoped it to be

Every generation or so, an invention comes along that’s destined to change the world as we know it — like Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press, or John Campbell’s sextant, or Louis Pasteur’s germ theory.

These revolutionary ideas forced generations of humans to rethink how they interact with the world. Apple’s new Pencil case is such a product. 

We can say this with such enthusiasm certainly, dear readers, because … drumroll please… we finally got our hands on a case, and let us assure you that we are all now witness to the birth of greatness. 

The $29 taupe “natural leather” case delivered one summer afternoon to the Mashable office redefines what it means to house your one and only — in this case the $99 Apple Pencil — and calls to mind the stylings of 17th century poet Robert Herrick:

See’st thou that cloud as silver clear,

Plump, soft, and swelling every where?

‘Tis Julia’s bed, and she sleeps there.

Yes, the case is truly a “cloud as silver clear” where its Julia, the Apple Pencil, sleeps. But don’t be mistaken, for the case is no mere fleeting burst of genius destined to fade with time like Herrick’s famous rosebuds. If anything, the case’s supple leather belies its durability — both as an idea and as a testament to our revolutionary times. 

I mean, just look at it. 

Big things come in small boxes.

Big things come in small boxes.

Image: mashable

Wow.

Years from now, when you’re old and gray, your grandchildren will ask you where you were on June 5, 2017, when Apple first listed the pencil case for sale on its site. Were you at home, breathlessly clicking refresh on your browser? Or, by some fluke of chance or unknown miracle, actually in attendance at WWDC?

The longtime Apple faithful will chuckle knowingly in response to such a question — describing in detail their exact location in the great conference hall when they first heard word of the case. Later converts to the church of Apple will have their own stories of discovery, and those too shall have their place in pantheon of Apple lore, but those who saw it first, those who were there, they will forever share an unbreakable bond. 

Such is the power of the Apple Pencil case. 

And sure, like all genre-defining inventions before it, the case has its share of skeptics. Take, for example, a few of the (very few) existing reviews on Apple’s own website:

“Disappointed with the design team,” writes one straying member of the flock. “This case will only hold the pencil, what about the accessories (tip and charging adapter) for the pencil. Should I buy a separate case for these two little things??”

Or this other review, clearly written by a customer so blinded by creation that they don’t realize this whole time they’ve been staring at the sun. 

“I’m not sure why this product exists,” reads the confused ramblings. “It doesn’t add any real value. It doesn’t attach to any other case or product. It doesn’t have extra storage for tips or the female-female charging adapter. It’s just a leather sleeve.”

But hey, they laughed at Nicolaus Copernicus too. 

At some point, many years into the Apple-branded future, we will all look back on 2017 as the year things finally changed. And while in that distant epoch the Apple Pencil case, brought to us by a visionary Tim Cook, may no longer be the required accessory of the time, it will aways and forever hold a special place in our hearts. 

And for that, Mr. Cook, we profoundly thank you. 

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Tim Cook’s Fourth of July tweet is pretty pointed

Apple CEO Tim Cook displayed his patriotic side by wishing everyone a happy Independence Day with a rather pointed tweet.

Cook was referring to this particular quote from former President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”

This comes just weeks after Cook sat down with President Trump at a roundtable meeting with other tech execs to discuss concerns regarding the proposed executive order on immigration.

In a report by the New York Times via Business Insider, Cook expressed that tech employees were feeling targeted after the “travel ban” was proposed.

The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, who covered the meeting, tweeted:

This isn’t the first time Cook has stood up for immigrants. Right after Trump was elected to office, Cook sent out a memo to Apple employees reiterating the company’s commitment to diversity.

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