Just how important is the refresh? Here are some forecasts:
- Gene Munster predicts 6 to 10 million sales in the last week of September
- Horace Dediu, an analyst at Asymco: 200 million iPhones
Some of the things InformationWeek is expecting on the iPhone are the following:
1. 4-inch display, up from 3.54-inch
2. 4G LTE support
3. Faster quad-core processor (“CPU”) and graphics processor (“GPU”)
4. Near-field communications
5. New Dock with fewer pins
6. Thinner screen, using “in-cell” touch
7. Larger battery to increase capacity
8. Metallic backplate
9. September 21 availability
Should investors be buying Apple shares ahead of a launch? Apple has a market capitalization of nearly $640 billion and is at all-time highs. According to Insider Monkey, 140 hedge funds have a position in Apple. Investors already bid up shares, supported by expectations for the launch of iTV, mini-iPad, and the iPhone 5. It was recently reported that a new Apple TV box will not be released, due to content negotiations not going well.
A worry for Apple is the competitive pressure from Samsung. Samsung is experiencing strong Android sales. In August, Samsung said it sold 10 million Galaxy Note devices. In 100 days, 20 million Galaxy S III smartphones were sold.
Content companies investors should add to their watch list include:
2. TiVo, Inc. (TIVO, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Provides technology and services for television solutions, including digital video recorders (DVRs) and connected televisions in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $1.19B, most recent closing price at $9.56.
3. CBS Corp. (CBS, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Operates as a mass media company in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $23.62B, most recent closing price at $36.90. The CEO of CBS said last year he rejected various Apple TV proposals.
4. Comcast Corp. (CMCSA, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Provides entertainment, information, and communications products and services in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $91.43B, most recent closing price at $34.17. Talks with Apple broke down because the company did not want Apple to control the entire user experience.
Other companies wanting to be the digital hub for television entertainment include:
7. Google Inc. (GOOG, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Google is the world’s most popular search engine. Market cap at $229.17B, most recent closing price at $700.77. Google is working with Sony (SNE) to make a TV set-top box.
8. Sony Corp. (SNE, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Designs, develops, manufactures, and sells electronic equipment, instruments, and devices for consumer, professional, and industrial markets worldwide. Market cap at $11.8B, most recent closing price at $11.75.
9. Microsoft Corp (MSFT, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products and services for various computing devices worldwide. Market cap at $257.54B, most recent closing price at $30.72. Microsoft is capable of delivering content via the 70 million Xbox consoles in households worldwide.
10. Amazon.com (AMZN, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Operates as an online retailer in North America and internationally. Market cap at $116.22B, most recent closing price at $257.09. CEO Jeff Bazos tried to buy Roku, a Web TV box maker.
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