Apple's New iPhones
Andy Swan-Contributor-iMarkets
I cover the stock market, investing, and technology. Attendees view Apple watch series 4 devices displayed during an Apple Inc. event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. Apple Inc. took the wraps off a renewed iPhone strategy on Wednesday, debuting a trio of phones that aim to spread the company’s latest technology to a broader audience. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Apple is buzzing. In August they became the first U.S. company to hit $1 trillion market value. On September 12, all eyes turned to Steve Jobs Theater to see what the creative behemoth would bestow upon consumers waiting to be dazzled.

To measure consumer reaction to product announcements, we at LikeFolio analyze chatter on Twitter for indications that consumers are talking about purchasing the new products, as well as the sentiment with which they describe them.  Historically, the consumer reaction to the annual Keynote event has been an incredible predictor of $AAPL stock, having predicted the movement of AAPL stock over the following 9 months for five straight years.Here’s what we found this year.

Consumer reaction to the 2018 Apple Keynote was lackluster

Two hours and four products later, the end result was a lower level of purchase intent mentions for Apple products/services than we had seen in either of the two prior years.

Apple keynote Events Purchase Intent
Consumer response to Apple’s new product lineup was the lowest we have seen in years.LIKEFOLIO

The green line on the chart above is a measure of consumer purchase intent of Apple products/services. Purchase intent for the 2018 Apple Keynote event was the lowest measured since 2015.

What does this mean? Frankly, it’s not a good sign for Apple. The last time purchase intent was this low for a Keynote event,  Apple sales fell year-over-year for the first time in 13 years.


The green line on the chart above is a measure of consumer purchase intent of Apple products/services. Purchase intent for the 2018 Apple Keynote event was the lowest measured since 2015.

What does this mean? Frankly, it’s not a good sign for Apple. The last time purchase intent was this low for a Keynote event,  Apple sales fell year-over-year for the first time in 13 years.


Apple Watch Series 4 – a major threat to struggling Fitbit

The Apple Watch Series 4 was the clear fan favorite. The new watch boasts FDA cleared heart monitoring features, including the ability to take an EKG and detect an irregular heartbeat. The watch can also detect falls and alert authorities if you need help. It’s like the data-connected lovechild of… Fitbit and Life Alert?

See all charts and Learn More

Here's why Warren Buffett trusts Tim Cook
In an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow, the billionaire investor Warren Buffett explains why he is optimistic about Apple’s future and what keeps him up at night. 

Watch Interview With Warren Buffett Here

Apple is planning a new low-cost MacBook, pro-focused Mac mini
A person plays with the Touch Bar on a new MacBook laptop in a showroom after the announcement of new products at Apple’s general offices in Cupertino, California in October 2016. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP)
Mark Gurman, Debby Wu

Apple will release a new low-cost laptop and a professional-focused upgrade to the Mac mini desktop later this year, ending a drought of Mac computers that has limited sales of the company’s longest-running line of devices, according to people familiar with the plans.

The new laptop will look similar to the current MacBook Air, but will include thinner bezels around the screen. The display, which will remain about 13-inches, will be a higher-resolution “Retina” version that Apple uses on other products, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing products still in development. Apple spokesman Bill Evans declined to comment.

The current MacBook Air, which costs $1,000, remains Apple’s only laptop without a high-resolution screen. The MacBook Air was last updated with a faster processor option last year, but hasn’t seen a major overhaul in several years. The 12-inch MacBook launched in 2015 was seen as a replacement to the MacBook Air, but its $1,300 starting price put it out of reach for some consumers. The new MacBook Air will be geared toward consumers looking for a cheaper Apple computer, but also schools that often buy laptops in bulk.

When Apple releases new Macs in the fall, it often does so in October, following the launch of new iPhones. The company is planning to debut three new iPhones, Apple Watches with larger screens, and new iPad Pros later this year, other people familiar with the plans said.

The Mac has been a steady seller, representing more than 11 percent of Apple sales in the last fiscal year, ahead of the iPad. However, some loyal users have complained that recent updates haven’t met their professional needs. Apple has sought to address this by releasing a high-end iMac Pro and a new MacBook Pro with an updated keyboard and faster processor options.

Still, in the fiscal third quarter this year, the company said it sold 3.7 million Macs, the fewest in a quarter since 2010. And Apple lags other companies in the education market. Chromebooks, cheaper laptops running Google’s Chrome operating system, accounted for 60 percent of devices shipped to K-12 U.S. education institutions in the final quarter of 2017, according to Futuresource Consulting Ltd.

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TSMC expects full recovery Aug. 6 after suffering virus attack

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which makes chips for the iPhone and other devices, detailed its progress in recovering from a debilitating computer virus and warned of delayed shipments and reduced revenue because of the impact on its factories.

TSMC said that 80 percent of the fabrication tools affected by a virus outbreak Friday evening had been restored and that it expects full recovery on Monday, an emailed statement shows. The Taiwanese company said the incident, which comes as it ramps up chipmaking for Apple Inc.’s next iPhones, would delay shipments, without specifying which customers would be affected.

The chipmaker estimated that third-quarter revenue would decline by about three percent and operating margins by about one percentage point, according to the Sunday statement. It maintained its 2018 forecast of boosting revenue by high single digits in U.S. dollar terms.

The incident underscores the global nature of the technology industry’s supply chain, in which companies like Apple and Qualcomm Inc. depend on hundreds of suppliers around the world. This is the first time a virus had ever brought down a TSMC facility, recalling the WannaCry cyberattacks of 2017 that forced corporations around the world to suspend operations as they rooted out the ransomware. TSMC says no confidential information was compromised in the virus attack and most customers have been notified.

“TSMC has taken actions to close this security gap and further strengthen security measures,” TSMC Chief Financial Officer Lora Ho said by phone Sunday.

The virus outbreak was due to “misoperation” during the software installation process for a new tool, the company said in the statement. The virus then spread once the tool was connected to TSMC’s computer network.

The firm is the latest to fall prey to a growing global scourge. Cyber crime could cost businesses as much as $8 trillion in damage over the next five years, according to the World Economic Forum. Read More

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