Monday, April 25, 2011

Apple fighting off supply problems with $11B purchase commitments

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Timothy Cook, Apple’s chief of operations and a temporary Steve Jobs replacement, called iPad “the mother of all backlogs” in a recent conference call with Wall Street analysts. He was defending sales of just 4.69 million iPads during fiscal 2011 second quarter, which is below the 6-7 million consensus and the 7.33 million units shipped during the December quarter, even though the new iPad 2 was only on sale during the quarter’s last two weeks. Low iPad numbers are blamed on supply and production issues amid the iPad 2 manufacturing ramp up. How’s Apple going to fix those problems?

According to their 10-Q filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company will spend an astounding $11 billion dollars on components in the March quarter, a notable increase over the $7.9 billion in purchase commitments from the December quarter. What’s Apple going to buy with all that cash?




It is no secret Apple’s using its vast cash hoard to block out competitors. Component purchases usually cover Apple’s needs for up to five months ahead. Long-term supply deals, the filing reveals, are worth about $2 billion and come on top of the secret $3.9 billion long-term deal for components. Now, conventional wisdom has it that the 39 percent sequential increase in purchase commitments might signal greater quantities of iPads and iPhones. However, with the rumors of iPhone 5 scheduled for a Fall or end of year release, it’s more likely that Apple is securing components to build more iPad 2s as demand and supply are not in balance yet.

Apple will this week bring iPad 2 to thirteen new countries, with more to follow in the coming weeks. Their business in the Asia-Pacific region grew 151 percent to one quarter of total quarterly revenue. With China being Apple’s next success story, maybe they’re gearing up for the 1.4 billion market? We also know Apple’s North Carolina facility is due to become operational this Spring so maybe the increase is somehow related to Apple’s super datacenter or a rumored storage purchase?

Asymco’s Horace Dediu projected a 65 percent revenue growth for the March quarter (versus Apple’s 47 percent guidance) based on sales of 14.7 million iPhones and 9.8 million iPads. He justified a 200 percent annual increase in iPad shipments on belief that “the ramp for the iPad 2 may get sorted out”. Dediu also thinks a part of Apple’s $6.2 billion increase in cash reserves will go towards capital expenditures such as new manufacturing plants (Brazil, anyone).




When challenged on a conference call to shed more light on iPad 2 shipments, Cook said this:

I can tell you that I’m extremely pleased with the progress of the manufacturing ramp And so I’m very confident that we can produce a very large number of iPads for the quarter.
While saying Apple does not anticipate any material impact to their component supply or cost in the March quarter, Cook cautioned everyone that “the situation remains unpredictable”. Steve Jobs was also quoted in Apple’s earnings release as saying that “we will continue to innovate on all fronts throughout the remainder of the year”, which indicates a number of product refreshes requiring component purchases.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Apple Including Ultra High Resolution Artwork in Lion for Possible Retina Displays?

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A finding earlier this month by OSXDaily has generated some speculation about Apple's plans for "Retina" display Macs. The Mac OS X Lion Developer Preview 2 released in late March included an ultra-high resolution version of the background desktop image at a resolution of 3200x2000. A few observers noted that this is higher than any Apple display has ever supported, generating speculation that Apple is preparing for "Retina" display Macs in the near future.

Some people reported that Mac OS X Lion has made some under-the-hood changes opening the door to such super-high resolution displays.

Taking cues from iOS, Apple has reportedly built in support for what it calls "HiDPI display modes". These HiDPI modes allow developers to supply 2x-enlarged images to support double-high resolution displays. Like the iPhone 4's Retina Display, this means that user interface elements will remain the same size, but everything will be twice the resolution and therefore twice as detailed.

Now, MacMagazine.com.br has found that Apple is already starting to include other super high resolution artwork in Lion. They found several icons stored as 1024x1024 sizes, up from a previous maximum of 512x512.

Of course, this support for super high resolution displays is only the first step, but suggests Apple is planning ahead when the hardware becomes available.


*thanks macrumors*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com - Posted using my iPhone 4

Apple Testing iPhone for T-Mobile USA

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BGR provides photos of an iPhone prototype that supports T-Mobile USA's 3G service.

Thats right, youre looking at photos of an iPhone prototype with T-Mobile USA 3G bands. The actual internal model is N94, and if you remember, the Verizon model is N92 while the standard GSM variant is N90. We have verified that the phone itself is running a test version of Apples iOS, much like the one we saw in those videos from Vietnam, and it includes internal Apple test apps like Radar and Apples employee directory app.

The T-Mobile US network uses different frequencies than AT&T's, requiring different hardware to support. It's not clear what this will mean given that AT&T is planning to acquire T-Mobile USA, though that transaction will take some time before it goes into effect. In the meanwhile, T-Mobile continues to operate as an independent carrier in the U.S.


*thanks BGR and macrumors*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com - Posted using my iPhone 4

White iPhone 4 Finally Launching This Week

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In case you've missed all the recent signs, the white iPhone 4 is finally being launched this week. All signs point to April 27th as the launch day. European carriers point to the 27th, Best Buy does too, and Apple has started shipping units to Apple Stores this week. In fact, Vodafone UK even sold one prematurely to a customer. Meanwhile, we've heard rumblings from both Best Buy and Apple Retail sources of the same.

With all rumor-eyes looking toward the next generation iPhone 5, it's not clear how much demand there is for the white iPhone 4 which is now 10 months late from the original launch.

*thanks macrumors*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com - Posted using my iPhone 4

South Korea and others going to probe Apple over LocationGate?

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As I’m sure you know, the iPhone location harvesting issue kinda blew up last week. The latest development in this ongoing story includes a possible investigation by the South Korea government which suspects that the collection of longitude and latitude data without users’ consent could breach the country’s privacy laws, reports Bloomberg:

The Korea Communications Commission asked Apple how often information is collected and saved, and whether users have a choice over whether it is saved or deleted, the commission said in an e-mailed statement today. Apple must explain why such data is saved on devices and if it’s stored on the company’s servers.
French, German and Italian privacy regulators are also keen to investigate the issue, the publication reported. Nobody knows why exactly iOS is amassing location information, but disabling iOS location services does nothing to stop your iPhone or 3G iPad from tracking your location . Although the researchers who discovered this stress that neither iOS nor iTunes appear to upload this database to Apple’s servers, the issue is threatening to snowball into a privacy nightmare while earning Apple bad press.




Locationgate, as some have called it, predictably had privacy advocates cry foul. Senators Al Franken and Ed Markey even wrote a strongly-worded letter to Apple’s chief Steve Jobs, seeking explanation.

On the other hand, some pundits claim it’s a harmless bug and point out that Android handsets phone home every couple of minutes, sending location information and other device stats.

Meanwhile, anyone can download a Mac app that plots their amassed location data on a world map or use a tool to stop jailbroken iPhones from storing longitude and latitude information.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com
- Posted using my iPhone 4