Tuesday in CE: More Apple Woes From Downgrade, iPhone 'In the Late Innings'
Despite all the success of the iPhone X launch, getting the iMac Pro off the ground, and building hype for the HomePod, Apple is leaving 2017 with a black eye.
Brokerage agency Nomura Instinet lowered its rating for Apple shares to neutral from buy, citing the company's high valuation compared with previous iPhone cycles. "We argue that the stock's gains for the iPhone X supercycle are in the late innings," the note reads. "We believe unit growth, if not quite ASP growth, is well anticipated by consensus and a historically full multiple."
Even more troubling is that Apple's services arm, is growing, but only accounts for 15% of the company's operations. In fact, we addressed that exact issue back in June, looking at just how big a liability investing in the iPhone is, even if it is paying off right now.
"Apple is certainly not the same company as it was five or even three years ago. The growth in its services business is a particularly notable departure though hardly the only one," analyst Jeffrey Kvaal wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. "We do believe Apple's improvements merit a richer multiple than in prior years, though marginally so. We do not consider any of these sufficient, either individually or in aggregate, to flout the historical precedent."
Look for Apple to shake-up the next platform as the smartphone market is squeezed dry, lest they fall to the next tech behemoth.
First In-Screen Fingerprint Scanner Spotted in Vivo Phone
It was only last week that we we're talking about in-screen fingerprint scanners from Synaptics, but the details seemed to be all hush-hush. I guess the news was just too exciting because Vivo has been identified as the first vendor to sport the most recent innovation.
Vivo is an 8-year-old Chinese-based manufacturer responsible for about 2.7% global market share. In a post for Forbes, analyst Patrick Moorhead detailed his experience with a pre-production Vivo phone equipped with the technology. Moorhead describes the sensor as “fast and simple,” while Synaptics claims it's twice as fast as 3D facial recognition like Apple's Face ID — though that'd be a hard thing to realistically measure considering the different mechanisms that each system uses in practice.
It's a super interesting next step for smartphones and could really be the best of a bezel-less, fingerprint ready world. Of course, Apple thinks the world is better off without headphone jacks, fingerprint scanners, and home buttons all together, but that shouldn't stop widespread adoption of the new tech.
The Best of the Rest of the Net
- While not exactly a smoking gun, there has been some recent evidence that battery degradation in iPhones leads to throttled performance. Whether it's a planned obsolescence move or the consequence of trying to preserve iPhones is still up in the air, but there is evidence supporting both right now.
- Caavo, the universal remote control that uses machine vision, will finally ship on February 14th. It’s a powerful control system for virtually every streaming, cable, and satellite box out there.
- Samsung's response to the iPhone X is finally being leaked. Take it with a grain of salt, though.