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04 August 2017

Apple drops huge hint about release date

Don’t expect the iPhone 8 to be delayed.

THERE have been plenty of leaks about what we can expect when the new iPhone 8 is finally unveiled — a redesigned edge-to-edge OLED screen with no home button, facial recognition technology, augmented reality features and wireless charging.

But one of the biggest questions has been when customesr will be able to actually get their hands on the new device.

The product has the potential to make Apple the world’s first $1 trillion company so a lot is riding on it and now analysts believe they have spotted a major clue on timing.

Given customers upgrade their smartphones roughly every 2.7 years, Apple is expecting 2017 to offer a “supercycle” of sales not seen since the 2014 release of the iPhone 6.

Such an achievement would help redeem the reputation of Apple chief executive Tim Cook, who has been criticised as lacking vision and strategy since taking over the company six years ago.

Having already reported impressive profit and revenue growth in its just-completed third quarter, Apple said it expected to pull in $A65 billion of sales for the upcoming quarter — larger than Wall Street’s $A61 billion average forecast for the company.

Apple’s prediction cements the company’s belief of a new “supercycle” from consumers who delayed earlier purchases in anticipation of something special for the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone.

Analyst at RBC Capital Markets Amit Daryanani said Apple’s confidence also suggests the company’s the drastically overhauled iPhone 8 will be released shortly after Apple’s annual September event and not delayed as suggested.

“Apple delivered a strong June quarter print, but the material surprise was strong September quarter guidance that effectively implies no iPhone launch delay despite myriad of blog and supplier commentary to the contrary,” he said, reported Financial Post.

While an approximate 12 per cent quarterly growth might seem ambitious when compared to the five-year average of seven per cent, analyst T. Michael Walkley agreed with Apple.

The analyst is forecasting Apple to surpass the previous “supercycle” and sell roughly around 248 million units.

“We believe the hype and speculation is greater than any previous iPhone product cycle for iPhone 8 with almost daily leaks and rumours regarding the next iPhone,” he said.

With the iPhone 8 expected to be priced just short of the $1600 mark, the analyst said he expected the improved iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus to be remain popular choices.

“We do not expect demand for these legacy models to fall as quickly as in prior launch cycles,” he said.

And who thought the iPad was dead.

And who thought the iPad was dead.Source:Supplied

IT’S NOT JUST THE IPHONE MAKING MONEY

Apple might have used its Q3 FY’17 results to make a fierce prediction for the upcoming quarter, but this wasn’t the only take away from the company’s earnings.

The tech giant achieved a $A10.95 billion quarterly profit on $A57 billion of revenue and it is not just due to the 41 million iPhones shipped during the last quarter, marking a 1.5 per cent increase year-on-year.

On the back of the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro released at WWDC in June, Apple had its biggest non-holiday quarter for the tablet in more than two years.

Selling 11.4 million tablets was a 15 per cent increase from the same period the year prior and a 30 per cent increase from the last quarter.

Despite more sales, the total revenue for tablets was only up 2 per cent, which suggests people are opting for cheaper models. Still, it means the iPad is far from dead.

In addition to iPad sales, Tim Cook praised the company’s “services” division — the App Store, AppleCare, Apple Pay and licensing — as something that could account for a large sum of the company’s profits.

“With revenue up 7 per cent year-over-year, we’re happy to report our third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth and an all-time quarterly record for Services revenue,” he said.

Apple refused to break down the record income of $A9.2 billion from its “services” division, but it is well-known that the company has an 30 per cent “Apple Tax” for subscription revenue it takes from apps downloaded through App Store.

The only category to outshine “services” was Apple’s “other products”, which includes the Apple TV, Apple Watch, the iPod, Beats products and Apple-branded and third-party accessories.

These products accounted for $A3.4 billion of revenue.

Will you be buying the iPhone 8? Continue the conversation in the comments below or with Matthew Dunn on Facebook and Twitter.

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