Benner on Tech: Another Blockbuster Quarter for Apple?
People are Talking About ...
Apple reports earnings today, and it’ll be interesting to see how the results compare with last quarter -- the most profitable of any company ever, thanks to sales of 74.5 million iPhones.
Pent-up demand for a big Apple smartphone -- the kind that Samsung had long sold that Apple had not -- helped drive phone sales at the end of last year. And expectations are still high. In particular, watch for information about China, where Bloomberg reports that iPhone sales will beat those in the U.S. for the first time.
The company will give an update on its buyback and dividend plan. It’s unlikely that we’ll get much detail on the Apple Watch, but I’m sure analysts will ask about numbers during the earnings call.
Bloomberg shows that analysts expect earnings per share of $2.16 and sales of $56 billion.
Speaking of the Apple Watch, a new report from the research firm DataFox says the device could be huge with enterprise customers. This, of course, seems a little counter intuitive given how much has been written about the company's strategy of marketing the watch to appeal to consumers who care as much about fashion as they do gadgets. (I wrote a little about this a few weeks ago, too.) But there are some compelling data points in the report, which argues that two types of Watch apps for business will emerge: communication and coordination; and tracking and workflow. The report quotes Leo Polovets, a partner at Susa Ventures as saying:
“Enterprise software is being consumerized by apps like Slack and Trello. I think that the Apple Watch will accelerate that trend as app makers capitalize on the ability to surface rich, relevant information unobtrusively.”
** On tap for this week: GoPro, LinkedIn, Nokia, Twitter and Yelp.
** Quarterly results from Amazon, IBM and Microsoft pushed the Nasdaq to 15-year highs and the S&P 500 to all-time highs. (Bloomberg)
** A look at tech exuberance then and now: the hottest inventors, VCs and companies, plus excellent blast-from-the-past photos. (Bloomberg)
** Remember when former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop had a startup? Drkoop.com is a tech boom and bust cautionary tale, raising $84 million with an IPO in 1999 before going out of business and fading from memory. (the Wall Street Journal)
Uber and Lyft will debut in Portland, Oregon, as part of a city-approved, four-month ride sharing pilot program. (KGW.com)
Xiaomi says revenue from mobile services -- rather than from hardware sales -- should approach $1 billion this year, underscoring the fact that the company wants to be an Internet giant, not a hardware maker. (the Wall Street Journal) Indian businessman Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of the company that owns a stake in Tata Motors, invested in Xiaomi as it pushes into India. (TechCrunch)
Rock Health, which invests in healthcare-related startups, opened a new office in New York City managed by co-founder and managing director Halle Tecco.
People and Personnel Moves
Dan Fredinburg, who joined Google in 2007 and was most recently the head of privacy for Google X, died on Mount Everest when a massive earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday and triggered an avalanche. The three other Google employees with Fredinburg survived. (Bloomberg)
Lars Rasmussen, Facebook’s director of engineering, is leaving to co-found a music startup. (TechCrunch)
Tom Wheeler, a former top lobbyist, worried consumer advocates when he became FCC chairman, but now he’s crossing swords with former allies as he fights for greater oversight and consumer protections. (Bloomberg)
Alibaba is working with China Telecom to sell inexpensive smartphones to help increase mobile commerce. (Reuters)
Apple’s HealthKit software is being connected to more than 80,000 patient files at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Bloomberg) Discover will let cardholders use Apple Pay starting this fall. (Apple Insider)
Google is working on a new version of Glass with the fashion eyewear maker Luxottica. (the Wall Street Journal) The company will issue fashion trend reports twice a year to be more influential in e-commerce and fashion. (the New York Times)
The company is fighting to take mobile search back from apps with new Chrome notifications. (Marketing Land)
Netflix is stepping up production of original shows, and it plans on owning them in the future, too. (Bloomberg)
Oracle Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd says almost all of the company’s services will be available in the cloud by mid-October. (Bloomberg)
Tesla is the latest tech company to have its Twitter account hacked. The company’s media-relations e-mail account was hacked, too. (Bloomberg)
Hackers got into U.S. President Barack Obama’s unclassified e-mails. The attackers are thought to have ties to the Russian government. (the New York Times)
Inside the government probe of Liberty Reserve, the online currency and bank used by the underworld. (the Atlantic)
Tidal has been the butt of many jokes and the target of much criticism, and Jay Z took to Twitter to say he’s had enough. (the Verge)
Just hours after the Comcast deal died, Charter emerged as a buyer for Time Warner Cable. (Bloomberg) Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus is playing it cool, saying that in the future his company could get acquired or buy other companies. (the Wall Street Journal)
News and Notes
As self-driving cars become the auto industry’s biggest trend, how to handle the human driver becomes the biggest problem to solve. (Automotive News)
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