Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the iPhone manufacturer, slated to report its first-quarter earnings results next Wednesday, and expectations are running high. The Mac-business maker's is highly seasonal, with revenue spiking every year over the holiday season as consumers scoop up the latest iPhone models that are typically released in the fall each year when they launch.
They pack no doubt the iPhone 12 with 5G hardware throughout the lineup, and a variety of big data points continue to suggest that the newest iPhones continue to sell extremely well. The company is on track to report its billion-dollar quarter for the first time.
Expecting a very good quarter.
As of now, an estimate is circulating that the Cupertino tech giant Apple will raise its revenue to around $102.6 billion this year, overtaking their current record of $91.8 billion. (If you give this a few times, go with the original numbers.) Because of the ongoing uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic — which delayed the Apple iPhone manufacturing ramp-up this year — Apple has issued none formal guidance related to revenue for the third fiscal quarter.
The Morgan Stanley research team published an article in which they asserted that the current quarter is very promising and gave confidence to investors about the trend in Apple, and the stock price jumped up by roughly 3% within the first few days following that piece. Analysts are optimistic about Z. Huberty's Q3 earnings and sales. She is optimistic. In a research note to investors, Terry Huberts, CEO, wrote:
"As I told you before, we are buyers ahead of what we hear is a record December quarter print. Recent conversations between analysts and other investors suggest Apple will release solid, but not great, December quarter results. We are going to disagree and believe that Apple is likely to get a quarterly record of revenue and earnings".
Morgan Stanley believes that all of Apple's main verticals will enjoy robust growth, in part thanks to the 5G adoption, the shift to remote work and learning, and ongoing engagement with the App Store. In fact, Huberty is forecasting the company's revenue to be approximately $108.2 billion, about 5 percent higher than before prediction. Last year's release of the iPhone was the most successful part of Tim Cook's job within the company. His success in terms of the iPhone is substantial.
As of June 2015, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) released estimates on how well Apple has performed in the US for the iPhone 6. The research firm believes 56 percent of iPhone sales for the fourth quarter of Apple's fiscal year were brand new iPhone 12 models. Among the iPhone models, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro were the most popular models, but the iPhone 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max were still popular.
The CIRP reports that the weighted average retail price for a new iPhone hit a record in the fourth quarter of last year, reaching a record of $873. On the one hand, even as Apple has released the Services, adoption of the paid subscription services remains steady, and Apple Music and I Cloud storage continues to grow.
"For the full quarter, the new iPhone 12 models, and in particular the most expensive ones, garnered a significant share of sales," — said CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz.
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Zuckerberg said that Quest 2 is "on track to be the first mainstream virtual reality (VR) headset."
As mentioned on Facebook's Q4 2020 earnings call today, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO for Facebook, said that Quest 2 is "on track to be the first mainstream virtual reality headset" and that the headset drew in 156% revenue growth from non-advertising sources.
In the past earnings calls, Zuckerberg has downplayed the company's XR business as a forward-looking investment that may not pay off for a few years. His tune has shifted notably in the company's latest earnings call, where he told investors that Facebook's XR business was “one area that I'm most excited about our progress heading into 2021.”
Although Facebook hasn't confirmed how many they have sold quests 2 units so far, Mark Zuckerberg was upbeat about the virtual reality headset's sales performance, saying he believed it is “on track to be the first mainstream VR headset.”
It is not entirely clear what he is trying to mean by “mainstream.” We have our best guess, though. When Oculus Connect 5 2018, the company's annual XR developer conference was Facebook's founder explained he believed that ten million VR users were an important milestone for the company to reach in order to develop a sustainable ecosystem for VR developers.
One of the biggest questions is what will it take for all VR developers to spend so much time and work on building applications that will profit them.... To get to that level, we believe we will need to reach 10 million people on a single platform. It is at that point when the number of users and the number of companies producing content for VR becomes sustainable and profitable for all kinds of companies. Once enough people use the technology, we think that there is going to be a crazy growth in content and companies offering it. Importantly, this threshold isn't as much of a concern for more portable VR like headsets and cell-phones. If you are building [an] application for Oculus Rift, it doesn't make it work for Sony's PlayStation VR. So we need at least 10 million people on one platform.
While Quest has likely not reached 10 million units yet, the confidence of Mark Zuckerberg that Quest 2 could–in his words–become the “first mainstream virtual reality headset” suggests the 10 million unit threshold may appear within grasp.
“When I spoke about our long-term goals at our annual developer conference last year, virtual reality was something in the future,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “but this quarter's results show that this future is here”. He continued, “here” meaning in the present. “Over 60 Oculus developers are generating revenue in the millions, and that's more than twice as many as a few months ago.” Zuckerberg shared that there are now “over 90 people in our headquarters working on new experiences.” Zuckerberg went on saying that, “we got here faster than I expected.”.
Zuckerberg said that Quest 2 was one of the hot holiday gifts this year. In addition, he said that it was one of, if not the key reason, for the company's $885 million Q4 non-advertising revenue. Growth was 156 percent for Facebook core products, such as the Messenger and Platform strong new product launches, notably Quest 2 drove Apps. There was a messaging service and a Newsfeed App released on mobile devices.
Based on a back-of-the-envelop spreadsheet, we estimate it that Quest 2 units in Q4 were around 70,000. The company ($1.25) earned roughly $855 million in non-advertising revenue, which comprises both Oculus products and Portal products. Next time, Oculus CEO Mark "Sandberg" Read points out that in the important demo Quest 2 is a major driver of new customers, without mentioning Portal as a major driver for the growth of overall.
From there we might figure that 75 percent of the headsets being sold are Quest 2, with the soon-to-be-discontinued Rift S making up the other 25 percent. We would determine that 75 percent of Quest 2 units sold are the 64 GB model, while the remaining 25 percent of Quest 2 units would be the 256 GB model.
Plugging in those assumptions yields 1,000,000 Quest 2 units, though that would need to dial back by some portion to account for revenue from Facebook's cut of content sales and first-party accessories.
We are continuing to develop new hardware and VR related accessories. The [new hardware] will not fit on the same platform as the Quest 1, so content that works on Quest 1 will not work on the first-order [new hardware]. We encourage you to try Quest 1 with the [new hardware] before switching to [the new hardware] because we will build one larger install base around the virtual reality headsets we have.
While Sony hasn't had a virtual reality (VR) headset on the market for several years, this doesn't much matter now. Sony has held the lead in the premium VR segment with its PlayStation VR games since its introduction in October 2016 and widely expected to debut a second-generation device at CES 2018 .
You can easily tell what Facebook means when they talk about making an augmented reality headset; they have been laying the groundwork for the release of an AR headset. On the social media gathering, Zuckerberg spoke of his interest in developing "mobile apps" that will eventually work with "full-blown AR glasses" for when they are ready to launch. He also talked about how Google and Apple could be great competitors in this AR world.
“[…] for the longer term, as we move toward building the next computing platform, it's certainly conceivable that you could see [Apple] as a very different player indeed in that arena.”
It is unclear if Apple has some sudden inside information on Facebook's plans, or if Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is referring to recent reports that Apple will release a new headset “category killer” next year.
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