More Big Apple News and Projects as the Shares Hover Near All-Time Highs

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is on the verge of being the first $1 trillion market capitalization company, which is stunning when you consider that at the turn of the century the stock was trading at $1.25 and some thought the company would head into bankruptcy. With Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) right behind Apple, it’s almost a given that we will have two $1 trillion market capitalization companies trading on the Nasdaq before the end of 2018.

One of the very best analysts on Wall Street that covers Apple is Sherri Scribner from Deutsche Bank, who almost always seems to have a little more insight into the company than her peers. In fact, she does a piece for the firm called “Scribner’s Slice of Apple.” Despite her incredible depth of knowledge, she still has a Hold rating on the shares of the tech giant with a $165 price target, which is quite a bit lower than the current trading levels.

Given that Apple is a widely held company, either held directly or through mutual funds and exchange traded funds, we thought this week’s data dump on the company was extremely interesting as Apple, like most of the mega-cap tech giants, looks to constantly expand its business, product and service lines.

1) Last week Apple announced the release of updated 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models, featuring higher performance processors, increased memory configurations, and a range of refreshed

2) Apple has released updates to the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro devices, featuring updated core processors, more memory, and improved display technology, as well as Apple’s proprietary TouchBar, Touch ID, T2 security chips, and Siri. Both versions include configurations for up to 4TB of storage and 8th generation Intel processors, which reportedly boost performance by 70-100%. The 13-inch model is priced starting at $1,799 and the 15-inch version will retail starting at $2,399.

3) According to preliminary IDC PC shipment data, Apple had 6.9% share of the global PC market in the second quarter of 2018, up 20 basis points year over year, and remained in fourth place. Mac unit shipments were unchanged year over year at 4.3 million and underperformed the overall PC market which saw unit shipment growth of 2.7% Y/Y.

4) Despite Spotify’s top global share in music streaming services, its lead over Apple Music in the U.S. is rapidly narrowing, according to a Financial Times report cited by CNBC. Of Apple Music’s 40 million global paid subscribers, industry executives estimate that the service now has about 21 million paid U.S. subscribers. In comparison, Spotify is estimated to have 22 million paid members in the U.S. out of the service’s total 75 million paid subscribers. The gap between Apple and Spotify in the U.S. is forecast to close by next month, with Apple Music expected to surpass Spotify in paid U.S. subscribers by year-end.

5) Photo Print Products, Apple’s built-in service for creating prints, albums, photo books, and calendars from pictures in the Photos app, will end on September 30, 2018 according to 9to5Mac. Apple’s proprietary photo printing service has been available on Macs since 2002 but has allowed for the integration of third-party photo services since 2017.

6) Former Google AI executive John Giannandrea, who joined Apple in April, has been named the head of a new combined AI and machine learning team, which includes oversight of Siri, according to Apple’s website. According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Giannandrea is the third executive to lead Apple’s Siri team in the past year, following software head Craig Federighi and SVP Eddy Cue.

7) Apple and 10 of its suppliers plan to invest $300 million over the next four years to create the China Clean Energy Fund. The fund will invest in green energy projects in China with the goal of increasing the use of renewable energy within Apple’s supply chain.

8) To help commemorate the App Store’s 10-year anniversary, Apple released details about the platform, including its average 500 million weekly visitors from 155 countries. Key to the App Store’s success is the variety of content from developers worldwide, with Apple noting that developers have earned over $100 billion from the App Store to date.

So another busy week for what, at least for the time being, is the world’s biggest company by market capitalization. Scribner’s team digs every week to make sure investors have the most up-to-date information on the tech behemoth. With the Apple nation always looking for the newest and most up-to-date information on the company, Deutsche Bank consistently delivers.

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