What's Up With Apple: Analyst Says Buy, App Store Blocks Parler, Was Ist Los?

Since the beginning of 2021, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares have dropped by nearly 9.5%. Included in the decline is a gain of almost 8% prior to the company’s quarterly earnings report on January 27. What’s wrong?

According to Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives, nothing. Ives said Wednesday that the investment bank has added Apple to its “Best Ideas List” for 2021. Where many investors and analysts see Apple’s stock price hitting a rough patch, Ives believes that a discount of nearly 10% is a “golden buying opportunity.”

We noted on Wednesday that Nikkei Asia has suggested that iPhone production will be cut by 20% from previous estimates. Ives, however, believes Apple could still ship more than 230 million iPhones this year and that 250 million is not out of the question. The consensus estimate for shipments in 2021 is 220 million.

Even better news for Apple (and investors) is Ives’s forecast for shipments of iPhone 13, which he expects to debut in September. According to Ives, a check of Apple’s supply chain indicates the company is planning to build around 100 million initial units of the next iPhone, an increase of 25% from the 80 million units it built last year. And Apple’s revenue topped $100 billion in the December quarter for the first time ever.

Wedbush reiterated its $175 per share price target on Apple stock, implying a potential gain of 31%, based on the stock’s Wednesday closing price of $119.98.

Apple once again denied social media app Parler a place in the App Store. The company booted Parler from the store’s offerings following the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

According to a report from Bloomberg, after removing the app, Apple “asked” Parler to modify its moderation standards. On February 25, Apple notified Parler of the results of a review of the changes:

After having reviewed the new information, we do not believe these changes are sufficient to comply with App Store Review guidelines. There is no place for hateful, racist, discriminatory content on the App Store.

Apple’s review concluded:

In fact, simple searches reveal highly objectionable content, including easily identified offensive uses of derogatory terms regarding race, religion and sexual orientation, as well as Nazi symbols. For these reasons your app cannot be returned to the App Store for distribution until it complies with the guidelines.

Apple announced Wednesday that it plans to expand its footprint in Europe by adding a European Silicon Design Center to its facilities in Munich. Apple already employs nearly 1,500 engineers at its existing facilities in the city. Apple said it will invest more than €1 billion over the next three years in both the expansion and additional R&D.

The new facility adds 30,000 square meters (about 323,000 square feet) to Apple’s presence in central Munich. The company plans to move into the building beginning in late 2022. The building will run on 100% renewable energy.

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