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Apple to be worth at least $824 billion in 2017 Benefiting from its expensive ‘plus’ models Rising demands of its products: Analysts

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Customers and employees are shown through Apple's Australian flagship store in Sydney, September 7, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed
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New York, April 18, 2017: Benefiting from its expensive ‘plus’ models and rising demands of its products, Apple Inc will be worth at least $824 billion this year, analysts have predicted.

Apple’s shares already soared more than 16 percent to fresh highs during the second quarter but analysts are optimistic the stock has much more room to grow, MarketWatch reported on Monday.

Canada-based global investment bank RBC Capital Markets on Monday lifted its 12-month price target to $157 from $155 and reiterated an outperform rating.

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That would increase Apple’s market capitalization to $824 billion from $740 billion currently. Apple’s stock hit a record high of $144.77 on April 4, the report said.

RBC analyst Amit Daryanani also increased his March-quarter iPhone estimates and fiscal 2017 revenue estimates, saying trends indicate consumer preference for Apple’s more expensive plus models, which have contributed positively to average selling prices.

While the company’s third-quarter outlook “could come modestly below estimates” as consumers delay planned upgrades ahead of the iPhone 8 launch in September, its large installed base and attractive valuation make it worthy of investment despite muted expectations.

Analyst at Pacific Crest Andy Hargreaves suggested that Apple is struggling with the optical fingerprint functionality expected on the OLED iPhone, which could lead to delays or the removal of it.

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“While this creates some risk of production delays, at this point we do not believe it materially threatens volume through the coming iPhone cycle,” Hargreaves was quoted as saying.

According to a report in USA Today, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak believed that Apple, Google and Facebook will be bigger in 2075 and dominate the world.

Shares of Apple inched 0.6 per cent higher to $141.12 on Monday. The company will announce its earnings for the second fiscal quarter (first calendar quarter) of 2017 on May 2.

Apple had $246.1 billion cash at the end of its last fiscal quarter. (IANS)

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Apple to shut its last Watch-exclusive store in May

Apple's shipments in the fourth quarter of 2017 grew by more than 32 percent over the fourth quarter of 2016 to eight million

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Apple Watch Nike+ smartwatch. Flickr

Apple will shut down its last of the three Apple Watch-exclusive stores — located in Tokyo — it built when it launched the wearable in 2015.

On May 13, the last Apple Watch-exclusive store will close its doors. Twitter user Shotaro Akiba has shared a photo on the microblogging platform showing the department store’s announcement, Engadget reported on Sunday.

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Many apps pulled out of the watchOS. VOA

Apple had shut down the other two stores in London and Paris last year. According to 9to5mac website, the shop held a sale in which it was selling the remaining Apple Watch Edition inventory for as little as $700.

These 18-karat gold watches were sold for at least $10,000 and as much as $17,000 when they first became available, the report said.

Earlier this month, high-profile applications, including Instagram, Amazon, Google Maps and Twitter, pulled out their apps from the WatchOS. Driven by Apple Watch Series 3 shipments, the Cupertino-headquartered giant shipped a record 18 million Watch devices in 2017 — an increase of 54 per cent compared to the previous year.

Also Read: Apple working on gold variant of iPhone X: Report

“The Series 3 was the key growth driver, as total shipments of the latest version of Apple’s Watch were just under nine million, making up nearly half of all shipments in 2017,” Singapore-based market research firm Canalys said.

Apple’s shipments in the fourth quarter of 2017 grew by more than 32 percent over the fourth quarter of 2016 to eight million — the highest-ever number of shipments in a single quarter for any wearable vendor. IANS