AWT News Update: October 18, 2016

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belicheck, who will be tossing that Surface

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belicheck, who will be tossing that Surface

More on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 debacle, a sunny outlook for iPhone sales, and an NFL coach who's punting the Microsoft Surface tablet:

  • Samsung is setting up stations at airports so travelers can exchange their Note 7s -- banned on flights in many countries -- before getting on flights
  • UBS Research analyst sees a sunny future for iPhone sales based on early orders for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
  • New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick goes on an epic rant and says he'll go back to binders after having nothing but problems with the Microsoft Surface tablets provided by the NFL

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Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for October 18, 2016.

We don’t want to dwell on the problems that the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has run into, but the phone — which is no longer being sold — is now being outright banned from airplanes by many countries including the US. A number of people have found that they literally have to surrender their phones before boarding aircraft. Samsung is doing the right thing now, setting up exchange stations at airports around the world where people can exchange their Note 7s for other models or at least submit information for an exchange in the near future. Samsung recommends that owners return or exchange their Note 7s at the original location they were purchased, but the airport stations are working to prevent further frustration for people who find out about the flight bans just before boarding, or who would have to fly somewhere to reach that point of purchase.

One of the things that the other company — Apple — is always interested in are numbers from Wall Street analysts with their estimates on how many iPhones are going to be sold in any particular fiscal quarter. Since the iPhone is Apple’s biggest product line, the company’s fortunes rise and fall with how well a specific iPhone model is doing. Steve Milunovitch of UBS Research has been talking with supply chain sources, and they see production volumes for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus being between those of the iPhone 6 — which was a blockbuster hit — and the iPhone 6s that didn’t do as well as its earlier sibling. However, the future is looking even better for the iPhone 7 Plus, as interest in purchasing the phone is higher than that for the iPhone 6 Plus or iPhone 6s Plus. UBS thinks that iPhone sales will see “mid-single digit growth” in 2016 and about 8 percent growth in 2017. The expected all-new design of the 2017 iPhone will probably cause 2018 growth to be even higher. UBS is estimating revenue of $46.6 billion for the final quarter of 2016, which ended September 30, based on the strong initial sales of the iPhone 7 line. Profit margin is expected to rise due to more customers spending money for more storage in their iPhones, and an increase in buyers upgrading from older iPhones like the iPhone 5s. For the end of 2016, UBS expects that Apple will sell 74 million iPhones with orders from suppliers to ship 89 million, but sales could be greater since there will be an extra sales week after Christmas in the fourth quarter numbers this year.

Well, we always laughed at the fact that the NFL decided to standardize on the Microsoft Surface for game planning, and now Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has decided to toss the Windows tablets from the sidelines. Belichick went postal in a discussion with NESN’s Zack Cox, stating that “I’m done with the tablets. They’re just too undependable for me. I’m going to stick with pictures, which several of our other coaches do as well, because there just isn’t enough consistency in the performance of the tablets. I just can’t take it anymore. Inevitably, something goes wrong somewhere at some point in time. I would say weekly, we have to deal with something.” Belichick was just getting started at that point, and went into a five minute and 25 second rant. He pointed to the National Football League’s ownership of the hardware as being a major problem, since the Patriots IT staff can’t fix issues. The team gets the equipment just before a game and it only functions properly from time to time during a game, so there’s no time to pinpoint and fix issues. Microsoft stands by their hardware, having paid $400 million dollars to the NFL for the rights to be the league’s sole source of tablets. Major League Baseball has an agreement with Apple to provide the iPad Pro for locker room and dugout use, and there have been no complaints about the devices like there have been with the Surface.

That’s all for today; We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.