Apple World Today News Update: April 20, 2018

It's finally Friday, and Apple's probably glad that the stock exchanges are closed for two days after negative analyst reports pushed the company's shares -- and the Dow Jones Industrial Average -- lower. Other news for this Friday:

  • Developers who have apps featured in the iOS 11 App Store see huge increases in downloads, according to data from research firm Sensor Tower
  • Several questionable "supply chain reports" from Wall Street analysts have driven Apple's share price down almost $13 a share in three days
  • AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson announced a new skinny streaming service called AT&T Watch while testifying in the antitrust case against his company over the proposed acquisition of Time Warner

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for Friday, April 20th, 2018.

If you’re an iOS developer and you want to get really incredible sales numbers for a new app, try your darnedest to get that app into the “Game of the Day”, “App of the Day” or another featured spot in the iOS 11 App Store. Research firm Sensor Tower released news this week that shows that those featured locations in the iOS 11 App Store can improve app downloads up to 802% in as little as a week. For example, average weekly downloads for game apps on the Today Tab were at about 500, while a mention in Game of the Day raised that number to 4,300. An average app went from 2,100 downloads a week to 16,800 downloads a week after being named the App of the Day. Sensor Tower said “Overall, our data shows that iOS 11 App Store features are delivering substantial benefits for developers who receive them. While larger publishers have received the largest number of features, the truth is that Apple is featuring apps from all sizes of publishers.” Sensor Tower’s numbers also found that Apple is fifth on the list of top publishers and the top publisher among non-gaming app publishers.

After taking a beating during the latter part of March, Apple’s share price slowly climbed back to $178.46 on April 17, just three days ago. Today, shares in Apple closed at $165.71. Why the sudden drop? As usual, it’s statements from Wall Street analysts that are killing the share price, and since Apple is a significant part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, it’s dragging the entire market down with it. The Dow was flirting with 24,900 on April 17, now it’s down to 24,462. Today’s big loss was due to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty saying that she expects Apple to meet the March quarter estimates that will be announced on May 1, but that she expects that June quarter estimates need to be revised lower. Her report is based on iPhone supplier checks and weak data surrounding the Chinese iPhone market. As a result, Morgan Stanley lowered its June quarter iPhone sales estimate to 34 million from 40.5 million. That’s quite a bit lower than the 43 million iPhones that are forecast from an average of numbers from other Wall Street analysts . Is there anything in the Morgan Stanley numbers? Tim Cook warned Wall Street in 2014 that “The supply chain is very complex, and we obviously have multiple sources for things. Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant for our business.” On the good side, the drop in share price means that it’s a great time for investors to buy the stock.

Do you use AT&T wireless service? If so, you’ll get free access to a new streaming service called “AT&T Watch”. The service is expected to be what’s called a “skinny bundle”, so it probably won’t have sports channels associated with it. Similar skinny bundles include Dish Network’s Sling TV, so those interested in seeing what networks are involved can take the lowest cost Sling plan into account. The AT&T Watch service was announced in a somewhat weird manner yesterday as AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was on the stand testifying in the antitrust case involving the company’s proposed $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. It could be that AT&T Watch is just a way to try to appease the courts and get the acquisition approved by regulators, but it would definitely be a plus for AT&T subscribers if it does actually launch.

That’s all the news for today - join me Monday afternoon for another edition of the AWT News Update.