Apple World Today News Update: June 1, 2018

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It's June! We'll finally see the official start of summer in a few weeks, we have an Apple keynote coming up on Monday, and betas of the next-generation operating systems should be available soon. In the interim, we have the news for you in convenient podcast form:

  • UBS has raised its target share price for shares in Apple to $210, matching Morgan Stanley's number from earlier this week. The investment firm cited stronger than expected demand for iPhone X and Plus models as the primary reason for its optimism
  • A Bain Capital-led consortium that includes Apple, Dell and several other memory manufacturers has completed the purchase of Toshiba's memory group
  • The final emoji list for 2018 is here and will be released on June 5. We have a video overview from Emojipedia on the website for your viewing pleasure

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, June 1st, 2018.

Another Wall Street investment firm is upping its target share price for Apple stock to $210, following the lead of Morgan Stanley earlier this week. UBS did a poll of 6,700 smartphone users and found that 44 percent of purchasers in the US expect to buy an iPhone X, which is up substantially from the 30 percent figure cited in October, 2017. In addition, close to 40 percent of buyers are looking at iPhone Plus models, up slightly over the October figures. The numbers are similar for purchasers in China and Japan as well. Why is this important? If overall smartphone purchase are dropping worldwide, having those fewer purchases be of higher-end iPhones will keep up Apple’s average selling price and sustain Apple’s revenue growth. Steven Milunovich, analyst for UBS, says that “We consider Apple’s two most important metrics to be grown in the installed base, which we think is low double-digit for iPhone, and customer retention rate. Good results in those mean that it’s when not if consumers buy their next iPhone.” Milunovich also noted that while consumers aren’t excited by innovations like Face ID and AR at the present time, they may be starting to be. “As Apple controls more of the component technology, it has started to differentiate with Face ID, an AI processor, and possibly AR. The ecosystem is the strongest in the industry as seen by the success of the App Store. Our platform view of the company is that software and services are there to create a superior customer experience and support premium hardware margins.”

Last year and earlier in 2018, we reported on the sale of Toshiba’s memory group. A number of different companies tried to acquire the memory chip unit, and now it’s finally over with. A consortium of companies led by Bain Capital and including Apple, SK Hynix, Dell Technologies, Segate Technology, and Kingston Technology made the $18 billion acquisition. Toshiba will still retain 40 percent of the business. The Chinese government approved the deal last month, and this should give Apple easier access to NAND chips as well as diversification of its supply chain. Although Apple has not released figures on its investment in the Toshiba memory group, reports last fall said the amount could be as much as $3 billion.

The final emoji list for 2018 was published, and these emoji will be released officially on Tuesday, June 5. Of course, that means that Apple users probably won’t see those emoji until September when iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 are finalized. If someone on another platform uses those emoji in a message or post, you’ll see them as a blank character, which is usually a box with an X or question mark in it. We have a video on the Apple World Today website showing all 150 new emoji, although the Apple versions are likely to look a bit different. What you’ll see this year and in the video are redheads, hot face, cold face, party face, curly and white haired people, bald people, super villains and superheroes, legs, feet, a tooth and bone, hiking boots and women’s flats, mosquitos and parrots, peacocks, llamas, raccoons, luggage, skateboards, a magnet, a toolbox, DNA, a fire extinguisher, cleaning equipment, toilet paper, a teddy bear and much, much more.

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