Topeka Capital Markets


'Topeka Capital Markets' Articles

Analyst Still Believes Apple Television Set With 'iRing' Motion Control Coming Late This Year

Two months ago, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White gained significant attention for his claims that Apple is targeting a late 2013 launch for its long-rumored television set. In his research note, White claimed that Apple has been working on a 60-inch television that will use an "iRing" motion controller as well as iPad-like auxiliary second screens. In a new research note published today, White stands by his previous claims, continuing to believe that Apple is looking to service subsidies to help bring the upfront cost of the television set down.We were told that carriers will be an important part of the go-to-market strategy for Apple's TV ambitions and subsidize the $1,500-$2,500 "iTV", offering customers a single bill that will include a wireless plan (i.e., iPhone, iPad), Internet connection services, an "iTV" plan and other services. As we have previously discussed, the 60-inch "iTV" (50-inch and 55-inch may also be available) is anticipated to come with one iPad-sized "mini iTV" with the option to add more "mini iTVs".Such bundling may, however, be difficult given that customers frequently have different wireless carriers and cable or satellite television providers, although some providers such as Time Warner Cable and Verizon Wireless have teamed up to offer bundles of TV, Internet, home phone, and mobile phone service. White goes on to describe his vision for how the TV will be controlled:Motion detection technology will be used on the "mothership iTV" and the "iRing" will allow for improved control accuracy. For example, we believe the "iRing"

iPhone 5S to Launch in 2-3 Different Screen Sizes?

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White is out with another research note today sharing some highlights from day seven of his trip to China and Taiwan to talk with technology companies and other sources. Based on discussions with officials at an unnamed "tech-supply chain company", White now believes that Apple's iPhone 5S due for release later this year will arrive in two or possibly even three screen sizes.We also walked away with the view that Apple will release the iPhone 5S in at least two screen sizes this summer and possibly three. We continue to target July as the launch date. Essentially, we believe Apple is coming around to the fact that one size per iPhone release does not work for everyone and offering consumers an option has the potential to expand the Company’s market share.White also believes that Apple will be releasing a lower-cost iPhone as part of the summer launch, but now sees a price tag in the range of $300-$350 rather than the $250-$300 price he had previously thought possible. White's prediction of two or even three different screen sizes for the iPhone 5S, in addition to a lower-cost iPhone model, seems to be inconsistent with Apple's typically streamlined product lineups, especially when various carrier and capacity configurations need to be accounted for. His prediction also conflicts with claims made by a number of other sources, including reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who maintains that the iPhone 5S will indeed primarily be a spec bump of the iPhone 5 with the same 4-inch display, an improved camera system, and

Analyst Claims 60-Inch 'iTV' Could Launch in Late 2013 With 'iRing' Motion Control and iPad-Like Auxiliary Screens

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White is out with a new research note today outlining a remarkable set of features for Apple's rumored television set product, claiming that the TV could launch later this year. White believes that the television will be available as a 60-inch model, with 50-55 inch models also potentially being available. In a new addition to the Apple television rumor roundup, White's report claims that Apple will revolutionize the television market with an "iRing" device to facilitate motion control of the device.[W]e believe Apple will release a miniature device called "iRing" that will be placed on a user's finger and act as a navigation pointer for "iTV"', enhancing the motion detection experience and negating some of the functionality found in a remote.White also believes that Apple's "iWatch" will play into Apple's television ecosystem, complementing the iRing to support interactive TV services and phone calls. Beyond the basic television set, White claims that Apple will be releasing auxiliary screens similar to iPads, with the devices allowing users to watch their television content on wireless devices within range of the larger television."iTV" will come with a "mini iTV" screen that will seamlessly allow users to view content on this smaller, 9.7-inch screen, while also opening up use cases around home security, phone calls, video conferencing and other areas. As part of this experience, Siri and FaceTime will be important. Essentially, we believe the "mini iTV" screens will be able to capture content from the 60-inch "iTV" across a

Next-Generation iPad and iPad Mini Rumored for March Launch

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White today released a new report highlighting some of his observations from this week's CES in Las Vegas, noting that "checks" at the show suggest that Apple is looking to launch the next-generation versions of the iPad and iPad mini in March.Our checks at CES indicate Apple will release the iPad 5 and the second-generation iPad mini this March. The iPad 5 is expected to be lighter and thinner than the iPad 4 that was released in October, while the form factor of the iPad mini should be similar to the first generation iPad mini that debuted in October.White's comments are in line with a previous report from Japanese blog Mac Otakara which claimed that a thinner and lighter fifth-generation iPad will be launching in March. RBC analyst Doug Freedman had also claimed that Apple was accelerating its plans for the second-generation iPad mini. Apple has historically stuck to roughly year-long update cycles for its iOS devices, but the company surprised many observers by launching the fourth-generation iPad in October, just seven months after the debut of the third-generation model. It is unclear whether that shorter interval is the start of a trend for Apple, as it may simply have been a one-time event due to Apple's move to the new Lightning connector. There have, however, been growing rumors of shorter update cycles being part of a new strategy for Apple as it seeks to remain competitive in the fast-moving mobile device market and smooth out its sales somewhat throughout the

Next-Generation iPhone to Launch in More Colors, Multiple Sizes?

Following up on a report last month from Jefferies analyst Peter Misek claiming that the next-generation iPhone could launch in the middle of this year with as many as 6-8 colors, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White has issued a report today indicating similar information. White also believes that Apple could offer the device with multiple screen sizes.Our checks indicate that the next iPhone will have more choices for customers. This entails an expansion in both the color patterns and screen sizes with the next iPhone (i.e., likely called the iPhone 5S) that we currently believe will be launched in May/June with certain supply production starting in March/April.White believes that the addition of multiple color choices for the iPod touch late last year was a "testing ground" for Apple and that the company is now moving toward bringing similar option to the iPhone, and eventually to the iPad. As for screen size, White believes that Apple may for the first time offer a brand-new model with multiple screen size options for different segments of the market.Although Apple offers a 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5 and a 3.5-inch screen on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, the Company has never offered multiple screen sizes for a single model. We believe this is about to change with the next iPhone offering different screen sizes that we believe will allow Apple to better bifurcate the market and expand its reach. This eventually opens up the possibility for a lower-priced iPhone (i.e., iPhone mini) with a smaller screen size that could allow Apple to further penetrate markets

'iPad Mini' Launch Supplies Reportedly Challenged by Component Yield Issues

In the lead-up to major Apple product launches, there are almost inevitably reports of production problems that result in the company having lower stocks on hand than it initially hoped for, sometimes leading to extended shortages as the company's supply chain works to catch up to demand. The iPhone 5 was no different, with yield issues on the new in-cell displays used in the device reportedly being the bottleneck that has limited availability. With The Wall Street Journal now reporting that mass production of the "iPad mini" has begun, reports are once again suggesting that Apple's launch supplies may be on the low side due to issues with several components. One such report comes from Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, who is currently in Taiwan meeting with a number of contacts in the component supply chains for Apple and other companies. White's contacts believe that yield issues with several iPad mini components have been "frustrating", with supplies of the device likely to be constrained for the first month of availability heading into the holiday shopping season.Similar to the iPhone 5, we sensed that suppliers have found the specs around Apple's (AAPL-$671.45: Buy) 7.85-inch "iPad Mini" to be a challenge and yields have been frustrating. In our view, this is the reason the "iPad Mini" is 4-6 weeks behind our original launch expectation that we discussed in June. Despite continued yield challenges, the supply chain feels the much anticipated iPad Mini is on track to reach acceptable volume levels for a launch over the next month. That said, we

Apple Television Set to Include Motion Sensing Control and Touchscreen Remote?

While Apple is not expected to reveal its long-rumored television set product that has been the subject of increasing rumors at today's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White has published a new research note addressing some of his expectations for the device based on a recent visit to Taiwan for the Computex trade show and to visit with supply chain companies in several markets. White believes that the Apple television set will adopt several methods of interaction, most significantly including motion detection technology, perhaps similar to that found in Microsoft's Kinect offerings. He also suggests that the television will still include a remote control, which will arrive as an iPad-like touchscreen device.Regarding Apple TV, the data points during our trip indicate the Company will use a special type of motion detection technology on future full blown Apple TV that we expect to be unveiled within the next couple of quarters, rather than touch technology. Also, our contacts indicate a unique remote control with a touch panel form factor that looks similar to the iPad would be used to control the device. The bezel is expected to be a plastic composition, rather than the aluminum unibody exterior that surrounds the MacBook Air.White makes no mention of Siri voice control, but many observers expect that Apple will also make use of its voice recognition and natural language processing algorithms to make it easy for users to control their television viewing experiences. Finally, the new report from White also outlines his

Supplier Chatter Pointing to Redesigned iPhone with 4-Inch Display, 'Sleek Look'

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White has released a new research report today outlining some of the takeaways from a recent trip to Asia to talk with companies in Apple's supply chain. According to White, chatter from those suppliers is pointing toward a larger 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5, which will also include a redesign bringing a "new, sleek look".In our view, this will be the most significant iPhone upgrade with a four-inch screen and a new, sleek look that we believe will require a Unibody case. This new, sleek look will be the most important reason that consumers decide to upgrade to the iPhone 5, while we believe the addition of 4G will also attract buyers of the new device.White notes that some suppliers are expected to begin ramping production of components in June, ahead of a launch in the August-September timeframe leading into a blockbuster final quarter of 2012. Sleek "iPhone 5" mockup based on leaked 2011 case designs As in any discussion of a larger screen on an iPhone, the issue of screen resolution is certain to be a key sticking point. With the iPhone currently offering a 3.5-inch Retina display, an increase to 4 inches would require one of two changes: an increase in resolution that would yield difficulties for developers by adding yet another device size to the mix, or a decrease in pixel density that would maintain the current resolution but see density drop to roughly 285 pixels per inch from the current 326 pixels per inch. Among White's other takeaways from his trip: - Display issues have caused a bit of a bottleneck on