Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares lost just under 3% last week, opening Monday at $128.37 and closing Friday at $124.75. The high of $128.57 was reached on Monday. As of this writing, share prices appear to be rallying a bit and are up about 2.2% at $127.46.
Apple Watch preorders continued last week and KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in a note to investors, wrote that he expects preorders to top 2.3 million. Production has been slowed, he said, due to manufacturing difficulties involving the haptic motor and the AMOLED display. Nevertheless, he believes that Apple Watch will sell 15 to 20 million units in 2015, which agrees with a Reuters poll last week that found about
6% of American adults plan on buying the Apple Watch.
The high demand and production difficulties prompted Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts to write a memo to employees saying that the Apple Watch will not likely be available for walk-in purchase at Apple Stores until June.The large amount of preorders prompted RBC analyst Amit Daryanani to issue a note to investors forecasting 3 to 5 million Apple Watch sales in the June quarter and 15 to 20 million for 2015.
An even more bullish forecast came from FBR Capital Market's Dan Ives, who raised his target price for Apple stocks to $185, the highest on Wall Street. He also believes Apple will reach a trillion dollar valuation within the next 12 months, and that the company's software services will be the key to that success.
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Apple last week acquired LinX Computational Imaging, an Israeli camera technology company, for about $20 million. The company develops cameras for tablets and smartphones that it says, due to its proprietary software, can produce three dimensional image maps. Apple gave its standard response that it often buys smaller technology companies and does not discuss its plans for them.
Apple also acquired 36,000 acres of sustainable forestland in Maine and North Carolina last week. The company plans to harvest trees in a sustainable fashion from the two sites for use in paper and packaging materials.
Apple extended CarPlay to five new countries last Thursday. Drivers in Russia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and New Zealand can now use CarPlay. This comes just two weeks after support for it was added for Brazil, China, India, Thailand, and Turkey.
Apple Pay could launch in Canada this fall. Apple is currently in negotiations with Canada's six biggest banks to launch the service some time in November.