Big changes are in store later this year for the Apple Watch. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has delivered his latest note to investors regarding the future of Apple's wearable. Kuo predicts the Apple Watch Series 4 will debut in the third quarter of 2018 with significant design changes.
Apple Watch pre-orders impressed analysts if early reports are to be believed. Slice Intelligence released sales projection data estimating that over 950,000 people in the US pre-ordered an Apple Watch on Friday. If this number holds, then pre-orders for the entire weekend across eight initial release countries will easily exceed one million.
Analyst Amit Daryanani of RBC projected sales of up to five million Apple Watches this quarter. Demand is outstripping supply, with ship dates on many models delayed until summer. The official release date is April 24.
Google wants to keep 100% of its mobile search revenue, and plans to do so by releasing Google Chrome for iOS devices before the end of the year, according to Macquarie analyst Ben Schacter.
Schacter writes: "Apple may already be reviewing Google’s submitted code for a Chrome browser for iOS."
It's unknown whether Apple will approve or reject the Chrome browser, but Schacter claims we can expect it sometime this year.
"Schacter says we can expect a Chrome browser for iOS as soon as Q2, but if not this quarter, then definitely this year."
According to Business Insider, Google must share an estimated 50%-60% of its search revenue with Apple. If Google cuts out Apple's Safari browser they will then get to keep 100% of their revenue.
According to investment bank Morgan Stanley the next generation iPhone will be slimmer and feature "a quad-mode chip" from Qualcomm that would give it both 3G and LTE capabilities. Analyst Katy Huberty (via Apple Insider) claims "new touch panel technology" will allow the iPhone to be thinner, and that Apple is considering new casing material. This coincides with a previous report from BGR who said the next iPhone will feature an all-aluminum back.
Huberty says little is known about the iPhone 5, but she believes it will be launched in Q3 of 2012 depending on "manufacturing yields" and "competition." "What is clear about iPhone 5 is that Apple and its supply chain are positively surprised by the demand for iPhone 4S, which increases confidence in strong sales for iPhone 5 later this year," she wrote in a note to investors.
Those "well placed and anonymous sources" are at it again. The tech blogs Chip Hazard and West Coast Gadgets have kicked off a whole new set of rumors by claiming that the iPhone 5 is in the hands of AT&T and Sprint beta testers. Chip Hazard's "well places sources" in AT&T mobility revealed that beta testers have been testing the iPhone 5 since July 6. Citing no sources, West Coast Gadgets announced that Sprint beta testers will be spotted in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, New York City, and Chicago starting this Monday.
Why is Apple purportedly using 3rd party testers? According to another tech blog, AT&T and Sprint are ensuring another Antennagate doesn't happen by checking for reception and connectivity. The author also points to Apple's own internal testers losing an iPhone last year, but wouldn't giving out more devices to 3rd parties increase the chances of a repeat, and more leaks? With all the so-called "inside sources" releasing so much information, it seems like Apple is having a hard enough time keeping their own people quiet these days.