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Samsung launches new Note, foldable phone as pandemic shrinks market

SEOUL Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its latest Galaxy Note smartphone and new version of its foldable phone, the Z Fold 2, on Wednesday, hoping to regain ground against rivals Huawei [HWT.UL] and Apple Inc as the smartphone market begins to recover from its COVID-19 slump.

Samsung launched its previous premium model, the S20, in February at the start of the pandemic but since then has ceded its top ranking in the smartphone market to China’s Huawei, as people opt for cheaper models in tough times.

The Z Fold 2 has a 6.2-inch (15.75-cm) screen when folded to provide a full smartphone experience even when it is closed, Samsung announced during a livestreamed event. Its unfolded display measures 7.6 inches (19.3 cm).

The new iteration is thinner than the first Fold, and the hinge is improved to be more resilent, Samsung said.

Samsung did not disclose the phone’s price, but said more details and preorders will be available on Sept. 1.

The new Note 20 boasts a larger screen at 6.7 inches (17 cm), 5G connectivity, enhanced writing features with its S-Pen stylus, and access to more than 100 console and PC games via a tie-up with Microsoft Corp’s Xbox cloud service.

It will go on sale on Aug. 21 in about 70 countries, including the United States, where the basic version will retail for $999, compared with its predecessor’s $949.

“It is an uncertain time to launch a new premium device given the challenging competitive and economic environments,” said Paolo Pescatore, an analyst at PP Foresight Tech, adding that the “eye-watering price” could deter some buyers.

Apple fans are unlikely to jump ship to the new Samsung model as the 5G iPhone is likely to be launched later this year, analysts say.

Samsung posted a 29% on-year drop in shipments in the June quarter, the biggest fall among top vendors, according to researcher IDC. Apple, which launched the budget-friendly SE during the period, remained resilient with 11% on-year shipment growth, while Huawei posted only a 5% fall.

The global smartphone market shrank about 16% on-year in the April-June quarter due to COVID-19 lockdowns and consumer caution, a larger contraction than in the first quarter, and is expected to improve only slightly in the second half, IDC said.

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“Before the Covid-19 existed, Samsung’s flagship launch usually had a big splash. … Even if things are recovering, the splash is not going to be as big as it was before,” said Nabila Popal, research director at data provider IDC.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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Tech

Samsung launches pricey new Note as pandemic shrinks smartphone market

SEOUL Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its latest Galaxy Note smartphone on Wednesday hoping to regain ground against rivals Huawei [HWT.UL] and Apple as the smartphone market begins to recover from its COVID-19 slump.

Samsung launched its previous premium model, S20, in February at the start of the pandemic but since then it has ceded its top ranking in the smartphone market to China’s Huawei, as people opt for cheaper models in straitened times.

The new Note 20 boasts a larger screen at 6.7 inches (17 cm), 5G connectivity, enhanced writing features with its S-Pen stylus, and access to more than 100 console and PC games via a tie-up with Microsoft’s Xbox cloud service.

It will go on sale from Aug. 21 in about 70 countries including the United States, where the basic version will retail for $999, compared to the predecessor’s $949.

“It is an uncertain time to launch a new premium device given the challenging competitive and economic environments,” said Paolo Pescatore, an analyst at PP Foresight Tech, adding that the “eye-watering price” could deter some buyers.

Apple fans are unlikely to jump ship to the new Samsung model as the 5G iPhone is likely to be launched later this year, analysts say.

Samsung posted a 29% on-year drop in shipments in the June quarter, the biggest fall among top vendors, according to researcher IDC. Apple, which launched the budget-friendly SE during the period, remained resilient with 11% on-year shipment growth, while Huawei posted only a 5% fall.

The global smartphone market shrank about 16% on-year in the April-June quarter due to COVID-19 lockdowns and consumer caution, a larger contraction than in the first quarter, and is expected to improve only slightly in the second half, IDC said.

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“Its not until H1 2021 that most countries around the globe will start showing positive growth in smartphone shipments,” said Nabila Popal, research director at data provider IDC.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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Apple Reports 25% Growth in Smartphone Market With 45.1mn iPhone Sales Globally

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

Compared to Apple’s growth, Samsung fell 30 percent, Huawei 5 percent, Xiaomi 10 percent, OPPO 16 percent, and others 23 percent in terms of smartphone shipments.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: August 1, 2020, 11:24 AM IST

As the global smartphone market plummeted 14 per cent in the June quarter, Apple was the only vendor to grow as it shipped 45.1 million iPhones globally, a growth of 25 per cent compared to the previous year, according to a new report. Samsung fell 30 per cent, Huawei 5 per cent, Xiaomi 10 per cent, OPPO 16 per cent and others 23 per cent in terms of shipments in the second quarter, reported market research firm Canalys.

“Apple defied expectations in Q2. Its new iPhone SE was critical in the quarter, accounting for around 28 per cent of its global volume, while iPhone 11 remained a strong best-seller at nearly 40 per cent,” analyst Vincent Thielke on Friday. According to him, iPhone SE will remain crucial to prop up the volume this year, amid delays to Apple’s next flagship release. “In China, it had blockbuster results, growing 35 per cent to reach 7.7 million units. It is unusual for Apple’s Q2 shipments to increase sequentially,” said Thielke. The smartphone market worldwide fell to 285 million units, a second consecutive quarter of freefall, as lockdown orders caused by the Covid-19 pandemic persisted through April and May.

Huawei toppled Samsung with shipping 55.8 million units, compared to Samsung’s 53.7 million in Q2 2020. Apple was third with 45.1 million units. Xiaomi came fourth, shipping 28.8 million units, which was down 10 per cent, and OPPO reclaimed fifth place from Vivo, shipping 25.8 million units with a 16 per cent decline. “As well as the new iPhone SE, Apple is also demonstrating skills in new user acquisition. It adapted quickly to the pandemic, doubling down on the digital customer experience as stay-at-home measures drive more customers to online channels,” said the report.


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Tech

Indian Smartphone Market Likely to See 40% Recovery in Second Half of 2020: Report

After going through disruptions in supply chain and curtailed domestic production, the India smartphone market is now showing encouraging signs of revival that sets it on a potential course for market recovery for over 40 per cent in the second half this year, according to a new report. Over the short-term, the mobile market will improve in mid-Q3, spurred by early online sales festivals, setting the smartphone market on a potential path to recovery towards the all-important festive season.

During this period, smartphone brands will focus on showcasing their consumer-centric value propositions, focusing more on hyperlocal delivery models, and launching more 5G-ready smartphones, according to market research firm CMR’s ‘India Mobile Handset Market Review Report.’ CMR’s current estimates point to better performance for the India smartphone market in H2 2020, with the market anticipated to recover by more than 40 per cent in comparison to the first half.

“As a consequence of the pandemic, Q2 2020 was, in essence, a lost quarter. While the mobile handset industry faced multiple challenges with respect to their supply and demand-side dynamics, the industry looks set on the path to a potential recovery in the coming months,” said Amit Sharma, Manager-Industry Intelligence Group, CMR. The initial consumer demand in the unlock phase was driven predominantly through online channels and driven by a need for urgent replacements.

“Facing up to the pandemic, smartphone brands debuted innovative hyperlocal delivery models, some of which have the potential to gain permanence,” Sharma added. The path to potential recovery will be led by pent-up consumer demand, driven by a need for upgrades. In the run-up to the festive season, consumers will seek to go for meaningful value propositions that bring devices and compelling content ecosystem offerings, together.

“This, coupled by smartphone brands bringing more value for money offerings and backed by aggressive messaging, will potentially drive the market,” said Sharma. Thus far, a key challenge for the smartphone market in India to grow has been the inability to offer value propositions that will help feature phone users to migrate to smartphones. “We believe recent announcements, such as the Jio-Google deal, augur well for the future of the mobile handset industry in India, and in potentially enabling the migration of feature phones to smartphone users, with its focus on driving affordability,” said analyst Anand Priya Singh.


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India Set to Contribute 2.2 Percent of World's Digital Payment Market by 2023: Report

Representative image. (Illustration: Shutterstock)

Representative image. (Illustration: Shutterstock)

the report added that home-grown platform to reach nearly 59 billion transactions in volume by 2023, owing to its high P2P type of transaction penetration.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: July 24, 2020, 10:35 AM IST

With the rise in usage of digital modes of transactions and the growing market of digital payment services, India is likely to contribute around 2.2 per cent to the sector by 2023, said a report by the Payments Council of India and PWC. The report titled ‘Empowering payments: Digital India on the path of revolution’ said that with global transaction value for digital payments expected to reach $12.4 trillion by 2025, India is expected to contribute 2.2 per cent of the world’s digital payment market by 2023 alone.

Underlining UPI is among the largest real-time payment systems in the world, the report estimates the home-grown platform to reach nearly 59 billion transactions in volume by 2023, owing to its high P2P type of transaction penetration.

“Clocking over 1 billion transactions every month, the platform has witnessed a CAGR of 785 per cent in volume and 570 per cent in terms of value from financial year FY 2017 to FY 2020,” it said. As per the report, India is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world, showing rapid progression in the transformation of digital payments, largely due to its large population and demographics.

It has been attracting significant investments from private equity and venture capital firms and other international payment companies that want to enter India in the near future. According to the report, India has been identified as a leader across parameters — regulation of costs of payment systems, laws in place, availability of alternate payment systems, the share of e-money in payment systems among others.

With the sharp rise in demand for contactless payments increasing amid the pandemic, businesses are looking at integrating their online and offline channels to provide an omnichannel experience to its customers. From the statistics of UPI, BBPS and NETC for the months of February to June 2020, the report suggested that a V-shaped recovery in the digital payment sector is being prompted.


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Tech

Reliance Jio Clocks 1.82 Crore Total Subscribers in Delhi With 34% Market Share: TRAI

Telecom giant Reliance Jio continues to dominate the mobile network sector in India. According to data released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Jio has managed to capture a market share of 34% accounting to 1.82 crore subscribers in the capital city of Delhi. The data further points out that Jio maintained market leadership for three consecutive months during Q1 2020 (January – March) where 2.59 lakh subscribers have added alone in the month of March.

According to Reliance Jio, its network covers 100% of population across the state with its retail network of more than 110 Jio stores and Reliance Digital stores put together and having a strong 25000+ retailer-base in Delhi. There are also a total of 34 Jio Centers in Delhi that help in assisting with customer services.

Just a day back, Reliance Industries Limited, the parent company of Reliance Jio grabbed its thirteenth consecutive deal with US-based Qualcomm Inc that will be investing Rs 730 crore in Jio Platforms for a 0.15 percent stake. Qualcomm is the third strategic investor after Facebook Inc and US semiconductor company Intel in Jio Platforms, which comprises telecom company Jio Infocomm and movie, news and music apps. The deal with Qualcomm — the 13th such investment in 12 weeks—means Reliance has sold 25.24 percent in Jio. RIL has now raised Rs 118,318.45 crore in total from some of the world’s leading tech investors.

Facebook had bought a 9.99 percent stake for Rs 43,574 crore on April 22. Reliance has since sold stakes in Jio to global investors such as General Atlantic, KKR, Saudi sovereign wealth fund, Abu Dhabi state fund, Saudi Arabia’s PIF and Intel.


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Tech

Microsoft Teams Update Brings it Closer to the Consumer Market: Here’s What’s New

In a major update, Microsoft has announced some new features for its communication and collaboration platform Teams. Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic, the company has been working on adding new features to bring a more personalised experience, and with the new update, it continues to dig deep into the consumer market.

“These features offer three key benefits for people at work and in education. First, they help you feel more connected with your team and reduce meeting fatigue. Second, they make meetings more inclusive and engaging. And third, they help streamline your work and save time. It’s all about enabling people everywhere to collaborate, to stay connected, and to discover new ways to be productive from anywhere,” said Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365.

The first major feature that is coming to Teams is ‘Together Mode’ which is like a new way to do virtual meetings. Microsoft is using AI to map a user’s face and shoulders to create a virtual live avatar. This tiny real-life version of the user is then placed in a virtual meeting room alongside other co-workers. According to the company, this will help you better engage with meetings by removing distractions around you. The feature should work well for meetings with multiple participants for brainstorming or roundtable discussions, as you can see who is actually speaking and who isn’t. Together mode with auditorium view is currently rolling out and will be generally available in August.

The second big update coming to Teams is dynamic view. This is specifically designed to give users more control over how they see content and other participants in a meeting. This includes the ability to show shared content and specific participants side-by-side. This should really help users while presenting to a group of co-workers. The new large gallery view that was announced earlier, is also going to roll out soon where users can see a video of up to 49 people in a meeting simultaneously, and split meeting participants into smaller groups for ease of communication.

With the increase in virtual meetings, it has become important to have video filters and Microsoft has thought of that as well. It is bringing video filters as well as live reactions to Teams. The filters can be used to soften your background or improve the lighting on your face so participants can see you better. With live reactions, participants can react with an emoji during meetings that will be visible to all. Later this year Teams will also include PowerPoint Live Presentations to and new chat bubbles wherein chats sent during a meeting will surface on the screens of all meeting participants.

Microsoft Teams will soon support up to 1,000 participants to bring large groups together for meetings or classes. This could also extend to up to 20,000 for a view-only meeting, say a presentation or a discussion. Live transcripts will also be added to Teams later this year along with the ability to translate live captions into subtitles making it easier for participants to catch up when a meeting is being held in another language.

Lastly, Cortana is soon going to be a part of Teams mobile app. This will allow users to ask Cortana to make a call, join a meeting, send chat messages, share files, and so on.

Microsoft also announced the new Microsoft Teams display, sort of like a smart display that we’ve seen with Google Assistant, only this one is going to be powered by Cortana.The all-in-one dedicated Teams devices will feature an ambient touchscreen and a hands-free experience allowing you to use your voice for various commands. Lenovo and Yealink will be delivering the first such devices later this year.


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Tech

Indian Software Market to See 3.8% Growth in 2020 Due to Covid-19 Crisis: IDC

Image for representative purposes.

Image for representative purposes.

The Indian software market grew by 16 per cent year over year in 2019 compared to 2018. For 2019, the India software market achieved a revenue of $6.48 billion.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: June 26, 2020, 4:48 PM IST

The disruption caused by Covid-19 would cause a significant decline in India’s enterprise software market this year, tapering down the growth to mere 3.8 per cent (year-on-year), a new IDC report said on Friday. The pandemic has forced enterprises to relook at their IT spend. Enterprises at this point are focusing on operational resiliency, return on investment (ROI), business continuity plans, and parking aside all noncritical projects for the next three to six months at least, according to the report.

However, there has been an increase in spending on remote work enablement and cloud adoption. There will be heightened demand for collaborative applications, application platforms, security software, system and service management software, and content workflow and management applications said IDC. As per IDC’s latest Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker, 2H19 (July-December), the India software market grew by 16 per cent year over year (YoY) in 2H19 compared to 2H18. For 2019, the India software market achieved a revenue of $6.48 billion.

“India stands as the second-largest software market in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China) and also managed to keep its growth pace stronger than some of the major economies in the region,” said Mohsin Baig, market analyst, enterprise software, IDC India. “The growth was shaped by demand for a cloud application, application modernization, increasing IT spend by the small and medium-sized business (SBM) segment, cloud-native software start-ups, and government initiative for data localization,” he added.

The majority of India enterprises have digital transformation (DX) initiatives in place or plan to implement in the next 12-24 months. Modernising legacy applications, using as-a-service model, and harnessing emerging technologies to enhance customer and employee experience are some of the key DX initiatives, which are acting as the driving factors for the software market in India.

The ongoing pandemic has pushed many enterprises to implement work-from-home (WFH) policies for the first time, and this has created a demand for collaborative applications as well as an increase in security threats. The IDC expects a rise in demand for technologies such as VPN, authentication, endpoint security, encryption and application security.

“The outbreak of Covid-19 have resulted in the partial/complete transformation of working models with the use of collaborative platforms. New software implementations, upgrades, or migrations will be delayed by a few quarters, unless extremely critical,” said Shweta Baidya, senior research manager, enterprise software and IT services, IDC India.


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Chinese Smartphone Makers Witness Rise in Indian Smart TV Market: Counterpoint Research

Leading smartphone brand Xiaomi grabbed 27 percent market share of the India smart TV market in the first quarter this year, followed by LG at distant 14 percent and Samsung at 10 percent, according to a new report. Sony with 9 percent and TCL with 8 percent were at fourth and fifth position in Q1 2020, according to Counterpoint Research. Chinese brands are already dominating the smartphone market in China and India.

“Smartphone makers are leveraging brand recognition that they already have in the market and they have enough technical expertise to develop a product like smart TV. So, the entry barrier in the smart TV market is really low for smartphone companies,” said Debasish Jana, Research Associate at Counterpoint.

Smartphone makers are specifically going into the smart TV business and targeting mostly the Asian market where the smart TV category is less mature than the North American and European market. Xiaomi got the early mover advantage and grabbed a 7 percent share in the smart TV market globally. After the success of Xiaomi in the Asian market, especially in China and India, other smartphone makers entered the market with a special focus on those two countries.

“Although Motorola and Nokia have launched the products only in India to exploit the opportunity in the booming India smart TV market – it is unlikely they will expand to other markets soon. In China, Huawei launched smart TVs running on its Harmony OS under both Huawei and Honor brands,” informed Jana. Most of these brands tapped into a market where consumers are buying a smart TV for the first time. They are offering a tailored and feature-rich product to the consumer at an affordable price point. By contrast, OnePlus is differentiating itself by launching a premium smart TV. However, OnePlus has announced that it will expand its Smart TV portfolio in India with the launch of two new affordable sets via an online event on July 2.

“Realme will likely intensify competition in the affordable smart TV segment with its newly launched smart TV range,” Jana noted. Realme has launched affordable Smart TVs that starts from Rs 12,999 and is now geared up to launch a 55-inch TV. While Chinese smartphone brands are aggressive in the Asian smart TV market, Indian and Japanese TV brands still have a fair chance to increase the share in Asia, especially in the Indian market. The Indian smart TV market is poised to grow as the Internet is penetrating at a faster pace and OTT consumption is growing.

Recently, VU is doing well in India with its wide range of smart TVs. Brands like Kodak and Thomson are technically licensed to Indian EMS, Super Plastronics, and are also performing quite well. Traditional TV brands, such as Samsung, LG and Sony, still have enough brand recognition around the world while new smartphone players are appealing to millennials who are familiar with these brands. “A lot will depend on the positioning for the brands. Moreover, most of the Chinese brands are playing in the affordable segment; the premium segment contains few brands,” said Jana.


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Apple Makes History By Becoming World's First Company to Hit $1.5 Trillion Market Cap

Image for Representation
(Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Reuters)

Riding on its growing services and wearables business, Apple may become the first company ever to touch the $2-trillion valuation mark in the next four years.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: June 11, 2020, 12:35 PM IST

Apple has become the first US company that reached $1.5 trillion market cap and according to the investors and analysts, strong App Store sales, ARM chips-run Macs and a 5G iPhone this fall are the reasons for the surge in stock of the Cupertino-based iPhone maker.

At a current price of $352 per share and 4.3 billion shares outstanding, Apple’s market cap hit around $1.53 trillion on Wednesday, reports Mac Rumors. Riding on its growing services and wearables business, Apple may become the first company ever to touch the $2-trillion valuation mark in the next four years, a top analyst forecast recently.

Apple was the first US company to cross the $1-trillion mark in 2018. According to market research firm Evercore ISI, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker would also be the first firm to surpass $2 trillion, reports Barron’s.

In the Wearables business, the analyst expects growth to $60 billion owing to the expansion of AirPods and Apple Watch. The Services business could grow to $100 billion in the next four years. The analyst expects Apple to continue aggressively buying back stock. “Apple would reduce its share count by about 1 billion shares in the forecast period, from 4.6 billion at the end of fiscal 2019 to 3.6 billion in fiscal 2024.

“At that share count, the market cap would hit $2 trillion if the stock price was just over $550,” wrote Barron’s analyst Amit Daryanani. As iPhones sale dip amid supply and demand uncertainties, Services segment is following a different trend for Apple, with strong year-over-year growth of 17 per cent and setting a new all-time revenue record of $13.3 billion in the company’s March quarter results this year.

The company saw all-time records in many of its Services categories – App Store, Apple Music, Video, cloud services, its App Store search ad business, AppleCare, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus and Apple Card.



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