Apple’s Services Business Is Growing Like The ‘FANG’ Stocks, Should It Be Valued Like One?

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Apple’s Services business has also seen robust growth, emerging as the company’s second largest segment in terms of revenue. Apple’s Services revenues grew by 21% in calendar year 2016 (the company’s fiscal year ends September 30) to a little over $25 billion, making it almost as large as Facebook. However, Apple, and its Services operations, aren’t valued like other high-profile Internet companies such as the so-called “FANG” stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google (Alphabet). In this note, we take a look at some of the key drivers of Apple’s Services business and its valuation.

We have a $164 price estimate for Apple, which is slightly ahead of the current market price.

Why Apple’s Services Valuation Lags Other Internet Companies

We currently value Apple’s Services segment at about $150 billion (excluding Apple’s net cash position), using our discounted cash flow model. This translates to a forward revenue multiple of about 5x. This is well below Netflix (valued at ~7x forward revenues), Facebook (13x) and Google (6.3x). While this is partly due to slightly lower growth rates and potentially lower margins, there are also some other factors that limit Apple’s Services business from being valued like other Internet stocks. For one, Apple’s Services revenues are tied to the sales of its devices, and there could be a slowdown in sales if Apple’s hardware shipments falter. For instance, customers tend to buy the AppleCare plan at the time of their device purchases, while potentially loading up on more paid apps earlier in the life cycles of their devices. Moreover, Apple has been reluctant to leverage user data – which is extremely valuable for Internet companies – as it focuses on the privacy aspect of its devices. In contrast, Google, Amazon and Facebook have shown a willingness to work with user data from their search, e-commerce and social media operations to grow their businesses.

Apple Still Has Ambitious Plans For Services

Apple has set a target of effectively doubling its Services revenues by 2020 (~18% CAGR between 2016 and 2020). While the company has grown Services revenues at an average rate of around 23% per year over the last five years, driven by an expanding iOS user base (we estimate that the user base grew 3x between 2011 and 2016), it’s unlikely to see similar growth rates in its installed base going forward. Instead, the company will have to primarily rely on expanding its Services ARPU to meet its targets. We estimate that its ARPU (considering only iOS devices) stood at about $33 last year.

There could be multiple avenues for Apple to improve its services ARPU. Firstly, App store revenues are expanding, and there may be further scope for growth as Apple launches new developer kits such as the augmented reality-focused ARKit, which could enable a richer Services experience. Apple also earns a commission (typically 15% to 30%) from third-party subscriptions on its platform, and it could be a big beneficiary of trends such as cord cutting and a shift towards streaming music services. For instance, the number of paid subscriptions on its platforms, including both Apple and third-party services, now exceeds 185 million, marking an increase of 20 million in the last three months alone. The Apple Pay business could also see revenues accelerate (albeit from a very small base) over the next few years, as Apple has already done much of the heavy lifting in terms of building out the requisite infrastructure in many developed markets. The company’s push to capture more budget-conscious users with devices such as the $329 iPad and the iPhone SE could also help it to expand its installed base and, in turn, drive Services revenues. While we expect the Services business to be a major driver of the company’s long-term growth, its relative discount compared to the “FANG” companies does seem warranted.

 [Source”timesofindia”]

Apple has to get over its privacy hang-ups and launch better services

 

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple.

Apple announced recently that it had hired two big Sony TV executives to head up Apple’s original video strategy. It’s the strongest signal yet that Apple has grand plans to offer its own slate of original video content to compete with the likes of Netflix, Amazon and HBO.

Yet as Apple brings more high-quality content to its users, it’s likely to highlight a growing dilemma: Is it going to start offering better services to users with less privacy, or continue offering inferior services with strong privacy?

On Ben Thompson’s Exponent podcast from two weeks back — “Fruitful Clapping” — he discusses how Siri stops using your utterances/voice queries after 6 months (based on this Wall Street Journal article). That’s problematic to improve Siri’s algorithm. You can’t compare utterances today to utterances a year ago.

Google or Amazon would never do that. Why does Apple? It’s supposed to be for enhanced user privacy.

Here’s a Tim Cook 2015 speech on privacy:

“We believe the customer should be in control of their own information. You might like these so-called free services, but we don’t think they’re worth having your email, your search history and now even your family photos data mined and sold off for God knows what advertising purpose. And we think some day, customers will see this for what it is.”

It sounds great — in theory. But the rubber meets the road when you start interacting daily with your favorite services.

Spotify knows what music you like better than you do.

Apple Music gives you the world but doesn’t have that same magical insight into you — but you have better privacy.

Google Photos organizes my photos magically in the background. It delights me that it’s somehow able to recognize my child from ages one to 15 as the same person through facial recognition software. It now has 500 million monthly active users — presumably many on iOS.

Apple’s Photos app makes me tag hundreds of photos of the same person to group them instead of recognizing them. The reason is Apple is doing facial recognition on the device instead of in the server.

The lead that Google has is only going to get greater. You, the Apple user, won’t have as good an experience — but you have better privacy.

Netflix offers up personalization of your video interests. That’s been part of their DNA since the company was founded in the ’90s as a website: Netflix.com.

Apple’s yet-to-be offered streaming video service with great content from the two hotshot new ex-Sony TV executives will likely have no such personalization. You’ll probably see a top 10 list instead — but you’ll have better privacy.

Do Apple users want better privacy or better services? Consumers are voting every day with the apps they click on and use. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram. If it’s a choice between convenience and delighting users with smarter services versus privacy, we’ll go with the former all day long.

Apple thinks it is doing this in the name of user privacy, but — as Ben Thompson asked on his pod — what happens if users move over to Google and Amazon? Are the privacy concerns of Apple users now being best served if they’ve outsourced privacy to their competitors?

Apple users deserve better services. Users are willing to give up privacy if they trust you and believe they’ll get better services from you.

It’s time for Tim Cook to embrace better services once and for all. That means more machine learning, more algorithms, more cloud-based power.

The argument that Apple will never be good at services because it never has been is baseless. If that were true, Apple would never get into original content. It would never make an acquisition more than $400 million. It would never have launched iCloud. It would never have opened an Apple store.

Apple needs to go where its users want it to go. If it doesn’t get serious about Siri and learning what its users want, it will continue to fall further and further behind Google and Amazon in the same

[Source”indianexpress”]

GOOGLE PLAY SERVICES BATTERY DRAIN: HOW TO FIX IT

google play services battery 1

Google Play Services battery drain: how to spot it

The reason why Google Play Services could be the culprit is because for many apps it’s the key to the world of Google: it delivers your Gmail to mail apps, maps and location settings to mapping apps, ads to ad-based apps and so on.

If your trusty phone is suddenly suffering from terrible battery life, the culprit could be Google Play Services. Batteries do deteriorate over time, but it’s a gradual process: unless you’re spectacularly unlucky, a battery that was OK yesterday won’t suddenly discharge three times faster tomorrow.

The easy way to tell whether Google Play Services is draining the battery of your device is to pop into the Battery section of your Settings app. As you can see below on the left screenshot, just tap on Battery usage.

This shows you the biggest power hogs, and in most cases you should see the Screen listed at number one, which makes sense, given that it’s the most power-hungry part of your device. If Google Play Services is using more power than the display or more power than the Android System itself, something’s wrong. In the below screenshot on the right, you can see the list of power hogs.

Google Play Services battery drain: why it is happening and how to fix it

There are a number of reasons why Google Play Services might be using more power than you’d like. We’ve seen reports of Google Play Services eating battery life across versions 4.1.32 and 4.2, on devices running Cyanogenmod, on Lollipop and on KitKat. With so much variety there clearly isn’t a single solution to solve every problem on every device. But there are some things you can check.

As with any problem, we’re assuming you’ve already tried rebooting and that you have the most up-to-date software and firmware for your phone. If you haven’t, do those things first. They solve all kinds of issues.

  • Is Google Play Services eating battery because you have loads of accounts?

Play Services’ main job is to download things in the background. Those things could be your emails or the app’s ads, or notifications or checking your location to see if it needs to trigger a Google Now event. If your device is connected to multiple Google Accounts, for example because you have personal and work accounts or because you’re a spy or superhero with multiple identities, then Google Play Services is having to do all that for multiple accounts.

  • Is a third party app misusing Google Play Services?

If the battery drain is a recent development the problem might not be with Google Play Services but with one of the apps that uses it. Try booting into Safe Mode; if your battery problem goes away that’s a pretty big hint that the Google Play Services battery problem is down to a third party app.

  • Is Google encountering Sync errors?

Sync errors are when Google tries to synchronise data but can’t, for example because it can’t connect to a particular server. Problems with your data can also cause sync errors, so for example if something’s gone wrong with your contacts, calendar or Gmail that can cause Google to keep trying (and failing) to synchronise your local data with Google’s servers. Removing and re-adding accounts can solve persistent sync errors but before you do that, try disabling Mobile Data in Settings for a minute and then turning it back on again.

  • Is it your GPS?

When an app needs your location, it requests it through Google Play Services, which gets the information by using your GPS hardware. If you weren’t aware, using GPS takes up a lot of battery, and since Google Play Services facilitates this process, it can appear to be taking up the battery life when the GPS is really the culprit.

In the Battery usage screen we showed you how to get to before, tap on Google Play Services. On the detailed screen it shows you, scroll down until you see Location and tap it (like in the left screenshot below). You’ll then find three mode options, one of which is called Power saving. This mode doesn’t use GPS to retrieve your location, and is less accurate, but can save your battery life by only using your network and Wi-Fi information. If you find this setting to be too imprecise, simply switch it back to High accuracy later.

 

 

 

[Source:- AP]

The best web hosting services of 2017

Whatever size of website you have, this article will help you find the best web hosting services for you as well as the best hosting deals to go for.

The first step is to identify what your needs are – with one eye on future growth of your website – then choose an appropriate plan at the right price. Value for money is not just going for the cheapest. Web hosting companies usually offer three main paid-for tiers of hosting packages.

Shared hosting means youshare a server with other sites and web hosting accounts. The site can often be slower and these plans are for sites that don’t use a lot of bandwidth.

With a dedicated server, you have the entire web server for your own use. Faster performance is pretty much guaranteed.

Virtual Private Servers (VPS) or Cloud Servers enable you to scale resource as and when you need it rather than being restricted by the limitations of a physical server. They draw from a pool of processing power, memory and storage depending on your requirement.

Finally co-located hosting enables you to purchase your own server and, while it will be kept in the vendor’s data centre, you’ll have complete control over it so you can install anything you need onto it.

Some providers arrange their web hosting deals according to business segments (small businesses, e-commerce, artists, resellers), features (WordPress compatibility, email hosting, cloud computing, managed service providers) or platforms (Linux or Windows).

Many packages include a wealth of features that you may or may not place value upon, including control panel, the ability to create online stores easily, easy site builder tools and varying levels of support (either on the phone or live chat).

Our list is made up of UK providers (those with a UK storefront with a UK phone number) as well as some foreign web hosts that comply with several ground rules like having EU data centres, a right to cancel, a cooling period, a full refund policy and/or a free trial period.

So first, we’ve picked out a bunch of deals that are ‘best for WordPress or other features’ followed by a run-down of our favourite deals from the best web hosts.

 

 

[Source:- Techrader]

Outlook for iOS and Android gets new calendar integrations

outlook evernote calendar apps

Users of Outlook for iOS and Android now have new ways to get important reminders and events into their calendars, thanks to integrations that Microsoft unveiled Thursday.

The new Calendar Apps feature allows users to add reminders and events from Wunderlist, Evernote and Facebook into their calendars and view key information from those sources alongside calendar details from Exchange, Google Calendar and iCloud.

For Evernote users, reminders that they’ve set inside the note-taking app will show up in Outlook with a link to the note that they’re attached to. If the user taps on it, they’ll be taken to the Evernote app on their device to view the note in its entirety.

Wunderlist users will see their to-do items with due dates in their calendar, along with a link that will take them into Wunderlist to edit their reminders. Using the integration, people can also choose which to-do lists show up in their calendar and change the colors of the lists.

The Facebook integration lets users see their friends’ birthdays, along with events that they’ve been invited to and those they’ve signed up to attend. By tapping on a Facebook event, users can change their response and view the event location and description.

While the integrations are cool, this is also yet another harbinger of Sunrise Calendar’s impending demise. Integrations like this are a key part of the special sauce in that app, which Microsoft acquired last year. Microsoft is in the process of adding all those capabilities to Outlook so that it can shut down Sunrise Calendar.

Sunrise has a whole smorgasbord of other integrations that are missing from Outlook, including connections to Asana, Todoist, Trello and Basecamp. Microsoft has asked users to submit other integrations they want to see, so those capabilities may make an appearance soon.

The integrations are a heartening sign of what’s to come from Microsoft, which has shown an increasing focus on integrating features from its competitors into its products. That focus may help attract users who rely on services that compete with Microsoft and serve as a net benefit for the company in the long run.

 

[Source:- CW]

Microsoft details how location services make for powerful Universal Windows mapping applications

The Windows team has published a new post on the Windows blog, detailing how developers can use the built-in Map APIs and Controls to build Universal Windows Apps.

The second post in a series about Map APIs and Controls, the post goes into using geolocation, geocoding, reverse geocoding route-finding, showing directions, offline maps, and using the Windows Map app launcher. The first three functions let you determine a coordinate of a location by longitude, latitude and altitude (‘geolocation’), retrieving the geolocation from a physical address, and a physical address from the geolocation. Armed with this knowledge, you can then find and show the routes between two points on a map, and even get turn-by-turn directions.

4_routecolor-715x630 Microsoft details how location services make for powerful Universal Windows  mapping applications

“To 13 Kensington Church Street, Watson’s residence please”.

One of the stand-out feature of the Windows Map application is the ability to download maps for offline use, previously mobile-only and coming to the desktop with Windows 10. These downloaded maps can also be used by UWA with mapping capabilities. If maps is not the app focus, the developer can instead bring up the Windows Map application with very simple commands.

Overall, the post showcases the power and flexibility of the Map APIs while giving useful information to UWA developers. Stay tuned for the next and final post in the series for information on how to add pins and external elements in maps specific to one’s needs.

 

[Source:- Winbeta]