Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) on Monday sent an email to developers saying it planned to reinstate most remaining services on its online portal this week. The company said that most of the services were already online, including the Dev Center, software downloads, Apple developer forums, and iTunes Connect. The Dev Center website returned a week and a half ago after being down for 8 days when Apple pulled its services offline after a hacker gained access to its systems. The company announced that during the downtime, it has completely overhauled its systems to prevent such security breaches in the future.
Bill Shope, CFA, Elizabeth Borbolla, Cristina Colon, CFA, and Justin Price of Goldman Sachs note in a new report on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL):
While Apple’s products have historically been known to have better security than their Windows-based counterparts, the security breach shows that the company is not immune to attacks. With the company’s massive growth in the last decade, it is not surprising that the company would be increasingly targeted. That being said, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) appears to have resolved many of the issues surrounding its most current breach and most systems are back online, so there is likely to be little impact on development efforts underway ahead of new product launches this fall.
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Trade-in programs becoming an increasingly important driver of smartphone retail sales
NPD released a report, entitled “Trade In, Trade Up, Trade Out” highlighting the growing importance of trade-in programs for brick-and-mortar smartphone sales. Conducted in July, the report surveyed 1,000 smartphone users and found that 55% said they would use a trade-in program for their next upgrade, and more than 60% said a better trade-in offer would sway their choice of retailers. NPD’s Eddie Hold referred to trade ins as “the new competitive battlefield for smartphone sales.”
Indeed, major carriers AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile recently launched programs aimed at making it easier for consumers to upgrade their devices. Meanwhile, less than 15% of US iPhone sales occur in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s retail stores, which is said to concern Tim Cook. In response, Apple has begun pushing its retail employees to discuss upgrade opportunities with customers and is reportedly gearing up to partner with Miami-based Brightstar Corp to offer an in-store trade-in program.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Goldman’s take
Press reports emerged in June that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was set to launch an iPhone trade-in program at its retail stores and the NPD report clearly highlights the growing importance of these programs in driving retail store purchases. In our view, an expanded trade-in program from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could help spur the upgrade cycle, particularly in mature markets, while stimulating growth in emerging markets. In the developed markets, customers facing stiff penalties from carriers for early upgrades could use the trade-in program to minimize incremental costs; and in the emerging markets, used iPhones could be used to capture sales in cost-sensitive segments of the market.