Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
iPrediction: An analyst at Swiss investment bank UBS (UBS) says that Apple’s (AAPL) much-anticipated smartwatch will be priced around $300 when it launches later this year, AppleInsider notes. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich estimates that Apple will sell 21 million iWatch units during the first year after the device’s release. Milunovich also expects Apple to maintain a 25% profit margin on the iWatch during its launch; that will rise to slightly above 30% in coming quarters. Milunovich says that comments from Apple officials, recent acquisitions and the debut of iOS 8’s HealthKit app at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) earlier this month lead him to believe that Apple will launch the iWatch prior to the holiday shopping season. Sales of the iWatch are predicted to grow to 36 million units in the second year after the device launches. Milunovich thinks the iWatch will increase Apple’s fiscal 2015 revenue by about $6.5 billion. That will grow to $11 billion in fiscal 2016. “We expect iWatch sales to roughly track iPad unit sales — similar penetration rates would mean higher sales,” Milunovich wrote in a research note. UBS has a price target of $100 for Apple stock, reflecting the stock’s recent 7-for-1 split. A number of recent rumors suggest that Apple will introduce the iWatch in October.
Changes: A report from Europe says that Apple is planning to debut updated iMac computers next week, MacRumors notes. French tech blog MacGeneration — which correctly anticipated a refresh to the MacBook Air line earlier this year — indicates that Apple will launch the new iMacs at the end of next week. Apple has not announced any events for next week, suggesting that the new iMacs will feature relatively modest upgrades, most likely faster processors. Recent rumors have suggested that Apple is also planning to launch a lower-priced iMac model some time this year.
Nabbed: Two men have allegedly responsible for iPhone hijackings have been captured, Re/code notes. Two hackers — a teenager and a man in his 20s — were arrested in Russia. The two hackers are accused of seizing control of iPhones and demanding electronic ransom payments to unlock them. Both men are reportedly residents of Moscow and were taken into custody by the cyber crime department of Russia’s Interior Ministry, known as Directorate K. Russian officials say the men have provided incriminating evidence. Russian authorities did not reveal how many iPhones were affected by the hackers or if their crimes extended outside of Russia. The hackers allegedly exploited the FindMyiPhone app to seize control of the devices and demand payment from owners to unlock their iPhones. Over the past several weeks, a number if iPhone owners in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. had their iPhones hijacked by hackers calling themselves “Oleg Pliss.” The owners of the hijacked iPhones received a message telling them to make a payment to an online account in order to have their iPhones unlocked. Russian authorities did not say explicitly that the two men now under arrest were behind the Oleg Pliss hijackings, but those hijackings also used the FindMyiPhone app to gain control of iPhones.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.