Apple to issue long-term bonds totally 6,5 billion dollars

Apple has issued new long-term bonds worth 6,5 billion dollars. According to the company the new series of different maturity bonds have been made to take advantage of a drop in borrowing costs to fund its aggressive share buyback programme. The company has boughts its own shares worth 45 billion dollars back during the past 12 months.

The long-term bechmark bonds have been in all time low during the recent weeks. For example the US-30 year Treasury has been 2,22 per cent, UK benchmark at 2,02 per cent and German Bunds at 0,97 per cent.


Finance Tech

Xiaomi is growing fast in smartphone markets in Asia

Xiaomi revealed high-end smartphone by technical features but with amazing price level in July 22. This phones’ starting price is approximately 320 dollars which is less than a new iPhone 5S or Samsung S 5. The phone is Xiaomi Mi 4, runs by MIUI which is Xiaomis’ own operating system build on Android platform. Mi 4 has 5inch screen which is very common size for new smartphones nowadays and design is iPhone look-a-like.

For technical details it’s at least as good as its’ competitors or maybe even slightly better in several category. For example front and back cameras have more megapixels than the cameras in iPhone 5S and the size of battery is bigger. According to the company, the life time of the mobile phone is 36 hours with normal use.

This company is focusing on markets in Asia and is serious challenger for Apple while its’ market share passed Samsungs’ during second quarter by Research firm Canalys. Xiaomi even has tablet called Mi pad and of course, it has the same specs as Apple iPad Mini, looks like it and it’s cheaper.

Xiaomi Inc is a privately owned Chinese electronics company founded in 2010 and headquartered in Beijing. It is one of China’s biggest electronics companies that designs, develops, and sells smartphones, mobile apps, and consumer electronics. Xiaomi is now 6th biggest smartphone manufacturer globally according to IDC.


Ville Koski


Apple focusing on innovation

logotestiIt seems to be that Apple is taking new steps with innovation. The recent announcements related to their interim report yesterday, co-operation with IBM with business customers and the M&A (Beats Audio) are all elements related to their earlier announcement with healthcare and new operating system.  It is really so that the autumn will be busy for all the market makers.

Apple has done a great three month period in China. For example Mac-computers and iPads showed a clear double-digit growth in China. Apple announced earlier this co-operation with China Mobile and as CEO Jim Cook said in the company presentation, China will play an important role in Apple´s growth. China Mobile has made big investments in the country´s 4 G network during the couple of years.

The stock price of Apple has increased by 20 percent during the last three months and the company has said it has been purchasing own shares by 8 billion dollars during that period. They expect the revenue to be between 37 – 40 billion dollars during the next quarter and margins 37 -38%. The markets are already looking at September when the new iPhone6 will be released.  The company also reported an increase in R&D, which was 313 million dollars.


The early stage of mobile payments


Mobile payments, digital wallets are one of the topics in the digital world nowadays. The markets are still in early stage due to the lack of regulation, consumer perceptions of security and privacy and also due to the co-operation between banks, teleoperatos and e-commerce. It is interesting to see what kind of clusters the big players like Google, Apple and banks are forming at the moment. And not to mention Bitcoin, which has really been a distruptive company in the virtual money market.

These changes show that we are living in a big mobile wallet trend. The revolution of e-commerce, the rise of new digital growth companies and the changes in the financial community (the accelerating M&A operations  before the new Basel III rules). Finally, many of us would say. In the industry there have been talks about the wallets for over ten years ago. Changes, that involve many industry sectors, take time.

The latest news about the field show that now we can expect something to happen. For example the Accenture study found that the big US banks are moving to mobile transactions more and more. And according to consulting company McKinsey consumers are thinking about purchasing apps and other digital content to use mobile payments. The number of mobile wallets are primarily still one, but one can estimate that the number of digital wallets to grow per person in the near future. And different kind of ID elements have been developed:  for example Apple has made its TouchID  possible for virtual shopping in iTunes store.

The leading countries in this era are in Asia. Singapore, South Korea, Japan but also Canada (due to its effective co-operation between the different players in the field) are the countries to look at.  According to Mastercard all the different elements related to mobile payments are in place in these countries: consumers are keen to purchase apps and mobile & internet penetration is high.

More consumers are swifting from cash to mobile payments for one reason: it is simple and easy. Mobile payments, mobile ID and mobile security are the key words in the near future. In order to revolution this mobile payment to new growth levels, consumers have to rely on the security and privacy of the payment chain. The mobile payment ecosystem will have to show the reliability in order to become a mainstream.

It is estimated that the mobile payments markets are about 90 billion dollars by year 2017 by Forrester.

Päivi Härkönen