What’s Up With Apple: The Headsets Are Coming, the Headsets Are Coming

From now until Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) formally launches the devices, rumored Apple augmented reality/mixed reality (AR/MR) headsets will burn up billions of pixels on display screens around the world. We cannot find any instance of Apple CEO Tim Cook using the word “metaverse,” but it is everywhere in articles about new Apple products and forecasts of how Apple stock is going to perform in 2022 and beyond.

There were two metaverse-related stories about the company early Tuesday morning. First, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo already has suggested that an Apple headset will hit the market by the end of this year or early in 2023. In a research note Wednesday morning, Kuo said that the headset will be more compact and lighter than the Oculus headsets offered by Meta Platforms.

Kuo also said that Apple has ordered pancake/Fresnel lenses from two Taiwan-based suppliers, Genius Electronic Optical and Young Optics. While Young has the initial Apple order, Kuo thinks that Genius “may become an equal supplier” because Genius’s yield rate is “very close” to Young’s and the yield rates at both firms should be “similar” before mass production begins later this year. Genius also has received a “significant” order from Meta Platforms for a “new high-end VR” device.

Briefly noted:

Meanwhile, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is enjoying a bountiful harvest thanks to Apple. Buffett paid $36 billion in 2018 for his stake in Apple. When Apple’s market cap hit $3 trillion on Monday, Buffett’s stake was valued at around $160 billion. That is a profit of more than 75%. Apple stock currently comprises about 40% of Berkshire Hathaway’s equity portfolio.

Apple’s main iPhone assembler, Hon Hai Precision Industry (aka Foxconn), reported December revenue Wednesday morning. Sales rose by 6.27% year over year for the month to $23.94 billion but trailed December 2020 revenue by 7.44%. Revenue for 2021 rose by 10.86% year over year from $194.11 billion to $215.18 billion. In the last calendar quarter of the year, Foxconn’s revenue was lower year over year in each month, reflecting the difficulty in obtaining chips. The good news is that the revenue decline got smaller in each successive month.

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office has begun looking into Google’s use of personal data, using its recently increased power to regulate internet companies. The cartel office also said it is considering opening cases involving Amazon, Apple and Meta Platforms.

ALSO READ: BofA Securities Out With 10 Favorite Stock Ideas for Q1 2022

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