Will We Ever See an iPad Pro From Apple, Inc.?

The ever-active Apple rumor mill has just thrown investors another curve ball.

Mar 15, 2014 at 4:34PM

The iPad Pro may have just been shelved, according to Digitimes. For investors closely following the Apple rumor mill, this may come as quite a surprise. Up until now, speculation pointed to an eventual launch of a larger iPad. But should investors be surprised? After all, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is known for unashamedly shelving product plans at the last minute. Even more, does Apple rumor speculation really help investors?

A MacRumors mockup of a 12.9-inch iPad next to a 13-inch Macbook Air. Photo used with permission.

Apple's secrecy makes speculation almost impossible
When Apple CEO Tim Cook said in 2012 that it was "going to double down on secrecy on products," he apparently wasn't kidding. Despite Cook's assertion that Apple is working on "new categories," and the fact that the company's massive supply chain sprawls the globe, it has been very difficult for the ever-active Apple rumor mill to pinpoint exactly what Apple is working on this year. And now with Apple reportedly shelving plans, it's a wonder if investors can make any accurate predictions of Apple's product plans.

In one example of just how difficult it is this year to predict Apple's product plans, analysts still remain undecided on the purpose of Apple's contract with GT Advanced Technologies to produce enough sapphire crystal for up to an estimated 25 million smartphone covers a quarter.

Is Apple's secrecy and unpredictability calling into question the entire relevancy of the Apple rumor mill for Apple investors?

Apple Store Tmf

The impact on Apple's business is hard to estimate
Even if we could be sure Apple was launching an iPad Pro, it would be very difficult for investors to predict the impact it could have on its business. Generating $174 billion of revenue in the trailing 12 months, new products would have to both be a blockbuster success not over cannibalization Apple's other product lines to meaningfully budge Apple's bottom line.

Fortunately, investors who own Apple stock today don't need to predict Apple's product launch plans to justify holding on to the stock. Trading at just 13 times earnings with a the world's largest share repurchase program in effect, any major success of a new product would likely be a bonus for the company. Further, given Apple's incredible customer retention along with Apple's proven track record of successful new products, Apple's user base likely won't be going anywhere.

So will we ever see an iPad Pro? It's tough to say. But does it really matter whether we can accurately predict Apple's product plans or not?

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Daniel Sparks owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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