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iMedia Brand Summit (Australia)

09/01/2014 - 09/03/2014 Gold Coast Australia

iMedia Brand Summit (India)

09/03/2014 - 09/05/2014 Adao Waddo, Salcette India

iMedia Brand Summit: Marketing in an Always-On World

09/07/2014 - 09/10/2014 Coronado CA

Content Marketing World

09/08/2014 - 09/11/2014 Cleveland OH

Ad Age Digital Conference San Francisco

09/16/2014 San Francisco CA

Ad Age CMO Strategy Summit

09/17/2014 San Francisco CA

CSO Perspectives on Defending Against the Pervasive Attacker

09/17/2014 Boston MA

OMMA Premium Display @ Advertising Week

09/30/2014 New York NY

OMMA RTB (Real-Time Buying) @ Advertising Week

10/02/2014 New York NY

The Hub Brand Experience Symposium

10/07/2014 - 10/08/2014 New York NY

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Tech Marketing Guide to B2B

News, video, events, blogs about Social Media Marketing for high tech business-to-business from IDG Knowledge Hub.

Tech Marketing Guide to B2B

News, video, events, ideas and blogs about Digital Media Marketing for high tech business-to-business from IDG Knowledge Hub.

Tech Marketing Guide to B2B

News, video, events, ideas and blogs about Advertising and Marketing for high tech business-to-business from IDG Knowledge Hub.

Tech Marketing Guide to B2B

News, video, events, ideas and blogs about Lead Generation Marketing for high tech business-to-business from IDG Knowledge Hub.

Tech Marketing Guide to B2B

News, video, events, blogs about Mobile Marketing for high tech business-to-business from IDG Knowledge Hub.

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IDG SMS Wins Social Media Award for Samsung Program

Media Shepherd

mediaShepherd LLC—a web-based company that provides “actionable intelligence” for media brands—announces the winners of the first-ever mediaShepherd Social Media Awards (mSSm Awards). The awards recognize the best of social media efforts focused around a specific campaign, publication, brand or company in various sectors of the media industry.

The 2014 mSSm winners are:

• The Onion. Consumer media brand. The Onion’s overall social media strategy has gained the satirical-news brand millions of followers on Facebook (more than 4.25 million), Twitter (more than 6 million) and Google+ (nearly 2 million). It effectively integrates its YouTube channel with content across all platforms and has a high level of audience engagement.

• Modern Salon. Business-to-business media brand. Modern Salon has an impressive social media following, especially for a b-to-b brand, with more than 34,000 Twitter followers, more than 290,000 Facebook fans, more than 47,000 followers on Instagram, and more than 3,000 pins on Pinterest. It utilizes a variety of techniques and opportunities to promote its brand via social media, including promotion of a live broadcast of the North American Hairstyling Awards ceremony and reliance on unpaid partner promotion (via partners’—such as Aveda, Paul Mitchell and beauty schools—social media sites). Modern Salon also focuses on sharing high-quality images.

• IDG Enterprise. Business-to-business/custom marketing. IDG Strategic Marketing Services created a custom social media marketing campaign on behalf of its client Starcom/Samsung, called “Tablets in the Enterprise.” The campaign included Twitter chats using a unique hashtag to facilitate conversations around key messages and drive awareness of the topic and related solutions. Other components of the campaign included a custom survey on tablet use in the enterprise, infographics, white papers and videos. The campaign, which engaged influential bloggers and IT leaders, reached 513,000 via its #Tablechat discussions, and nearly 8 million impressions.

• MVP Media/Turnbuckle Magazine. Niche/enthusiast media. MVP Media fostered a significant community on Twitter from scratch for the launch of its interactive, digital Turnbuckle Magazine. The campaign achieved a reach exceeding 1 million Twitter users as per reports from SumAll, as well as impressive brand exposure via viral posts that captured hundreds of retweets/favorites. The combined retweet-and-mention reach surpassed 3 million in each of the last two weeks of the campaign, and suprassed 10 million in the last 5 weeks.

• OneName Global (OnG). Publishing industry vendor.  OneName Global utilized a variety of social media platforms, but focused its efforts on Facebook and viral content to grow traffic to OnG’s Facebook page as well as convert traffic to its onenameglobal.com website in advance of the company’s launch in the marketplace. As of Feb. 1, the site averaged 25-30 visitors per day, and via its social media campaign increased that to more than 8,000 visitors a day by the end of February. Since the campaign began, OnG experienced a significant increase in website traffic, totaling 48,745 visitors from the campaign’s start to finish. The company anticipated reaching 30,000 users per day by its launch, a metric which it exceeded (by far). According to Alexa.com, the company was one of the fastest-growing/ranking sites online toward the end of its campaign.

The entries were judged by a panel of social media experts in the publishing industry, and were evaluated based on innovation, campaign execution and level of achievement, budget and staff size, support of the brand, viral nature of the campaigns, among other factors.

Study: Virginia has the fastest Internet in the US

IDG News Service

If you want the fastest broadband Internet in the US, consider moving to Virginia. That’s the takeaway from a new bit of research from communications firm Broadview Networks, which ranks average broadband speeds for all 50 United States and the District of Colombia.

Virginia tops the list with an average connection speed of 13.7 megabits per second (about 1.7 megabytes per second), while Alaska pulls up the rear at a relatively meager 7Mbps (about .875 megabytes per second). Delaware and Massachusetts are tied for second fastest at 13.1Mbps; Rhode Island and the District of Colombia round out the top five with average speeds of 12.9 and 12.8Mbps, respectively.

broadview internet speeds 100369919 large Study: Virginia has the fastest Internet in the USBROADVIEW NETWORKS

Broadview’s research—an analysis of data provided in Akamai’s State of the Internet Report—shows that California ranks 20th, with an average speed of 10.9Mbps (1.36MB/sec): A surprising result, perhaps, given the fact that it’s home to Silicon Valley.

In general, Broadview found that Midwestern and Southern states lagged behind the Northeast and West Coast in average speed.

It goes without saying, but average Internet speeds don’t tell the whole story: Actual connection speeds can vary widely depending on your provider, your connection type (DSL, cable, and so on), and where you live. If you would like to get an idea of how your provider stacks up, YouTube’s Video Quality Report can give you a snapshot of how your ISP compares to others in your area.

Microsoft still believes in basic phones, launches Nokia 130 for $25

IDG News Service

Microsoft’s Devices Group has unveiled the Nokia 130, a mobile phone that costs just $25 but lacks an Internet connection and apps.

The focus of Microsoft’s mobile device strategy is on building both high-end and low-cost smartphones running Windows Phone, but there is still a need for “ultra-affordable” mobile phones, the company said on Monday.

With the 130, Microsoft is going after people in emerging markets who are buying their first phone. It’s also a good fit for people who want a backup to complement their existing smartphones, according to the company.

The $25 price tag (before taxes and subsidies) is about $90 cheaper than the Lumia 530, which is the lowest cost Windows Phone Microsoft has introduced so far. The price difference with the cheapest Android-based Nokia X — which was recently killed in favor of Windows Phone — is about the same.

For many people in the emerging markets that Microsoft is targeting, a price tag over $100 is simply too much. The company hence feels it needs to offer them a more affordable alternative to prevent them from going to another vendor from whom to buy a phone today and possibly a smartphone in the future.

The 130 has a 1.8-inch color display and will be available with one or two SIM cards. Microsoft also brags about a month-long standby-time, which is a boon for users that live in parts of the world where access to electricity isn’t always a certainty.

The phone also has a built-in video player, music player, an FM radio and a flashlight. It’s expected to begin shipping in the third quarter, and will be available in countries such as India, China and Indonesia.

The choice of this trio is far from a coincidence; they added the largest number of new mobile phone subscribers in the world during the first three months of the year, according to a survey conducted by telecom vendor Ericsson.

There might be a market for products like the 130 today, but the window of opportunity is closing quickly thanks to a continuing decline in smartphone pricing.

For example, Mozilla Foundation and chip maker Spreadtrum have developed a reference platform and partnered with Indian vendors Intex and Spice to launch ultra-low-cost Firefox OS smartphones in the next few months, they said in June. Spreadtrum has said the phones will cost about $25.

That means Microsoft has to continue to work on making Windows Phone available on smartphones that cost well below $100, which is what Google is doing with Android.

The 130 will also go on sale in Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Tech Leaders Juggle Multiple Investments Based on Organizational Goals

 Tech Leaders Juggle Multiple Investments Based on Organizational Goals

InfoWorld – the leading source of information on emerging enterprise technologies – released the 2014 Navigating IT: Objectives and Obstacles research (Click to Tweet), providing a comprehensive look at the technology investment priorities and organizational goals facing IT decision-makers (ITDMs). The study revealed that while many investment priorities are the same for all ITDMs, there are key differences in technology investment plans among enterprise organizations (1,000+ employees) and SMB organizations (<1,000 employees).

Tech Budgets Include Investments in Multiple Technology Categories

The 2014 study investigated ITDM purchase intent among these technology categories: application development, big data solutions, business intelligence & analytics, cloud computing, data center, enterprise applications, mobility, network solutions, security, server solutions, social media/ collaboration tools, storage solutions & services, and virtualization. Overall, respondents are involved in the purchase of nine technologies, with the highest investment in the categories of data center management, application development and security. As digital disruption continues to require business agility, 72% of ITDMs state that their job involves identifying emerging technologies that can improve business performance before the change reaches wide spread market adoption. (Click to Tweet)

“Technology investments continue to tie back to organizational goals. The influx of new technologies that can streamline processes, decrease costs and improve communications with employees and customers are changing the way organizations look at technology,” said Farrah Forbes, VP, Digital, InfoWorld. “The Navigating IT research provides insight into the tech trends organizations are investigating and investing in, providing tech marketers with the information needed when communicating with IT decision-makers.”

New Technologies Are Getting into the Mix

Numerous emerging technologies—such as CRM; social devices and wearables; and “Internet of Things” (IoT) —are becoming more mainstream. Sixty-one percent of respondents said that they can easily integrate edge technologies into their legacy systems. As for IoT, nearly one-third are evaluating or considering the integration in the next year, in addition to the 8% of ITDMs that have already developed or integrated “smart” products or devices. Seventy-three percent of organizations planning on making IoT a larger part of their business strategy agree that mobile and security will see the most impact from the integration. (Click to Tweet)

Differences between Enterprise and SMB Organizations

Overall, due to financial resources and IT bandwidth, enterprise organizations allocate larger investments in technology compared to SMBs. The specific areas that see a significant difference in investment priority are big data (72% enterprise vs. 52% SMB), data centers (96% enterprise vs. 81% SMB) and server solutions (84% enterprise vs. 73% SMB). Thirty-four percent of enterprise organizations plan to invest in log file analysis software for the future of big data whereas only 17% of SMBs agree. Additionally, enterprises and SMBs will invest in virtualization monitoring/management to improve data center management. As for server solutions, 47% of enterprises will invest in blade servers (x86) compared to only 25% of SMBs, and 40% of enterprise organizations plan to invest in Windowsx86 versus 26% of SMBs. Overall, a majority of organizations are willing to invest a larger portion of IT budget on technologies that will increase efficiency and productivity in the workplace.

To schedule a meeting to review key research, please contact Farrah Forbes atfforbes@idgenterprise.com.

About InfoWorld

InfoWorld is the leading resource for content and tools on “modernizing enterprise IT.” The InfoWorld Expert Contributor Network provides a unique perspective in the market; our editors provide first-hand experience from testing, deploying and managing implementation of emerging enterprise technologies.   InfoWorld’s Web site (InfoWorld.com) and strategic marketing services provide a deep dive into specific technologies to help IT decision-makers excel in their roles and provide opportunities for IT vendors to reach this audience. InfoWorld is published by IDG Enterprise, a subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading media, events, and research company. Company information is available at www.idgenterprise.com.

 

Follow InfoWorld on Twitter: @InfoWorld
Follow IDG Enterprise on Twitter: @IDGEnterprise
Follow InfoWorld on LinkedIn: http://www.infoworld.com/linkedin
Follow InfoWorld on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InfoWorld

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Contact:
Stacey Raap
Marketing Coordinator
IDG Enterprise
Office: 508.935.4008

Samsung Disappointing Numbers Will Be Worse With Apple’s Next iPhone Release

The Street

Samsung’s dismal quarterly performance, leading to a 25% decline in profits, are likely to get worse before they get better, as the company warned that the second half of the year would be “a challenge” and Apple (AAPL_) is likely to refresh its iPhone later, starting in Sept.

That challenge is coming not only from Apple’s iPhones at the top-end of the smartphonebusiness, but from mid and low-priced handsets made by small manufacturers and selling well in China and the world’s emerging markets.

IDC analyst Ramon Llamas says Samsung is really “feeling the pressure from every area.” In a phone interview, Llamas said Samsung is the top manufacturer and it’s also “the biggest target.” He thinks Samsung’s problems are three-fold: it’s struggling in the low-end marketplace, competitors such as LG and Motorola are currently offering high-quality alternatives and that “the writing is on the wall” for Samsung once Apple introduces its larger-screen models.

Read More: iPhone 6 Coming at Right Time as World Moves to Large Smartphones

Samsung announced a net profit of $6.1 billion in the second quarter,  down from $7.6 billion in the year ago quarter. Operating profits of $7.02 billion fell 15% sequentially, and 25% from the same quarter last year.

Nick Spencer of ABI Research thinks Samsung is “caught in the middle ground” between low-cost Chinese phones and the iPhone.  In an email, Spencer added, “Samsung has also always relied on supply chain excellence (scale and manufacturing its own components) to allow it to create dozens of different models to satisfy every conceivable price point, form factor and regional taste. This is inefficient, which is fine when you have margin to play with and have the lowest manufacturing costs, but both of these are being squeezed by Chinese manufacturers.”

For the past few years, Samsung’s distinct marketing advantage has been larger smartphone screens than its competition, but that may soon change. Apple is expected to announce two new iPhones that should challenge Samsung’s main talking point, one with a reported 4.7-inch screen rivaling the Galaxy S5, and the other is said to sport a 5.5-inch display. Apple recently reported fiscal third-quarter results, which saw the company ship 35.2 million iPhones. According to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, Samsung’s problems will continue into the second half of this year. Analysts polled expect Samsung to see a 7% revenue decline in profits and an EPS drop of 14% in the third quarter and a slightly better (-2% revenue and -3% EPS) in the fourth quarter.

Samsung has yet to respond to a request for comment.

Early in July, Samsung warned its second quarter would disappoint blaming a number of factors – a slowdown in growth for the entire smartphone industry, increased competition at the high and low ends of the smartphone spectrum, a strengthening home currency in relationship to the US dollar and the second quarter being an historically slow period.

Continue reading…

Digital Media Rise Pushes Print Suppliers To The Brink And Beyond

Forbes

The demise of print media has been widely publicized and analyzed, as has the struggle of big-box retailers hogtied by disrupted industries. A collision of those worlds can be catastrophic for companies, and for evidence of the aftermath look no further than the recent collapse of Source Home Entertainment.

In many ways, the end of Source Home likely marks the end of the magazine business as we know it. As one of the country’s largest wholesale magazine distributors prepares to hold a bankruptcy auction to sell its most valuable business line – a unit that manufactures wire displays for checkout counters – digital media’s impact is clearly on display.

As demand shrank, Source was hobbled by distribution agreements with publishers that required the company to deliver far more copies of certain magazines than would ever actually be sold. Wholesalers are responsible for merchandising, transporting, counting and destroying unsold copies of each magazine. Publisher contracts often require distributors to display large numbers of their magazines, a marketing trick using up retail real estate just to sell a few copies. But in order to get a rebate for the unsold copies, Source was forced to spend time and money picking up and returning magazines to the publisher, chipping away at the company’s bottom line.

Source Home tried to renegotiate contracts, but its largest client, Time Inc., pulled out of talks this May. The company filed for Chapter 11 soon after.

The steady rise of digital media through the last two decades has shrunk the industry from 400 magazine wholesalers in 1995 to just three – controlling 90 percent of the market –  in 2014, according to Stephen Dubé, Source Home’s chief restructuring officer.

Though the company delivered magazines nationwide to the likes of Barnes & NobleWal-Mart and Costco, the broad decline in consumption has rendered the distribution business worthless. A 2009 restructuring, in which Source Interlink cut about $1 billion in debt, wasn’t enough to save the company.

The downward spiral has created a domino effect, as publishers, book sellers and paper companies grapple with insolvency, driving related suppliers into their own financial crises. Source Home’s bankruptcy petition also blames the Chapter 11 filings of Reader’s Digest Association and Borders Group for decreasing its customer base – the Borders liquidation was especially brutal for Source, leading to a $48 million reduction in the company’s 2011 revenue.

In 2011, 152 magazines shut down, with another 82 closing in 2012, includingSpinSporting NewsNFL Magazine, and Nintendo Power, according to aMediaFinder reportThe Onion stopped publishing its print edition in 2013, in spite of its satiric boast that print revenues were up “5,000 percent.”

Even organizations that have managed to keep publications afloat have had to pull back production. Ladies’ Home Journal, which is 131-years-old, recently announced its July issue would be the last monthly edition of the magazine. The company will no longer attempt to sell subscriptions and will offer only a quarterly print product. New York Magazine announced in December that it would move its magazine to a biweekly schedule, decreasing editions for future years to 29 from 42 in 2013.

Click to continue reading

Chinese Vendors Outpace the Market as Smartphone Shipments Grow 23.1% Year over Year in the Second Quarter, According to IDC

IDC PMS4colorversion  300x99 Chinese Vendors Outpace the Market as Smartphone Shipments Grow 23.1% Year over Year in the Second Quarter, According to IDC

The worldwide smartphone market grew 23.1% year over year in the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14), establishing a new single quarter record of 295.3 million shipments, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDCWorldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. Following a very strong first quarter, the market grew 2.6% sequentially, fueled by ongoing demand for mobile computing and an abundance of low-cost smartphones. Second quarter shipments were in line with IDC’s forecast and all expectations are that the market will continue apace in the second half of the year and surpassing 300 million units for the first time ever in a single quarter in 3Q14.

“A record second quarter proves that the smartphone market has plenty of opportunity and momentum,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “Right now we have more than a dozen vendors that are capable of landing in the top 5 next quarter. A handful of these companies are currently operating in a single country, but no one should mistake that for complacency – they all recognize the opportunity that lies outside their home turf.”

Despite a challenging quarter for Samsung, and to a lesser extent Apple, the strong market demand boosted results for most smartphone vendors. Emerging markets supported by local vendors are continuing to act as the main catalyst for smartphone growth. Among the top vendors in the market, a wide range of Chinese OEMs more than outpaced the market in 2Q14. By far the most impressive was Huawei, nearly doubling its shipments from a year ago, followed by another strong performance from Lenovo.

“As the death of the feature phone approaches more rapidly than before, it is the Chinese vendors that are ready to usher emerging market consumers into smartphones. The offer of smartphones at a much better value than the top global players but with a stronger build quality and larger scale than local competitors gives these vendors a precarious competitive advantage,” said Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Smartphone Vendor Highlights:

Samsung saw the Galaxy S5 ship millions of units this quarter, despite the criticisms leveled at it, while S4 and even S3 volumes remained strong as more affordable alternatives. Collectively Samsung lost 7% market share compared to a year ago, despite having one of the largest smartphone portfolios of all OEMs. To maintain its position at the top, Samsung will need to focus on building momentum in markets dominated by local brands.

Apple’s second quarter is always its seasonal low of the year, but even more so this time in advance of the iPhone 6, with consumers holding their collective breath for the long-awaited bigger screens. Apple enjoyed continued success in the BRIC markets, a good sign that it is building its footprint in emerging markets. Given the pent-up demand, the third quarter could be a drought or a flood, depending on the timing of the next launch.

Huawei’s story centered on 4G LTE pick up, particularly in China, as all three national carriers subsidized 4G handsets like the P7 to encourage consumers to upgrade from 3G. Outside of China, large volumes of its lower-cost Y series fueled growth across most regions. The company continues to focus on broadening its global reach and the 2Q14 results show that the momentum is undoubtedly there.

Lenovo had a record quarter in China despite tremendous pressure from local brands. During the quarter, Lenovo saw increased success from the A788T, as well as the 3G A388T. And while its Motorola acquisition is undergoing approval, Lenovo continued to gain traction in international markets. While less than 5% of Lenovo’s shipments were registered outside of China in the second quarter of 2013, this share nearly tripled in 2Q14, with emerging markets, particularly BRIIC countries, picking up the largest volumes.

LG volumes were largely driven by its L series, helped by models like the L70, which performed well in many markets including the United States. With the G3 launched at the end of the quarter in Korea, greater volumes are expected to show up in the third quarter.

 Click to continue reading

 

IDG World Tech Update- July 31, 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU this week Xbox One preps for a high sale price in China, we take a look at a futuristic motorcycle helmet and robotics help doctors be more precise.

 

IDG Enterprise’s Editorial Teams Earn 65 ASBPE Awards for Editorial & Design Excellence

 IDG Enterprise’s Editorial Teams Earn 65 ASBPE Awards for Editorial & Design Excellence

IDG Enterprise— the leading enterprise technology media company composed of Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, DEMO, CSO, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld— earned 65 editorial and design awards in categories from blog and feature article to online news and original research at the 2014 Azbee awards from the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE). Additionally, NetworkWorld.com received honorable mention for B2B Website of the Year and Computerworld.com was in the Top 10. For the third year, CIO magazine was named one of the Top 10 Magazines of the Year.

“IT leaders are dealing with massive change today – everything from the influx of consumer technologies, to big data and analytics, as well as cloud and mobile. Our editorial teams are documenting how these trends are reshaping business and the IT organization,” said John Gallant, chief content officer, IDG Communications. “We take great pride in our content and design and are thrilled to receive recognition by ASBPE. We strive to help our readers navigate these changes and we look forward to producing award-winning work that helps companies drive results through the use of technology.”

Including this latest recognition from ASBPE, IDG Enterprise brands have won more than 130 editorial awards since 2012. Each brand includes writers, bloggers and designers that produce hundreds of original articles per site each month, setting an exceptional standard for showcasing the transformation of technology in the enterprise.

“Media is undergoing a transformation, and our visitor audience of technology leaders has not only embraced new mediums, but they are leading engagement with our editors through our responsive design based sites and social media,” said Matthew Yorke, CEO of IDG Enterprise. “Being recognized for the innovative use of new channels, in addition to our ongoing stellar reporting and design is very exciting. These recognitions are a great honor and I could not be more pleased to work with such a talented team.”

2014 ASBPE Azbee Award Recap

CIO

Computerworld

ITworld

Network World

About IDG Enterprise
IDG Enterprise, an International Data Group (IDG) company, brings together the leading editorial brands (Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, CSO, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld) to serve the information needs of our technology and security-focused audiences.  As the premier hi-tech B2B media company, we leverage the strengths of our premium owned and operated brands, while simultaneously harnessing their collective reach and audience affinity. We provide market leadership and converged marketing solutions for our customers to engage IT and security decision-makers across our portfolio of award-winning websites, events, magazines, products and services. IDG’s DEMO conferences provide a platform for today’s most innovative and eye-opening technologies to publically launch their solutions.

Company information is available at www.idgenterprise.com
Follow IDG Enterprise on Twitter: @IDGEnterprise
Join IDG Enterprise on LinkedIn

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Contact:
Lynn Holmlund
Sr. Marketing & PR Manager
IDG Enterprise
lholmlund@idgenterprise.com
Office: 508.935.4526
Mobile: 508.254.8336

Apple will ‘set the world on fire’ with iPhone 6 sales

IDG News Service

Apple will “set the world on fire” with “unbelievably massive” sales of the next iPhone, analysts said this week.

“As well as they did with the iPhone this quarter, with all the rumors of a new iPhone [this fall], I was impressed with the results,” Van Baker of Gartner said about Apple’s second-quarter earnings released on Tuesday. “That tells me when the next generation comes out, they’re going to set the world on fire.”

On July 22, Apple reported it sold 35.2 million iPhones in the second quarter, a 13% increase over the same period the year before. The number was under Wall Street’s expectations of 35.8 million, but still surprising to some, Baker included, because sales have tended to droop in the quarter prior to the debut of new models.

Virtually everyone expects Apple to unveil at least one new iPhone, possibly several, in September and the following months, if only because of a rising tide of component leaks from sieve-like Asian suppliers. That smartphone, dubbed “iPhone 6″ by outsiders in lieu of any formal acknowledgement by Apple, will reportedly boast a larger 4.7-in. screen, with an even-bigger second model sporting a 5.5-in. display possible at the same time, or more likely, later this year or early in 2015.

Pent-up demand for a larger screen from Apple will trigger a buying spree, analysts have predicted. Smartphones with bigger displays are increasing their share of the total market, and are especially important in countries like China, where they serve as both phone and tablet substitute. Apple boosted the size of the iPhone’s display from 3.5-in. to 4-in. with 2012′s iPhone 5, but contrary to some expectations, used the same-sized screen for last year’s iPhone 5S and 5C.

And China, as Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly said, is the company’s best growth opportunity.

“But there’s a lot of pent-up demand among developed economies for a bigger iPhone, too,” Baker contended. “I think [the iPhone 6] is poised to do extremely well.”

Other long-time Apple watchers were on board, too. “I am extremely bullish about the iPhone 6,” said Ben Thompson, an independent analyst who covers the technology field from his Stratechery website. “It’s going to be unbelievably massive.”

Apple seems to be expecting the same: In the second quarter, it committed a near-record $21 billion to third-party manufacturers for components and equipment as they presumably geared up for a string of new product announcements this fall.

Those commitments, as Apple has regularly laid out in its quarterly filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, are pre-payments for outsourced manufacturing and the components those companies use to assemble products. As of the end of June, Apple had $15.4 billion in such commitments.

Also off the balance sheet was an additional $5.6 billion in obligations, mostly for acquiring manufacturing and tooling equipment put in place by Apple’s component makers and product assemblers.

Click to continue reading