Apple CEO Tim Cook greets customers purchasing Apple’s new iPhone 15 during a launch event at the Fifth Avenue Apple Store on September 22, 2022 in New York City.
Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images
Apple CEO Tim Cook opened the company’s Fifth Avenue store Friday in New York to celebrate the official release of the iPhone 15 lineup, the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2.
Customers flocked to the store to get their hands on the new devices, and the line stretched around the corner of 58th Street from Fifth Avenue to Madison Avenue. One man told CNBC’s Steve Kovach that he had been waiting in line since 8 p.m. the night before. Cook unlocked the store and took selfies with people as they entered.
Apple announced its new devices at its annual launch event earlier this month, and preorders opened on Sept. 15. Analysts and investors are watching closely to see whether the new iPhones can reignite the global smartphone market, which is on track to hit a decade low this year, according to an August report from Counterpoint Research.
In a Thursday note, before the launch of the devices in stores, analysts at Bank of America wrote that ship dates for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models were extended but “somewhat lower” on average compared to the pre-order cycle last year.
Shares of Apple were up less than 1% Friday morning. The company did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
The new iPhone 15 lineup starts at $799 and features a USB-C charging port and a new titanium exterior. CNBC’s Kif Leswing tested the two new Pro iPhones, which start at $999 and $1,199, and found that the titanium is a “huge upgrade” because it makes the phone feel much lighter.
Customers can purchase the new devices at their nearest Apple Store or online.
Take-Two shares tumble as Rockstar Games publishes Grand Theft Auto trailer early after leak
Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take Two Interactive.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Shares of video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software fell 4% in extended trading on Monday after the company released its trailer for the next version of the Grand Theft Auto game, which will come out in 2025. The company had originally planned to put out the trailer hours later, at 6 a.m. ET. on Tuesday, Dec. 5, but a leak caused Take Two to move up its timeline.
The video was originally leaked on X, formerly known as Twitter. After that, Rockstar Games, a subsidiary of Take-Two, published the trailer on YouTube.
Grand Theft Auto VI is likely to impact Take Two shares upon its release. Grand Theft Auto V debuted in 2013, and it’s now the second best-selling video game in history, having sold more than 190 million copies. It’s only behind Microsoft-owned Minecraft, of which over 300 million copies have been sold.
Gamers have been eager for details about the new game for years. Sam Houser, Rockstar’s founder, announced in early November that the trailer would come out in December.
“As the label approaches its 25th anniversary next month, we congratulate Rockstar Games on their constant innovation in the pursuit of the highest quality interactive entertainment,” Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick told analysts on a November conference call.
You can watch the new trailer below:
Uber shares pop as company is slated to join S&P 500
Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi speaks during the “Intentional Equity in Sustainability” conversation at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Week in San Francisco, California, on November 15, 2023.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images
Uber’s spot in the benchmark index is not official until Dec. 18, according to a press release, but it is common for the stock to rise, since investors know that managers of index funds that track the S&P 500 will add it to their portfolios. Uber will replace Sealed Air Corp. in the S&P 500.
Analysts at Oppenheimer reiterated their outperform rating on the stock and raised their price target to $75 per share from $65. They said Uber’s ticket into the S&P 500 will likely help improve investors’ sentiment about returns.
“Following the inclusion, we expect UBER to lean into growth and share buybacks, which should increase investor sentiment for growth/return in 2024,” the analysts wrote in a note Sunday.
Members of the index must have positive earnings in the most recent quarter and over the prior four quarters in total, according to S&P’s rules. Uber reported net income of $221 million on $9.29 billion in revenue for its third quarter, and in the past four quarters altogether, it generated more than $1 billion in profit.
Uber also has a market cap of about $118 billion, which surpasses the S&P’s criteria that companies must have an adjusted market cap of at least $14.5 billion.
— CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.
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Twilio lays off 5% of employees in unit activists want to divest
Jeff Lawson, chief executive officer of Twilio Inc., during the Singapore FinTech Festival in Singapore, on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023.
Lionel Ng | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Software provider Twilio said Monday it would lay off roughly 5% of its workforce, or around 400 employees, citing underachievement in the growth of a unit that activist investors have targeted.
Shares of Twilio were flat on the news.
According to a letter from CEO Jeff Lawson attached to a regulatory filing, the cuts are part of a broader plan to streamline Twilio’s offerings. The company is also sunsetting its Programmable Video product as part of the plan.
The cuts will strike deepest in Twilio’s Data & Applications unit, the same unit that activist investors at Legion Partners and Anson Funds are pushing Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson to divest. Legion Partners declined to comment.
“Last year, we made the decision to invest, ahead of growth, in go-to-market for Segment,” Lawson said in a letter to staff, referring to a Twilio offering that is part of its data & applications group. “Unfortunately, that bet hasn’t led to the growth outcome we’d hoped for.”
Twilio cut 17% of its workforce, or about 15% of its employees, in February.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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