From the Desk of Irwin Michael – October 14, 2016: Apple Inc. The Apple iPhone 7 was released on September 16, 2016, and early data looks promising. iPhone 7 demand appears to be tracking ahead of expectations, led by a strong consumer reception and aggressive carrier promotions in the US, China and other markets. Analysts have raised their expectations for iPhone shipments for the balance of 2016 while TSMC, the manufacturer of the iPhone 7 processor, stated “high-end smartphone demand is better than we previously expected”. Furthermore, a Goldman Sachs survey showed that in terms of holiday purchase intentions, the iPhone 7 is the top consumer electronic product. More importantly, supply has not yet caught up with demand, especially with the higher-priced Plus model. Additionally, safety issues with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 have resulted in the company halting sales and production of the device. This is an incremental positive for Apple, with one analyst estimating Apple has the opportunity to gain 8 million unit sales, which would lead to a higher smartphone market share and expansion of the iOS user base. Irwin A. Michael, President I.A. Michael Investment Counsel Ltd.