THE APPLE INVESTOR: Apple Rivalry With Google Is Now All-Out War

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AAPL Up In Wobbly Market
Shares of AAPL are up 3% to nearly $250 today, despite the falling Euro. Future catalysts for the stock include monthly NPD data (Mac / iPod business); international launch of the iPad next week; and the launch of the new iPhone (June 7 at the Worldwide Developers Conference where Steve Jobs will be delivering the keynote speech). AAPL trades at 21x estimated fiscal-year 2010 EPS and 11x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow.

Apple And Google Are In An Epic Rivalry; Microsoft Wasn’t Even Invited To The Party (Daring Fireball)
John Gruber is calling Apple vs. Google an “all-out war.” Apple is fighting with user experience, design and consistency while Google is bringing the cloud, variety and permissiveness. The area where the iPhone has crushed Android is backing up and restoring data – purchase a new iPhone or install an OS update and when you re-sync with iTunes on your desktop, all your apps and data are re-installed. It’s seamless. Android doesn’t have that. Nor does Google have an iPad, but that will undoubtedly be on the way. How does John see Microsoft through all this? Softie has “no chance.” Daniel Eran Dilger at TechCrunch echos those sentiments.

Morgan Stanley Adds AAPL To Best Ideas List; iPhone Will Drive The Stock To $400 (Morgan Stanley, Fortune)
Katy Huberty thinks that investors underappreciate Apple’s future growth opportunities. Those include: 1) iPhone share gains; 2) iPad demand; 3) China; and 4) enterprise penetration. Product launches, broader distribution (carrier, international, enterprise), more attractive pricing and strong upgrade cycles will be the key demand drivers over the next two years. According to a recent survey, Katy found that 17% of Verizon subscribers would switch to an iPhone if Apple were to diversify carriers. She is raising her calendar year 2011 iPhone unit and EPS estimates to 61.5 million and $17.25 (25% and 11% above consensus) as well as increasing her price target to $310.

The International Launch Of The iPad Will Be A Sleeper For European Publishers (The Financial Times)
When the iPad launches in nine countries internationally this Friday this, don’t expect as much fanfare as garnered in the U.S. While most of the largest news organisations in the U.S. (Time, WSJ, New York Times, etc.) had apps available upon the device’s launch, many popular European publications (Guardian, Daily Mail, the Economist, etc.) will not be available in the App Store. The reason being that publishers and analysts believe those apps “are not being used as much as hoped.” Well, when you have a browser, the incentive to purchase an app for essentially the same content doesn’t make much sense.

Apple The Reason The FTC Approved The Google / AdMob Deal (The Motley Fool)
“As a result of Apple’s entry (into the market), AdMob’s success to date on the iPhone platform is unlikely to be an accurate predictor of AdMob’s competitive significance going forward, whether AdMob is owned by Google or not,” the FTC said Friday after the governing body unanimously approved Google’s $750 million acquisition of mobile ad network AdMob. Apple’s iAd network ultimately convinced the feds not to act as it “has the chops to be a serious competitor to AdMob.” Our sentiments exactly.

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