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AAPL Up As Google Buys Motorola
The market is up in early trading Monday, as acquisition news (Google for Motorola Mobility) bouys the market brushing off weak manufacturing data after last week’s rollercoaster that took the S&P 500 near a one-year low. Shares of AAPL are up with the rest of technology. Catalysts include the next iPhone launch this fall as well as a possible iPad 3 ahead of the holidays; continued adoption in China and other emerging markets; iCloud rollout and adoption; the continued evolution and next generation of Apple TV; and new platforms such as books / publishing and social (Ping). Shares of Apple trade at 9.3x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow (including long-term marketable securities).
The Truth About The Google / Motorola Acquisition (Business Insider)
Henry Blodget at Business Insider believes this is a very interesting move by Google this morning, buying handset hardware maker Motorola for $12.5 billion. One that could very well back fire. Is this an acknowledgment that, in smartphones, Apple’s integrated hardware-software solution is superior to the PC model of a common software platform crossing all hardware providers? It certainly appears to be. Android’s biggest weakness thus far has been its fragmentation.
Why Can’t Anyone Compete With The iPad And MacBook Air? (Fortune)
The old conventional wisdom was that any advantage Apple gained in the marketplace was necessarily short-lived. Case in point, Android. The new conventional wisdom is that Apple’s competitors may be eating Cupertino’s dust in two of the hottest market categories, tablets and laptops, for some time to come. The iPad and the MacBook Air may be less like the original Mac, which had the buzz but lost the desktop wars, and more like the original iPod which became the standard.
Spotify Takes Control Of 3.4% iPhones In Two Weeks (Electronista)
Spotify is already one of the largest alternative music services on the iPhone since its U.S. launch. Onavo tracking service found that in the first two weeks, the streaming service took hold on 3.4% of U.S. iPhones. Spotify is said to have 1.4 million Americans using it, with no signs of slowing down. Apple’s going to have to step up it’s iTunes game.
Apple Shifts Gears From Samsung To TSMC (Various via iDygest)
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has started trial production of Apple’s next-generation A6 processor. The production design is on schedule to be “taped out” in the first quarter of next year and publicly unveiled in the second quarter of 2012. The ongoing battle with Samsung continues. The rumoured iPhone 5, however, will keep the current generation A5 manufactured by Samsung, while the iPad 3 could ship with either processor depending on its launch date.
Apple Working Behind The Scenes To Price Gaming Apps Higher (PocketGamer)
Apple may be working behind the scenes to convince iOS game developers to raise their prices on certain titles. It is unclear how common a practice this might be for Apple, or to how many developers it may offer pricing advice. Even before the advent of freemium, low game prices on the App Store were a sticking point for many, some alleging $0.99 releases have the potential to undermine the $60 console market (and have).
Lawsuit May Force Apple to Pay Millions Over E-Book Pricing (Softpedia)
Speaking of pricing higher, Apple and publishers have allegedly conspired to increase prices for popular e-book titles to boost profits, as well as to force e-book rivals to abandon their discount pricing. The suit, which was filed this week in a California district court, blames Apple for having “colluded…to illegally fix prices”. In a nutshell, the suit asserts that Apple is “in violation of a variety of federal and state antitrust laws.”
iPhone Top Smartphone Manufacturer And Mobile Advertiser (MacLife)
Millennial Media published a report showing that Apple’s iPhone has been at the top of the smartphone platform for three years running when it comes to mobile advertising. Also, Apple has increased their market share as top manufacturer by almost 20 percentage points (going from 11% to 30%). We will point out that Millennial treats the iPhone as one model, despite the three different versions sold by Apple during that time span. And yet, every other phone manufacturer has each phone model it released individually listed.