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AAPL Down In A Down Market
Stocks are holding up today, showing no reaction to the announcement from China’s central bank that it would raise banks’ reserve-requirement ratio for the second time this year. Investors are trading cautiously because of the long weekend ahead. Shares of Apple are down about 1% on news of possible anti-trust investigation of its just announced content subscription plan. Upcoming catalysts for the stock include news regarding Steve Jobs‘ health and return; the rumoured second quarter launch of the next generation iPad; monthly NPD data (Mac / iPod business); iPhone sales updates on new carrier Verizon as well as the launch of the iPhone 5 anticipated this summer; new revenue streams such as video, books and social (Ping); moving iTunes into the cloud; and the continued evolution and adoption of Apple TV. Shares of Apple trade at 14x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow (incl. long-term marketable securities).
Apple Sold 7x Computers Than The Rest Of The PC Industry Last Quarter (Cult Of Mac)
New analysis from IDC shows that Mac sales growth in the last quarter was nearly 7x that of the overall PC market with Apple outgrowing overall PCs for nearly five years. But the Mac’s biggest gains aren’t in the education, home, or small business segments, where the Mac has traditionally thrived. These gains come from large businesses and government sales. This is proof of the halo effect. The iPod and iPhone are helping sell more Macs. Read more at Business Insider.
Verizon iPhone Sales Tracking Under Expectations (Boy Genius Report)
Verizon iPhone sales may be slightly less staggering than originally anticipated, based on the assessment of sales totals gleaned from five Apple stores. BGR claims these internal numbers show that the launch of the iPhone on Verizon has “failed” to meet expectations. It’s true, lines were short to non-existent at Apple and Verizon stores and the launch came and went, but they still sold 500,000 in the first pre-order day. Read more at Business Insider.
Apple Putting The Squeeze On Tablet Competitors (DigiTimes)
Apple has secured close to 60% of global touch panel capacity for 2011, leading to tight supplies for its competitors. Tablet makers say that the component shortage is prohibiting shipment volumes to catch up with orders, especially for second-tier players. One of Apple’s most overlooked strengths is its ability to manage its supply chain, giving it a huge competitive advantage over rival manufactures. Read more from Jay Yarow at Business Insider.
This Year Will Be Huge On Innovation for iOS And iPhone… (9To5Mac)
It may have taken Apple three years, but iOS is finally in a state that there aren’t a lot of perceived criticisms when it comes to its feature-set. With the operating system itself pretty robust, Apple likely will focus more on apps and services by leveraging many of their recent acquisitions in maps, voice control and cloud technology. The biggie, mobile payments.
…Including NFC Capabilities With A Twist… (AppleInsider)
Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White reiterated a rumour that Apple’s next-generation iPhone will include integrated NFC capabilities, but with “a twist that will make it unique versus his peers.” White did not give any indication as to what the “twist” could be. He also said Softbank issued all 20,000 of its employees both an iPhone and iPad from Apple. Another great sign for enterprise adoption.
…And MobileMe Will Get A Huge Makeover (Various via iDygest)
Apple’s MobileMe service is about to go well beyond simple cloud-based media streaming to include social and location-based services. The company is looking to add a ton of ambitious cloud computing features including a live video-streaming service like Ustream; a location-based check-in system like Gowalla or Foursquare; and a geo-tagging system codenamed “Tokens” that tags real-world locations.
The Devil Wears Blue And Sells Consumer Electronics (Popular Mechanics)
Apple is famous for its secrecy, with a code of silence that runs from top management all the way down to its retail employees. This is an entertaining piece from Popular Mechanics about an anonymous Apple employee’s experience: they know nothing until the press release; it’s much like a cult. MobileMe is pushed but never sold. You can be late a hundred times, but if you talk to the press or media, you are done.