The Apple Investor - February 17, 2010

Apple’s Macs And iPods Have A Blow-Out January, Says Piper Jaffray (Business Insider)
In a note out yesterday from Piper Apple analyst Gene Munster, Apple’s March quarter looks pretty good. January Mac retail sales are up 36% year-over-year and iPod sales are up 5% year-over-year (see link to quarterly revenue by product category to get an idea of the product mix). Munster attributes this to “easy comps” (slow growth last year) and believes these easy comps will continue for the next several months.  This should enable Apple to show nice revenue acceleration when it reports its March-quarter numbers.

More Free iPad Advertising: Warring Divisions At The New York Times Are Fighting Over The Device (Gawker)
There’s an internal fight going on at the New York Times over the iPad between print die-hards and the digital media team. The print folks want the NYT iPad app to cost $20-$30 a month; the digital folks $10. This is great news for Apple (major publications are already rushing to get ready for a product that hasn’t launched yet), and terrible news for the New York Times.  Regardless of what the paper charges for the app, it will be too much: The NYT is available online for free, and the iPad has a web browser.

RIM introduces a new browser to rival Apple’s Safari: Too Little, Too Late (PC World)
Yesterday, Research In Motion introduced a new browser for its Blackberry. It’s about time. The Blackberry browser has been lagging behind competitors such as Google Android, Palm’s WebOS and Apple’s iPhone. Availability is likely to be sometime later this year, giving Apple the opportunity to make ample Safari upgrades.  For RIM, of course, it’s too little, too late.  No one wants another browser.  RIM should have just used an existing one.  (Safari’s future, meanwhile, may be no brighter.  Apple may want to think about dumping its own browser and adopting Firefox or Chrome.)

Apple’s Steve Jobs Collaborating With Journalism Great Walter Isaacson On Jobs Hagiography (eWeek)
Apple’s chief executive is set to collaborate on an authorised biography, to be written by Walter Isaacson. Stories from his past that he will likely want the world to remember after reading the book include, when he was ousted in 1985, his triumphant return and his recent health issues. Not to mention, the rise of all his gadgets.  We doubt Steve would be cooperating if he didn’t think the book was going to make him look great.  So the likelihood that it will reveal some double-secret scandal that will will crush Apple’s stock price is low.

And Still More Free iPad Advertising: Wired Trying To Drum Up Enthusiasm For Itself With Apple iPad App Video (Wired)
Wired posted a video featuring interviews with executives and a demo of the iPad application. Editor in chief Chris Anderson wrote, “Much is still to be answered about magazines and other media on this emerging class of devices, from the business and distribution models to the consumer response. But what is already clear is that they offer the opportunity to be beautiful, highly engaging and immersive, going beyond what’s available on the web.”  Whatever.  Most importantly, this is more free advertising for Apple’s forthcoming product.

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