The Apple Investor: Shareholders Meeting Today, Investors Get Ready To Grill Steve Jobs

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Apple Shareholders Meeting Today, Investors Get To Grill Steve
(Reuters)

Taj Mahal

Steve Jobs is back in attendance this year at Apple’s annual shareholders meeting (after missing last year’s because of his health). With the stock hovering around the $200 mark for the past 5 months, investors are going to want to know more specifics about the iPad and forthcoming new iPhone, as well as whether the iPhone and Mac businesses can sustain their explosive growth. Other pressing questions include: What is Apple going to do with $40 billion in cash? (Dividends, new factories, more acquisitions?) Stay tuned!

iTunes Hits 10 Billion Song Download Milestone: Apple Now The Biggest Music Seller In The U.S.
(Apple)
Apple has managed to sell 10 billion songs in 7 years. iTunes launched in 2003 at a time when the music industry was struggling with digital piracy and plummeting record sales. At an estimated $1 per song, that’s a lot of money (see quarterly revenue by product category chart).  With Apple taking 30%, it’s also a not-immaterial $300 million of profit to Apple.  This performance has made Apple the number one music vendor in the US.  With the iPhone App Store already surpassing 3 billion downloads, it’s just another data point that Apple is well on its way to dominating how multimedia content is priced and distributed.

Your Flaky iPhone Internet Service Is About To Get Worse
(Business Insider)
Jeff Glueck, CEO of mobile browser firm Skyfire, argues that smartphones are killing mobile carriers’ bandwidth (a term he coins “mobile warming”), and that server-based browsers (like his company or Opera Mini) could be a better solution. The latter point is obviously self-serving, but the former is real. “As Google and Apple duke it out, with scores of Android and iPad devices coming to market, the heat is on” for telco bandwidth. So why is Apple staying exclusively with AT&T for the iPad and iPhone for now? Experts say it was the desire for both companies to preserve their alliance, AT&T’s Wi-Fi assets, and network readiness. Let’s hope the iPad is loaded with compression software designed to save bandwidth, or the customer complaints will hammer Apple as well.

Apple And Nintendo Headed For A Game Of Mortal Combat As iPad Threatens Game Gadgets
(PC World)
Yesterday Nintendo launched the DSi XL, the newest member of its handheld game consoles. With the larger screen, it is also an e-book reader and includes a tilt sensor to match the iPhone.  This matters for Apple, because gaming is one area where the new iPad has the potential to be much better than either the iPhone or a laptop.  As Nintendo reported a 9% decline in April-December (9 months) profit, they have to be worried. For now, the iPad will be far more expensive, but a few years from now?  Who will need a specialised gaming device like the DSi XL when you could get the added functionality of the iPad.

Apple’s New Co-Lead Director, Avon CEO, Is Actually An Outsider
(Business Week)
Many have accused the Apple board of being under the hand-picked influence of Steve Jobs, which may have led to biased decisions as a result. In a move to suppress the scrutiny, Apple has quietly made Andrea Jung, the CEO of Avon, a co-lead on its board of directors. Today will mark Jung’s first shareholders’ meeting with the new title. She replaces Bill Campbell, a board veteran and Jobs’ mentor. As the newest director and only woman serving on the seven-member board, let’s hope one of Fortune’s 10 most powerful women in business has the, well, balls to stand up to Jobs.

The Apple Investor is a daily report from TBI Research. You can sign up here to receive it by email.

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