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AAPL Off With Tech
A lower than expected rise in the number of jobs created during December offset by an upward revision to November is creating a rocky market in early trading this morning. Shares of AAPL are off with the rest of tech. Upcoming catalysts for Apple include first fiscal quarter earnings to be announced on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. ET; monthly NPD data (Mac / iPod business); iPhone and iPad sales updates and carrier expansion (Verizon); new content revenue streams such as video, books, newspapers and social (Ping); moving iTunes into the cloud; and the uptake of the new Apple TV. Shares of Apple trade at 15x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow (incl. long-term marketable securities).iPhone Saturated In The U.S. With AT&T As Android Surpasses In Total Number Of Existing Subscribers (comScore)
For the first time, Android passed the iPhone in total number of existing U.S. smartphone subscribers with 26% versus 25% market share in November, according to comScore. Blackberry still has the largest installed base or 33% but that share is down 4% over the past three months, while Android’s share grew 6% and Apple’s share is up a little less than 1%. Seems as though the iPhone is saturated in the U.S. through its one carrier partner, AT&T. Where’s the Verizon iPhone already?
Speaking Of Verizon, CEO Made No Mention Of The iPhone At CES… (MacRumors)
In what should not be regarded as a surprise, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg and other presenters during his keynote address at CES made no mention of the possibility of the iPhone coming to Verizon. Seidenberg’s role as the primary keynote speaker for the event had sparked speculation that the forum could be used to introduce a Verizon iPhone, although most observers have long thought that such an introduction would take place at an Apple-controlled event headed by Steve Jobs.
…But Apple Restricting Vacation Which Means The Verizon iPhone Could Be Coming… (Apple Insider)
Apple is quietly prohibiting vacation days for some retail employees for three weeks beginning later this month, a move that could foreshadow a significant product introduction. People familiar with the company’s retail plans say Apple has issued a “blackout” (no vacation time allowed) period for retail employees without seniority. Prohibiting vacations during such a large span of time is typically indicative of a major product launch, such as a new iPhone. Maybe it will finally be time to switch from AT&T. Read more at Business Insider. Or it could also be the new iPad.
…And AT&T Just Dropped The Price On The iPhone 3GS Most Likely As Preemptive Strike (Apple Insider)
AT&T revealed that starting today it will sell the iPhone 3GS at a new standard price of $49 with the usual two-year service contract (down from $99). AT&T noted that the price of the iPhone 3GS sold in Apple’s own channels is determined by Apple, suggesting that the $50 price cut for the handset is solely AT&T’s doing. This aggressive price strategy with the entry-level iPhone 3GS is viewed as a preemptive strike against competitor Verizon.
The Mac App Store Signals Closer Alignment With Mobile Devices (The Wall Street Journal)
Apple launched its Mac app store yesterday as it seeks to extend the popularity of the store concept beyond its mobile devices. The Mac app store will likely stoke more interest in creating software for Macs among independent developers and is seen as a way for Apple to capitalise on the popularity of its iPhones and iPads to sell more computers. The launch is also an indication that Apple is aligning its Mac strategy more closely with that of its mobile devices. Read more at Business Insider.
Next-Gen iPad To Get Facial Recognition And New Speakers (Patently Apple)
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent submitted by Apple that indicates the use of a facial recognition camera as well as a new speaker array for use with the iPad. The patent shows off three and four speaker arrays to help give off better audio at increased ranges. Also indicated in this patent is a camera that will include facial and location orientation. This will allow the camera to reorient itself depending on if you are chatting with it in landscape or portrait mode. That sounds fun.
Apple Approached Blackstone CFO For Same Role At Apple (Bloomberg)
Apple apparently approached Laurence Tosi, CFO of private equity giant Blackstone about taking the same role at Apple. Wonder where Peter Oppenheimer is going? Tosi is said to have turned down the job. Hearing this leaked news, the Apple PR machine went into overdrive and made a statement that the company is “not conducting a CFO search,” and current CFO “loves the company and is extremely happy in his role.” But Tosi has experience in acquisitions. Jay Yarow at Business Insider says that maybe it’s a signal that Apple wants to start using its giant pile of cash to buy companies.
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