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AAPL Up Modestly In A Down Market
The Dow Jones lost more than 100 points in early trading as fears of a U.S. rating downgrade are sending world equities lower and pushing gold to a record high. Shares of AAPL have recovered initial opening loses, and are now bobbing along sideways. Catalysts include the next iPhone launch this fall (sometime in this quarter) as well as the 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 10x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow (including long-term marketable securities).
Apple Stores Increasing Staff In This Fall… (MacRumors)
Apple is increasing its staffing at Apple Stores around the U.S. for the fall season between August 15 and September 15, according to sources. Is this to prepare for the long-awaited iPhone 5 launch? Additionally, some U.S. stores are also recruiting former employees to return as part time employees for holidays, new product launches and back-to-school time.
…iPhone On The Way (Cult Of Mac)
An Italian iPhone blog reports that one of Switzerland’s carriers, Swisscom, will start offering the iPhone 5 on October 5. Also, sources believe that the iPhone 5 will also be available in the U.S. on September 5, as Apple would already have to be talking with carriers about distribution for a new device.
Apple Taking Over Grand Central Station (The New York Post)
Apple inked a 10-year deal with the MTA to open its largest store in the world in Grand Central Station Terminal. The deal is expected to fly through the MTA finance committee today and the agency’s board of directors Wednesday for a final go ahead. The 23,000-square-foot store will take up Grand Central’s north and northeast balconies, displacing Charlie Palmer’s Metrazur restaurant.
Don’t Bet On A Hulu Acquisition From Apple (Various via iDygest)
Hulu has had little trouble filling its dance card with potential suitors, and now Apple is said to be in the mix. Hulu’s bankers have met with a broad array of potential suitors, including Google, Yahoo and Amazon. So, is Apple just doing its due diligence or is the company seriously looking to buy the streaming TV site? Most likely the former. Apple would likely rather spend its resources boosting its own services. Hulu’s strategy may be too far afield from Apple’s.
Verizon Helped By Big iPhone Boost (Apple Insider)
Verizon received a huge boost from the iPhone 4 during the second quarter, its first full quarter selling the Apple smartphone. Verizon activated 2.3 million units, adding 1.3 million new postpaid customers and raking in $3.6 billion in revenue. That said, subscribers spent less per month than expected as the company changed its data service price plans, further disappointing Wall Street on Friday. AT&T still activates three iPhones for every two Verizon does.
Samsung Estimated To Have Topped Apple Smartphone Sales In 2Q (Bloomberg)
Samsung, the world’s second-largest handset maker, may have surpassed Nokia and Apple in smartphone sales in the second quarter, driven by the popularity of Android-based models, according to Strategy Analytics. While no exact numbers are known yet until Samsung reports earnings on Friday, such an achievement would be a victory for Samsung and Google.