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AAPL Off More Than 1%
Stocks are on the rise to end the week with the markets looking to close their strongest quarter in two years. Shares of AAPL however are having a bad day, dipping below the $600 level. Investors will be looking for the new iPad adoption; iPhone penetration, especially in China and emerging markets; market share growth of the Mac business; the evolution of Apple TV; and platforms such as Siri, iAd, iBooks and Ping. Shares of Apple trade at 11.6x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow (including long-term marketable securities).Apple Defending Itself Against Android, Increasing Market Share (Nielsen)
Smartphone penetration in the U.S. is now up to 50% of all mobile phones. And more importantly, Apple is successfully defending itself from the onslaught of Android, according to Nielsen. Over the last three months, 43% of the people in the U.S. that bought smartphones bought iPhones. That’s up from 32% overall. And while Android is still beating Apple with 48% share, its marketshare growth is stagnant. For a long time, as users were waiting for the iPhone 4S launch, Apple’s market share had been going sideways. It looks like that’s changing. Henry Blodget at Business Insider says that Android is dead in the water.
Almost Nothing Can Affect Apple’s Profit Margins (Bloomberg)
A new audit of Apple manufacturer Foxconn calls for some changes, and that obviously means spending some money. That said, Gene Munster analyst at Piper Jaffray says in an interview with Bloomberg TV, that even if Apple’s labour costs goes up 20%, it will only affect profit margins by 1%. He emphasises that issues surrounding labour conditions at Foxconn are not Apple’s problem, but an industry-wide problem.
Apple rumoured To Be Working On 5-Inch Retina Display Set (AppleInsider)
Apple is working on a new device with a 5-inch high-resolution Retina display set to launch in 2013, according to a report. Apple is said to be working with LCD suppliers in preparation for the new device. It was not said whether the new product would be a larger iPod touch, a smaller iPad, or something else entirely. The report comes on the heels of another recent rumour that claimed Apple’s next-generation iPhone would feature a 4.6-inch Retina display, significantly larger than the 3.5-inch screen currently found on the iPhone and iPod touch.
Apple TV Isn’t Coming Until 2013, Says Research Group (Business Insider)
Asian research group CLSA doesn’t think Apple will launch its TV until 2013. The research note says, “We continue to view Apple TV hardware as a 2013 event. The timing of Hon Hai/Foxconn’s equity stake and partnership with Sharp along with Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou’s separate 46.5% investment in Sharp’s Sakai City plant lends further credibility that Apple TV is in the works…. Most clients agree that a TV is coming; the critical question becomes how the video providers fit into the equation and how apple’s offering would/could differ from current TV’s beyond ios/icloud.”
Is Foxconn’s Parent’s Investment In Sharp A Jab At Samsung? (ZDNet)
Hon Hai’s investment in Sharp could rattle the LCD supply chain. Advantage Apple at the potential expense of Samsung. Behind the popularity of Apple’s iPad is a supply chain war for components. Sharp, one of Japan’s leading electronics companies, will get balance sheet help and Hon Hai likely gets to procure more Apple business for its Foxconn unit. Sharp is one of the three LCD panel suppliers for Apple’s iPad, along with Samsung and LG Display. It is possible for Sharp, a non-Apple competitor, to gain market share with Apple. Especially if Sharp is providing the displays for the upcoming Apple TV.
The New MacBook Pros Are Coming (DigiTimes)
A new 13-inch MacBook Pro will arrive in April with a new 15-inch model on its way in May. This is in line with previous reports. Apple’s orders for the 13-inch model are “far higher” than orders for the 15-inch. Dylan Love at Business Insider says likely because most people making the switch from PC to Mac start with that model. The timing lines up pretty serendipitously with the release of Intel’s new Ivy Bridge processors, and the speculation is that the new Macs will be sporting them under the hood.
The iOS Newsstand Generates $70K Per Day (Distimo)
The top 100 publications in Apple’s iOS Newsstand generate about $70,000 per day, according to a study by Distimo, with most revenue coming from in-app purchases from U.S. customers. News apps as a whole account for seven per cent of the top 200 highest grossing apps, according to the study. Apple first released its Newsstand back in October as a new feature for iOS 5. Perhaps the iPad will save the newspaper industry after all. If you want the negative spin, Apple has sold ~65 million iPads, which means the average iPad user is spending $0.001 on newspapers or magazines.