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AAPL Down With Markets
Major stock indices are weary on the two year anniversary of market lows on March 9, 2009. Shares of AAPL are weak as well, along with the rest of technology. Upcoming catalysts for the stock include news regarding Steve Jobs‘ healthy return; the March 11 availability of the next generation iPad; monthly NPD data to gauge Mac / iPod businesses; iPhone sales updates on new carrier Verizon, the push in China, as well as the launch of the iPhone 5 anticipated this summer; new revenue streams such as video, books / publishing and social (Ping); moving iTunes into the cloud; and the continued evolution and adoption of Apple TV. Shares of Apple trade at 14x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow (incl. long-term marketable securities).
Don’t Be Fooled By Short Lines, iPad 2 Expected To Surpass First-Gen In Initial Sales (AppleInsider)
Initial sales of the iPad 2 are expected to surpass the first-generation device, but numerous new points of distribution for Friday’s launch are predicted to dilute lines of people. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster notes that last year the original iPad launched in 221 U.S. Apple stores and in most of Best Buy’s ~1,100 U.S. stores. The iPad 2, however, will debut in 236 Apple retail stores and in more than 10,000 retail partner stores. A combination of wider distribution, the day of the week and pre-orders could mean short lines, but a huge number of buyers. Someone should have told this poor kid in Texas.
Apple Likely To Announce iOS 5 And MobileMe Revamp In April (Cult of Mac)
At last week’s iPad 2 launch event, Apple surprised many by failing to announce anything in regards to iOS 5 or the forthcoming MobileMe revamp. So when will that happen? German site Macerkopf is citing a source that says Apple plans an early April media event to introduce iOS 5 and the new MobileMe. Based on last year, Apple held the event debuting iOS 4 on April 8th. That gave developers two or three months to get on board with changes before the consumer release of the iPhone 4 in late June. Déjà vu.
Facebook Taking On The Streaming Video Giants, Including iTunes (The Los Angeles Times)
Facebook is launching a threat to the current heavyweights in movie and TV streaming: Netflix, Apple (iTunes), Amazon and Hulu. Warner Bros. yesterday offered up its popular film The Dark Knight for rent on Facebook. In order to watch the film, users have to “like” the movie’s page and then allow a “watch app” for the film to install. This essentially grants Warner Bros. access to just about anything posted on their respective Facebook profile pages. That’s marketing gold for 600 million people. Incumbents better hope it’s a numbers game and not something studios would do exclusively.
Apple Making Room For Full-Service In-Store Set Up Service (The Loop)
Apple plans to cut game titles, third party software and certain hardware devices to make more room in Apple’s retail stores for the new in-store personalised setup services. Don’t freak out. The Mac App Store was invented for instant gratification so users don’t have to go to the store. But more importantly, this new set up service (announced in January) will set Apple even farther apart from competing computer retail stores (if there are any left). It’s like the pre-Genius Bar.
iPhone To Be Offered In South Korea With Carrier SK Telecom (Boy Genius Report)
South Korean carrier SK Telecom announced that it will launch the iPhone on March 16th. Pre-registration for the smartphone began this morning via online and retail sales channels. The SK Telecom iPhone will use the company’s HSPA network (GSM). Despite intense competition from local electronics giants Samsung and LG, Apple has managed to make inroads into the Korean market. Estimates for 3GS iPhones sold are more than 1 million units and iPhone 4 pre-orders were said to have overwhelmed servers.