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AAPL Up As Facebook Dominates Headlines
Markets are mixed on Facebook’s debut. Shares of AAPL have been wavering but remain mostly in the positive as the tech tape is diving on Facebook’s trades. This on the heals of dropping 2.5% yesterday. Do you think Apple’s the better investment than Facebook? Upcoming events include Tim Cook’s keynote at the D10 Conference on May 29 and Apple’s developer conference (WWDC) is slated to start June 11. Investors remain focused on iPhone penetration globally and the anticipated launch of the next generation iPhone in the fall; iPad adoption; market share growth of the Mac business as well as the upcoming refresh; the introduction of the anticipated Apple TV set; and platforms such as Siri, iAd and iBooks. Shares of Apple trade at 8.2x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow (including long-term marketable securities), ridiculously low based on historical trends.
Apple Stock Losing favour With Hedge Funds (Bloomberg)
Hedge funds sold a net 6.1 million shares of Apple last quarter, taking advantage of the 48% jump in the stock. Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital and Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global each sold more than 1 million shares of Apple in the first quarter, representing almost their entire stakes. Fund manager Jeff Gundlach thinks people will eventually be sick of Apple. Not all hedge funds were net sellers, however. David Einhorn, co- founder of Greenlight Capital, said Apple shares deserve to be higher. “Apple is the most misunderstood company in the market,” Einhorn believes.
Samsung Takes A Hit On rumour Apple Goes With Another Supplier (VentureBeat)
Samsung, which supplies some of Apple’s mobile parts, lost ~$10 billion in market cap recently after a report surfaced that Apple had taken some of its business elsewhere. rumour has it Apple turned to the financially troubled Elpida for a large order of dynamic random access memory, or DRAM. The Japanese company, which recently filed for bankruptcy, could act as an agent for keeping competition high and prices low among Apple suppliers. And the move is already starting to take a toll on Apple’s current DRAM manufacturers.
Sprint Defends Upfront Payment For iPhone (Various via Scoople)
Sprint’s deal with Apple for the iPhone will ultimately prove “quite profitable” for the carrier, says CEO Dan Hesse. He views his company’s up front payment to offer the iPhone as a long-term investment, one that won’t see any returns until 2015 (a virtual eternity in the mobile phone world). This comes after a less than stellar quarterly performance. Hesse is trying to quell shareholder discontent by publicly defending his decision. Customers will join Sprint to get the iPhone on an unlimited plan (versus AT&T and Verizon) and he hopes will stay.
Steve Jobs Was Involved With iPhone Redesign (Bloomberg)
Have no fear. The wizard himself was in on the redesign of this next iPhone. Apple began work on the next iPhone before the iPhone 4S was released in October. One source says that Jobs “played a key role in developing the phone” even though he was on medical leave. The report also confirms previous rumours that the next iPhone will feature a larger screen, though it doesn’t specify the size.
iPhone Jumps To Nearly 8% Of All Mobile Phones Sold Worldwide (Gartner via modmyi)
Gartner announced its latest mobile device data for the first quarter of calendar 2012 and it found that Apple’s 33.1 million iPhones sold (to end users, not shipments) accounted for 7.9% of the total mobile phone market. Market growth, unsurprisingly, is being driven by smartphones with a total of 144.4 million smartphones sold to end users in the first quarter of 2012 and an increase of 44.7% year over year. Apple and Samsung account for 49.3% of all smartphone sales worldwide
China Mobile Still In Talks To Get The iPhone (Bloomberg)
It’s been five years people. China Mobile, the world’s largest phone company by users, and Apple are in talks to offer the iPhone, the carrier’s new chairman said. But he can’t predict if the two sides will come to an agreement this year. China Mobile’s homegrown 3G service left it unable to offer popular handsets including Apple’s iPhone, offered by its domestic competitors China Unicom and China Telecom. “China Mobile and Apple both have the will to strengthen cooperation,” Xi said. “When there is more specific news, we will disclose it.” And when they do, Apple will sell a ton of iPhones.
More rumours That The iPad Mini Is On Its Way (9to5Mac)
Taiwan-based publication The Liberty Times shared an interesting bit of information about the rumoured iPad Mini. Apparently LG and AU Optronics were certified to supply the LCD panel for the new device. It goes on to claim that both manufacturers are working to ship the panels for production and for a release sometime during the latter half of 2012. The target-shipping amount for the iPad Mini is said to reach 6 million (which was previously reported), but there would likely be demand for more due to holiday sales.
Apple Rolling Out Retina Screen To MacBook, But What Will It Cost? (CNet)
Apple is said to be on the verge of rolling out new high-resolution displays for its MacBooks that, up until now, have only been available on its iPhones and iPads. And those panels are already in the supply chain. And the screens could cost nearly $100 more than Apple currently spends. What’s unclear is if consumers will end up paying more for the improvements, and if they don’t, will that eat into margin? When Apple made the jump to Retina Displays in its iOS devices, the cost of the device stayed the same. And another question remains; what is the benefit is for increasing pixel counts on the displays on notebooks? Is it really worth it.
Apple Highest Ranked Smartphone In Customer-Satisfaction (ComputerWorld)
Apple debuted in the top spot among mobile phone makers in a national customer-satisfaction survey, receiving a record-high score for the category. “Apple is head and shoulders above everyone else,” said David VanAmburg, director of the American Customer Satisfaction Index. In the survey, based on interviews with approximately 70,000 American consumers throughout the last year, assigned Apple a satisfaction score of 83 out of a possible 100. HTC, LG and Nokia tied at second with a score of 75. Samsung managed a 71, while problem-plagued Research In Motion came in last with a score of 69.
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