Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Shares Plummet Following Tim Cook's Firing Spree

It would seem that Hurricane Sandy is not the only storm to hit the East Coast this week. Another storm hit Wall Street today, as the market reopened, in fact it also hit the West Coast of the country as well.

As we previously reported, Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, went on a firing spree last week, relieving two top executives of their positions. While I personally believe that the move was a smart one, and will prove beneficial in the long run, investors in Apple's stock do not seem to carry the same sentiments.

Apple's shares plunged to $591 this morning in early sessions of trading. The choice to fire these executives is believed to be a major cause of the quick drop in pricing. ValueWalk writer, Nicholas Maithya, reported that Apple is one of the few companies who actually benefited from the huge "FrankenStorm", as weather men around the nation have dubbed Sandy.

Had the markets opened on Monday and Tuesday for electronic trading, the stock could have taken a much larger hit. However, it seems that although some suffering was underway for the stock in early trading, investors appear to have regained some of their confidence in the tech giant.

The stock is currently trading at $596.30, which is still nowhere near the high water mark set a few weeks ago, when the stock was trading in the $700 price range. I stand behind my belief that Tim Cook did the right thing in removing the tow executives. Cook is a very savvy man, who knows his job well, and he will undoubtedly lead Apple to even greater heights throughout the rest of his remaining contract.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Apple Fires Scott Forstall Over Maps Fiasco, & Employees Party?

That's right. Apple fired not one, but two of its top executives yesterday, supposedly due to the Maps application failure.

Scott Forstall had a 15 year history with Apple, including a close friendship with the late Steve Jobs. However, it would appear that such a friendship was not extended to Tim Cook, or other members of Apple's upper echelon.

Yesterday, ValueWalk reported that Scott Forstall and John Browett, namely, Apple's retail and software chiefs, were both relieved of duty. This came as a surprise to both the media and to other Apple employees. John Browett, unlike Forstall, had only recently been brought into the company. Tim Cook had brought him in to lead the retail sector of Apple, but it would appear the relationship did not go as planned.

According to Kara Swisher of AllThingsD, the Apple Maps fiasco was all Forstall's problem. He was responsible for the mapping software development, and subsequently the acidic fallout following its epic failure. However, according to a report released by ValueWalk today, he refused to add his signature to the letter apologizing to Apple's customers for the issues in the Maps program.

This act of defiance could very well be what triggered his being fired by Tim Cook. While we mentioned earlier that Forstall was pretty close to Steve Jobs, we also pointed out that his relationship with other people at Apple was much less friendly. This is evident from rumors that several Apple employees from the engineering department, where Forstall worked, threw somewhat of a party following his departure. They reportedly went out for celebratory drinks shortly after the news of Forstall's release was made public.

While all of this is sure to have an impact on Apple Inc. (AAPL)'s stock, I believe it will be a positive one. While many may view the release of a top executive as a negative move, the fact that Tim Cook and Apple's other top leaders are taking action to quell any further issues in that department should sit well with investors. Only time will tell, but as Apple has risen with stellar speed in recent months, and now sits atop the world as the largest company by market cap, I believe the $1,000 price target set by analysts can easily be achieved by the end of this year. Only time will tell.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Misses Estimates; Shares Halted In after Hours Trading

Apple Inc. (AAPL) posted its earnings today, after the closing bell. The results have left more than a few people confused, and upset.

Although the company showed a 25% rise in profit this quarter, it seems that analysts were all wrong about just how well the company was doing. The tech giant missed estimates, and shares dropped in price, until they were halted in after hours trading.

The entire report can be read on, where all the numbers from the earnings report have been posted. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see just how much investors' confidence in the world leader of smart phones and tablets has been shaken. Share price has fallen since it reached its high water mark of $705 earlier this year, and this is sure to cause the price to drop even more.

Gene Munster Still Says $910 Per Share On Apple

It's no secret that Apple Inc. (AAPL) has had a good year, or even a great year, by any standard of measurement. The stock has been boosted to all time highs in recent months, notably by the launch of iPhone 5. -->

  One person, who has watched Apple very closely, and has not been shy in expressing his love for the company, is Gene Munster, of Piper Jaffray. Munster has repeatedly called Apple stock a buy, and even when the stock began its free-fall from the high mark of $705 per share, he reiterated his feelings on the stock being worth the price.

 Now, Apple Inc. will be reporting earnings after the closing bell today, and Munster has once again made predictions about the company. Munster notes that AT&T Inc. (T) alone, recorded 4.7 million iPhone activations this quarter, which is up 27% from the previous quarter. Munster, however, believes that iPhone sales for Apple will be down 4% from last quarter. He notes that according to Piper Jaffray's figures, non-iPhone 5 sales were down approximately 8% for AT&T, and 9% for Verizon. However, the analysts had thought that non-iPhone 5 sales would be down as much as 35% quarter over quarter. It appears that sales of older iPhones have done better than expected.

 Munster does note that Apple may have made a mistake in not stocking up on iPhone 5 models in the months ahead of the launch, as it seems that supply and demand may have been a cause of lower sales numbers. He notes however, that he stands by his estimates of 25 million iPhones, he also believes that the company's expectations for the September quarter are achievable, possibly due to the iPad sales.

 Munster has estimated that Apple Inc. will report $8.38 per share in earnings for this quarter, and $43.87 per share for this fiscal year. He also says he believes revenue will come in at $155.025 billion for 2012, with the fourth quarter holding $34.483 billion of that revenue.

 For once, the Street holds a higher estimate than Munster on Apple's earnings, as consensus points to $8.75 per share in earnings, and a total revenue of $35.802 billion for the quarter. Munster does, however, stand by his price target of $910 per share on the company.

Apple iPad: Tricks And Tips To Help you Get The Most Out Of It

If you have recently bought an iPad, then you have already learned the same lesson many other users have learned. Apple forgot to send a user's manual, or did they? One of the key tenets of Apple is their products' ability to be easily used. This is also true of the iPad.

However, there are many different tricks and tips you can use to unlock the full potential of your iPad. After all, if you're like me, you need your device for more than simply checking your email, or watching YouTube videos. You want your investment to really be worthwhile.

Many users have already found a great way to learn more about their iPad than they even though possible. iPad Pete, a self proclaimed "super geek", has put together some great videos to help you unlock your devices best features. While these videos are not designed to help jailbreak your device, they are designed to help you learn exactly how it works, which in turn, helps you learn exactly how to work the device.

By learning how to access all of the features which are not explained on the home screen, you can find out just how much your iPad is capable of. This will help reinforce your decision to invest in such a powerful little machine.

The best part about these videos, is that they're already updated for iOS 6, and are ready to help you get the most out of your device, no matter which iOS system you use. To get the videos, click the link below, and gain insight from iPad Pete, as he walks you through your device's amazing features, and shows you some things you probably did not know about your iPad.
To find out how to get these videos, click Here!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Apple Breaks The Pattern And Reveals iPad Mini

Just as we all suspected, Apple did in fact reveal a new iPad Mini yesterday in San Jose. The hour long event held few surprises, although it did in fact hold a lot of upgrades for Apple products. Even though the iPad Mini was definitely the star of the show, Apple refreshed and updated other products, including the iPad, its MacBook Pro, and its iMac, among others.

 The iPad Mini has been the source of speculation and rumors from techies and analysts alike, even since before the release of iPhone 5. Now, after months of waiting and watching, we finally know just what the tiny iPad has to offer. It will come with a 7.9" screen, and can be pre-ordered beginning on October 26th. The WiFi models will begin shipping on November 2nd. The WiFi models will be priced as follows: 16GB $329, 32GB $429, and 64GB $529.  The LTE or Cellular models will be priced as follows: 16GB $459,  32GB $559, and 64GB $659.  The pricing does show us that the iPad Mini is more affordable than a standard iPad, but there is still speculation as to whether or not it can compete with Google's Nexus Tablet line, or the Amazon Kindle Fire, which are priced more affordably.

Apple has continuously catered to the top end of the market, since it first began serving the public with the Apple 1 computers, and although many thought this might be Apple's chance to foray into the lower end of the market, the company appears to have bypassed this option. Instead, they have simply reached the middle market, and this may be cause for some concern.

 Although some analysts may feel that Apple missed its mark in pricing, due to the fact that they're new iPad Mini is priced far above competitor's tablets, I believe Apple may just find that the profit margin allowed for in this new product, versus its new market, may make it very profitable in the long run. Apple's products have long held good standing with the public as being top shelf in quality, and if Apple had desired to market a tablet to the low end of the spectrum, it may have found that to do so would jeopardize the quality of its product line. Perhaps then, the Cupertino company made the right choice this time around.

 The other products which were refreshed and revealed at the event may all be read about in the report by ValueWalk, which was released today. One other interesting note to iPad owners, is that there seems to be a shortage in materials which completely explain how to get the most out of your iPad. I found a great instructional video pack, which offers step by step instructions on just how to use the little computer. To get the information Click Here!.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Apple's iPad Mini Launch Event Is Here!

Today is the big day. Apple is most likely going to change their entire iPad product line forever, and at the same time, completely reverse the late Steve Jobs' wishes regarding the iPad.

The tech blogs are all buzzing with excitement this morning, as Apple gears up for a major product launch today. The event is scheduled for 10 am PST, and is likely to be the launching of the iPad Mini, as well as a possibility of some other products, which we will highlight later.

The iPad Mini, while holding the possibility of being a great inroad to the middle and lower ends of the tablet market, is a direct contradiction of the wishes of Steve Jobs. Jobs had said more than once that he had no desire to produce a smaller version of the iPad, but would rather that Apple should focus on the high end of the market, and produce only their top shelf products.

This may all be changing today, as the rumored price of the iPad Mini is less than $300. This will make an Apple iPad a much more affordable product for the lower end of the market. While Jobs may have opposed the making of such a device, it may be exactly what Apple needs to hold its spot in the tech sector. Of late, the company's stock has suffered, plummeting from its high water mark of $705 per share in recent weeks. The launch of an iPad Mini could help restore investor confidence, and boost market share. This would, in turn, help push the stock back towards the price targets set by analysts for the company. Some of these targets are upwards of $1,000 per share, and if the launch goes according to plans, and the iPad Mini is a big hit this holiday season, it could easily be reached.

Apple is also rumored to be revealing several other products today, including a Mac Mini, a new 13" Mac Book Pro with Retina display, and the possibility of an iPad 4. The iPad 4 would be an early refresh, considering the iPad 3 has not been out very long, however, many tech analysts believe that in order for Apple to keep up with the changing times and technology, this early refresh may be necessary, and it could help boost their holiday sales figures. I guess we will have to wait a few more hours and see what it is that Apple has up its sleeve for today.iPad Instructional Video

Monday, October 22, 2012

Is Apple Planning To Reveal More Than Just The iPad Mini Tomorrow?

Apple has selected the venue, mailed the invitations, and announced the date for its next big release, and that date is tomorrow. The speculation has been going on for several months now that Apple would be releasing its mythical iPad Mini this month, and many people believe this is the launching event for just that.

However, Apple has arranged a venue for a very large audience this time around, and its a documented fact that they scale their event's seating arrangement according to the size of the event itself. With the number of seats available for this event exceeding 1,000, it's reasonable to assume this won't be a simple single product launch. Rather, this will be an all out festival of Apple products.

ValueWalk will report tomorrow that a refresh for the iMac lineup is possibly in the works, along with the possibility of an iPad 4, and of course, the iPad Mini too. The reasons behind the speculation of an iPad 4 are listed as being related to consumer demand. The market is changing daily, and along with that change, comes a demand for the absolute latest and greatest technology to be released.

iPad Mini will be a great inroad to the lower end of the market, and iPad 4 would be a great way to refresh its top end tablets for current customers and prospective tablet consumers. If this launch goes the way of the iPhone 5 launch, there will not be many surprises. However, I believe Apple may just pull a rabbit out of a hat tomorrow, considering that its shares have slipped since the launch of iPhone 5. It's time for the company to resume its climb toward the $1,000 price target that some analysts have placed on its stock. We will have to wait and see.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Apple Inc Loses To Samsung Regarding Ads In The U.K.

While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPl) recently won a patent suit against its largest rival, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94), it has lost a case in another part of the world, which could damage its pride more than the patent case would have done.

 While losing the patent case could have cost Apple billions in damages, this case could hurt even worse in terms of bruising their pride, and cutting into their market share. Samsung won in a ruling in the U.K., which will require Apple to post ads on its website in the Euro-zone, stating that Samsung did not infringe on the patents listed in the case there. This blow will definitely damage the iPhone maker's pride, as it will in essence, require Apple to advertise for its biggest competitor in the smartphone market. Samsung will most likely garner a few sales from the ads, and Apple will surely lose some.

However, in light of Apple's past history, I don't foresee any major damage being done to the company's reputation. The item in question for the suit was the Galaxy Tablet, made by Samsung. The judge ruled that Samsung had not copied Apple's designs, and thus the decision to force the iPad maker to run the ads.

Apple is dominating the high end tablet industry, and with the introduction of its iPad mini on the 23rd of this month, it will also cater to the mid to low end market.This market slot is one that as of yet, is previously unexplored by Apple, and if they have half the success they have had in the high end, they will dominate this sector as well. The upshot of the entire case is that Apple will have to walk away with damaged pride, but in all honesty, with the quality of Apple's products, I seriously doubt any serious financial harm will befall the company.

 Apple and Samsung have several open court cases throughout the world, and many analysts believe that Apple is trying to kill two birds with one stone in these cases. Namely, they wish to block Samsung from outselling them in the market, but also, they are using Samsung's mistakes as a way to get at their most bitter rival, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG).

 It's no secret that Apple co-founder, the late Steve Jobs, hated Google with a fiery passion, and he carried that hate with him until the end of his life, in 2011. To put pressure on Google's market share by causing a sales ban of Samsung devices, would surely benefit Apple's share in the smartphone and tablet markets. It will be very interesting to see what will happen in the next few weeks and months, in order to achieve causing Google some extra pain.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Apple iPhone 5: The Next Fifty Shades Of Grey In Terms Of Profit?

Book retailers, such as Barnes and Noble and noticed a major boost in earnings last quarter, largely due to the erotic novel, Fifty Shades of Grey. Barnes and Noble alone reported a 4.6 % increase in revenue, and reported $1.45 billion. The sales of e-readers, such as the NOOK and Kindle have also been boosted by the novel's release.
 According to William Lynch, the CEO of Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), "During the first quarter, we continued to see improvement in both our rapidly growing NOOK business, which saw digital content sales increase 46% during the quarter, and at our bookstores, which continue to benefit from the strong sales of the Fifty Shades series.”

 What does this have to do with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)?

Well, on September 12th, Apple released its new iPhone 5. Since that release, the new 6th generation iPhone has sold record numbers, including 2 million pre-ordered units. Apple's sales and revenue have increased dramatically in the wake of the launch, with the stock touching an all time high of $705 per share. Although the stock has settled and dropped back down to its current price, just below $635 per share, the revenue and profits have continued to grow. Apple's retail sales increased by 1.1% in September alone, due to iPhone 5. This growth was driven by a 4.5% growth in sales of retailers in the electronics sector.

More than 5 million iPhone 5 units were sold within its first 72 hours of availability. These numbers helped push the entire electronics sector to new highs, according to leading economists. Fifty Shades of Grey Was attributed with being able to do that for the printed literature market, upon its release.

 However, iPhone 5 has accomplished more than the novel, in that, it has the potential to boost the entire gross domestic product of the whole U.S. economy by as much as 0.5 %, according to JPMorgan analysts. On top of that, air freight companies have also received a boost, due to shipments of the iPhone being sent out of the country.

 Forbes has gone as far as saying that the iPhone 5 may have a more solid impact on the U.S. economy, than the Federal Reserve's proposed quantitative easing measures.

No doubt, Apple has performed very well in the past few months. Recently it was named as the leading company in the world, in terms of value. It will be interesting to see how the iPad mini will affect the revenue streams of the tech giant.