Notebook market strong
DisplaySearch, a marketing forecast company, anticipates the notebook PC market to remain strong for the remainder of 2008 and into 2009, while other industries will struggle through the economic slump. Many customers have been replacing their desktop systems with notebooks, creating a trend that the analysis expects to continue. Another primary factor, the popularity of mini-notebooks, has been figured into the numbers. The company expects the mini devices to grow by 23 percent quarter to quarter and 38 percent year to year for the third quarter of 2008.
Apple suggested for Dow
A decade ago, Apple was the subject of deathwatches and buyout rumors. Now, a CNN Money editor at large is suggesting that Apple could replace AIG in the Dow Jones industrial average. The New York Times is reporting that AIG (American International Group), a large insurance company, is seeking a $40 billion bridge loan from the Federal Reserve, in the face of a potential downgrade from credit ratings agencies that could spell its doom. CNN Money is reporting that AIG will have to sell its aircraft-leasing arm, International Lease Finance Corp, and possibly its annuities business and auto insurance unit to raise cash.
US sees most iPhones
The first million iPhones to be sold have seen the most distribution in the United States, capturing over 600,000 units sold, with Japan, Germany, and France following closely behind, making up for 81-percent of the million. Medialets reveals that, while the device saw excellent market penetration in all markets (between 0.33-percent and 0.45-percent, with the US at 1.07-percent), Canadian wireless provider Rogers Wireless saw a mere 0.27-percent, most likely due to activation issues across the entire country at launch.
Apple's best edu quarter
After posting its best July quarter, showing success in retail, international markets, and overall revenue, Apple said it had an excellent quarter with education as well, seeing 25-percent growth overall. The growth led Apple to call it its best ever, and noted that both Kindergarten to Grade 12 and Higher Education markets saw unprecedented increases, bringing them to all time highs. The increases are credited to Apple's most generous Back To School promotion yet.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has put forth a set of expectations for Apple's Q3 earnings, due today after the US markets close. Munster believes that upside to Mac and iPod units may drive upside to the June quarter and is reiterating his Buy rating. While the street is expecting Apple to have shipped 2.2 million Macs in the quarter, Munster cites a buyside bias of 2.35 million units. He is also expecting shipemtn of about 10.5 million iPods, vs. the street consensus of 10.3 million.
Apple edges Acer for No. 3
Research firm IDC reports that worldwide PC shipments grew at 15 percent in the second quarter of 2008. The quarter also saw Apple roughly tie Acer in the US market, assuming fourth place and missing third place by only a few thousand units. Demand in the United States suffered from the ongoing economic pressure, with rowth in the low single-digits. Dell continued its recovery with another quarter of double-digit growth, while HP saw year on year growth rise from the first quarter. Portable adoption continues to be a key driver, even though consumer share is generally at its lowest during the second quarter.
Tell Us Your Bento Story
In brief: Milliamp offers iPhone 3G battery replacement, FileMaker launches "Tell Us Your Bento Story" sweepstakes, New Aperture 2, Mac OS Security Tutorials, and Freeway 5.1.3 adds Simplified Chinese localization ... Milliamp has announced a battery replacement service for the new iPhone 3G. "Although the new iPhone won't hit the U.S. market until later this week, we wanted the world to know that we have the capability to replace the battery in the new iPhone 3G," said Anthony Magnabosco, the owner of the iPhone battery replacement service provider. Milliamp LTD has been offering battery replacement kits for practically every iPod model, as well as battery replacement services for the more difficult-to-open iPods for three years. Every iPod and iPhone has a lithium-ion battery, so over time, the battery will fail to hold it's original charge and will eventually have to be replaced.
Autodesk acquires GBS
Autodesk has acquired the assets of Green Building Studio (GBS), further consolidating the market for Mac-based architecture software. GBS' web service will soon join the Autodesk product family, while the GBS team will continue selling, training, and supporting architects as they use the GBS web service to design carbon neutral buildings today and in the future. Autodesk also plans to continue support for the Green Building Studio web service and carbon neutral building design training. The gbXML schema will remain an open industry standard, and the GBS web service will continue to be available to any other BIM software.
Apple notebook sales
DisplaySearch has published its latest quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report, which shows that the notebook PC market grew 35% year over year in the first quarter of 2008 to 31 million units. Apple, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo all significantly outpaced the year over market growth, with Apple posting 61 percent unit growth from 891,000 units to 1.43 million units. That growth gave Apple a 4.6 percent share of the overall market, making it the seventh largest notebook vendor.
iPhone a search engine hit
Helped by the hype of iPhone 2.0 platform and a buzz over the pending iPhone 3G announcement, the iPhone generated huge traffic for internet search engines in April. ComScore, which provides market research for advertisers, says 1.3 million Americans conducted 6.9 million iPhone-related searches in April. The word “iPhone” was the most popular term, with nearly 1.5 million searches, followed by “iPhone 2.0” and “iPhone 3G.” The vast majority of those seaches -- 88.4 percent -- went to Google, Yahoo got about 7 percent, with MSN getting less than 3 percent.
Global PC shipments
Despite tough overall economic conditions, the market for personal computers remained strong in the first quarter of 2008 according to iSuppli. Global PC unit shipments rose to 69.9 million units in the first quarter, up 12.1 percent from 62.4 million in the first quarter of 2007. Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Acer Inc. retained the top-three rankings with no change from the previous quarter. HP boosted first-quarter global PC shipments by 23 percent over the same quarter in 2007, to reach 13.2 million units. Dell in the first quarter of 2008 expanded its market share position by half a percentage point compared to the fourth quarter of 2007, at 15.4 percent, with worldwide shipments of 10.8 million units.
IDC sees PC growth
IDC is projecting worldwide PC shipment growth of 15.2 percent in 2008, reaching 310 million units. The analysis firm predicts that growth will remain in the double-digits through 2010, followed by high single-digit growth through 2012, boosting annual shipments to over 472 million in 2012. Meanwhile, the fall in average PC selling price will be offset by an ongoing transition to sale of notebooks, which generally cost more than desktops. IDC's report also says that the Asia/Pacific region excluding Japan (APeJ) surpassed the United States as the region with the largest PC market in total annual shipments at the end of 2007.
3G iPhone impact mobile TV
Apple has a window of opportunity to make a significant impact on the mobile TV market with it's imminent launch of the 3G iPhone around the world, according to the latest report from Analysys Mason. Market research shows that many iPhone owners have accessed TV and video content, with greater frequency than subscribers using other types of mobile handsets. If a new iPhone based on AT&T faster "3G" network is announced during next week's Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) it could mean big things for the mobile TV market.
Dell revenue up
Dell has reported fiscal first quarter revenue of $16 billion, a 9 percent year-over-year increase. While net earnings of $0.38 cents per share represent a 12 percent increase, operating income was down 4 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. In a statement, Dell officials said that the results were driven by "better-than-industry growth of commercial and consumer products and services, and lower operating expense as a percent of revenue." Specifically, notebook sales skyrocketed 43 percent, a rate Dell says is 1.2 times the industry average. The consumer segment was also especially strong, with Dell claiming to grow global share of this market by 1.2 points to 8.8 percent during the quarter.
SplashMoney, SplashID 4
SplashData has announced Mac OS X versions of its SplashMoney personal finance application and SplashID 4 secure password manager. Both applications synchronize with their respective mobile applications. The company also announced a standalone version of SplashMoney for Mac OS X for users that do not have a compatible mobile device. SplashMoney is personal financial manager that can securely record transactions, track account balances, generate reports and budgets, and manage finances. The tool supports most account types, including checking, savings, credit card, cash, asset, liability, and money market accounts.
Apple shares up 4.5%
Shares of Apple Computer Inc. are up $6.51 to $161 near the end of trading on friday, representing a gain of 4.21 percent. The uptick could be due, at least in part, to strong market share gains posted by the company in recent surveys from various research firms. Apple saw the biggest gain among the top 5 vendors in the U.S. market according to Gartner, enjoying strong retail sales coupled with "decent growth" in the professional market. According to IDC, Apple is expected to come in at fourth place and ship 950,000 Macs to Americans during the first quarter of 2008, earning itself an increase from 5.7 percent in the prior quarter to 6 percent. The increase is a 25.1 percent jump over sales in early 2007 and also represents more than a full percentage point increase in marketshare from year to year.
Palm sells 1m Centros
Palm today announced that it has sold 1 million of its Centro smartphones, which has company representatives attributing to its lower price tag. According to The NewsMarket, the phone accounted for 11-percent of all domestic mobile phone sales during 2007, and is currently available in 10 countries – Palm also confirmed it has desires to sell the device in additional areas, but has not announced a formal timeframe for the move.
Industry torn on mobility
The iPhone is among the most widely accepted portable internet devices, and some in the industry are torn on whether this is a sign of the prophesized death of desktops. PC Magazine writer Lance Ulanoff argues that the iPhone, coupled with the long-awaited SDK, is creating a brand new era of computing standards that will some day kill the desktop, and possibly the laptop. Ulanoff argues that the iPhone has found a market with many different groups.
Analysts torn on iPhone
With Apple's recent introduction of the iPhone/iPod touch SDK, some analysts are torn on the device's corporate future, despite support for Microsoft's ActiveSync protocol. According to MarketWatch, the latest changes to the iPhone platform could make it more competitive with the RIMM BlackBerry platform, but analyst Toni Sacconaghi said the introductions may do little to change the iPhone's overall position in the smartphone market.
Comcast sues FCC over cap
Comcast recently issued a lawsuit to the FCC over a pending decision, which would institute a 30-percent cap for cable's share of multichannel-video providers. Comcast, the largest cable provider in the US, currently sits at 27-percent, according to Broadcasting and Cable. David Cohen, executive vice president for Comcast, said in an interview, "the record at the FCC provided absolutely no support for a horizontal ownership cap of 30% -- a position that has been supported by the courts."
Apple ninth in laptops
Apple sits ninth overall in laptop sales, but also has the third highest rate of growth, according to a recent study performed by The NPD Group. According to the study, Apple had moved through 1.34 million laptops during the quarter, earning 4.1-percent market share, which is up 38-percent from the year ago quarter. HP remained the top brand, claiming 20.1-percent market share, by moving 6.66 million laptops, up from 4.69 million last year.
3G iPhone delayed, testing
Industry analysts expect Apple's heavily rumored 3G iPhone to be delayed, according to a note from RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky. The Wall Street Journal reports that the delay will occur due to testing and fine-tuning on partner networks. Both RBC and Banc of America Securities lowered price targets for the Cupertino-based computer manufacturer, which caused shares to lose 3.4-percent, or $4.26, settling at $120.76.
T-Mobile to enter Canada
The ongoing auction for the Canadian 700MHz spectrum may have T-Mobile as a new bidder, representing the German company's first potential interest in a market outside of Europe and the United States. According to MobileInCanada.com, an internal note went around CIBC indicating that it would be a good maneuver for the telecom company, since T-Mobile is reluctant to acquire third-party companies to commence its service.
Macs will help AAPL
Apple's Macintosh computers will play a bigger role in the company's growth than the iPhone and iPod, according to industry analysts. CNN Money reports that BMO Capital Markets analyst Keith Bachman today cut Apple's stock target from $160 to $140 per share. Bachman says that the iPhone's growth is slowing and he remains skeptical on Apple's target of 10 million units sold; his own forecast sees Apple moving around 8.5 million iPhones.
iPhone unlocks harm AAPL
Despite Apple's optimistic target of 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008, some analysts are skeptical, and others say the device may not be as profitable for the company as originally thought. According to MarketWatch, Apple faces an additional challenge in that as many as one million iPhones are unaccounted for on partner networks, and are assumed to be unlocked. These "missing" iPhones could ultimately contribute to almost $1.3 billion in lost subscription revenue over two years, should Apple meet the goal of 10 million sold.
Yahoo assures investors
Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang today sent a letter to the company's stockholders in an attempt to reassure investors of its stance on the Microsoft deal. Yang claims that Yahoo is positioned to increase its value by around 60-percent by 2010, by emphasizing on its current business model. Citing the company's Panama search marketing system, Right Media buyer/seller meet-up service, and Blue Lithium marketing system, Yahoo is poised to grow its $2 billion in cash reserves to the double-digits by 2009.
Sales, products save AAPL
Apple is ready to rise in the stock market again, as the company rolls out international iPhone releases, which analysts predict may bring balance a slowing US economy. According to financial news site The Street, worldwide demand for the iPhone remains high, after a poll conducted by ChangeWave revealed that the iPhone is the most popular choice for those looking to buy within the next six months.
iPhone vs. rivals
Apple ranked third in the global hardware market during the fourth quarter of 2007, according to canalys.com, with its iPhone garnering a whopping 28 percent of the smartphone market. Smart mobile device shipments reached 118 million last year, up 53 percent over 2006, while converged device shipments of smart phones and wireless handhelds rose 60 percent to hit 115 million in 2007. Apple entered the market late in the year, and has thus far shipped only one device.
Motorola examines options
Motorola today announced it is exploring the possibility of restructuring its business strategies in order to recoup its status as a top wireless equipment provider. After having recently been bumped to third behind Nokia and Samsung, Motorola is taking steps to win back marketshare, and in turn, enhance the value of its shares. One avenue the company is exploring is to divide its wireless business from the rest of its daily operations, allowing each party to concentrate fully on their various tasks.
Mobile growth slowing
Growth in the mobile phone industry is expected to slow to the single digits going forward from this year, according to market research firm IDC. Last quarter saw a rise in unit sales of 11.6-percent, with the previous holiday quarter fluctuating between 18- and 30-percent. Despite the slowing growth, more than 300 million mobile units were sold during the quarter, which is a record for any quarter, historically. Overall, 1.14 billion phones were sold worldwide, which is 12.4-percent more than the year prior.
Apple's holiday quarter
Apple is due to report its December quarter results after the market closes on January 22nd, and research firm Piper Jaffray expects an upside to Wall Street expectations based primarily on Mac sales. Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster says Mac sales could reach 2.3 million -- beating out average estimates of 2.2 million -- with iPod sales of 24-26 million over Wall Street predictions of 24.7 million. Munster also says Apple may well report 2.2 million iPhone sales, just shy of average investor expectations of 2.26 million.
DRM-free Sony on Amazon
Amazon.com today said it is now selling unprotected music from Sony BMG, making the online retailer the first store to offer DRM-free songs from all four major music labels in MP3 format, according to a report from Reuters. Apple's iTunes Store announced the availability of iTunes Plus in early April, with unprotected MP3 music files from EMI's catalog at a slightly higher price.
Mac OS share hits 7.3%
Strong holiday sales of both MacBook and iPhones resulted in significant market share gains for Apple during the month of December, according to a Net Applications survey. Mac OS X rose to a record 7.3 percent share from 6.8 percent in November, while the company's iPhone garnered .12 percent share over the previous month's .09 percent. The survey suggests that more than one in 1,000 people on the internet are browsing the Web with an iPhone, according to Fortune.
The Google effect
The internet has become a very profitable place to run business, especially since Google's IPO in 2004, when a mass amount of money started flowing through the virtual economy, causing some to coin the term "the Google effect". As Google's stock took off, employees began cashing in options, prompting some to buy luxuries like $15,000 custom bikes, and $650,00 boats. Dispatch.com reports that Mercury News recently unveiled an analysis of company documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that Google generated more than $19 billion from 2004 to 2006, which could have exceeded $50 billion, due to the multiplier effect – every dollar of spending theoretically creates two or three dollars in economic activity.