The world's largest tech firm posted its fiscal second-quarter earnings Tuesday, posting stronger than expected earnings and revenue as sales of its popular iPhone and iPad remained strong. The company also announced it was returning more of its substantial cash hoard to shareholders by increasing its dividend and expanding a cash buyback program. Unfortunately, Apple's guidance moving forward fell short of analyst expectations. The company's stock fluctuated through Tuesday's session, plunging sharply at the open before climbing back to close up slightly.
Apple's smartphone market dominating iPhone has shown the first chink in its armor, as its sales total was outpaced in the third quarter by Samsung's Galaxy S III, according to a research from a data tracking firm called Strategy Analytics. According to the report, Samsung moved a whopping 18 million Galaxy S III units between July and September, surpassing Apple's total of 16.2 million iPhone 4S units. Combined, the two phones accounted for over 10 percent of the entire smartphone market for the period. The Galaxy S III, which hit the market in May, is equipped with the capability of accessing 4G networks, the main deficiency cited for the iPhone 4S. The Galaxy also features a longer-lasting battery and a larger screen than the 4S, prompting a number of consumer electronics reviewers to rate it the best on the market.
Apple Loses Appeal over Samsung Tablet
Apple's UK appeal, over whether Samsung copied tablet designs from Apple, has been denied. One of the reason given was that Samsung products were 'not as cool' as Apple's. Seriously. The two tech giants have been embattled worldwide over several patents for smartphones and tablets. The UK court acknowledged similarities but ultimately decided that Samsung did not infringe Apple's designs.
S. Korea's Samsung released a statement saying they continue “to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners.”
Samsung also referred to Apple's claims as 'excessive' and that they could limit innovation, "Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims in other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited,” the company said.
Apple could still appeal to the Supreme Court but there has been no indication that they will do so.
Apple Inc., which has been far-and-away the most valuable company in the world for nearly a year since surpassing Exxon Mobile in market value, achieved an even bigger milestone on Monday as its market cap surged to $619 billion, making the tech giant the most valuable company in the world ever. Previously, Microsoft had held the largest-ever market capitalization, reaching a valuation of $616.3 billion in December 1999, at the height of the dot com boom.
According to financial analysis firm Bernstein Research, the world's largest company by market capitalization may be considering a stock split that could lead Apple being traded on the Dow Jones. A.M. Sacconaghi, Bernstein's senior analyst, noted in an article that the Dow has an insufficient number of tech companies, as the blue-chip index has only IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Microsoft and Intel from the sector.
Apple shares slipped nearly 4 percent Wednesday after the company issued a rare earnings miss for its fiscal third quarter, just the second time in the last ten years Apple's profit has failed to meet Wall Street expectations. The stock has now fallen some 10 percent since setting an all-time high of $644 a share back in April. In the three months ended June 30th, Cupertino, California-based Apple posted earnings of $9.32 a share, up significantly from its 3Q 2011 profit of $7.79 a share but more than $1.00 a share below economists' expectations. Overall revenue, meanwhile, rose 23 percent from the year ago period to $35 billion, but missed estimates by $2.2 billion.
In a somewhat surprising move, search giant Google announced on Thursday that it is making its Chrome Web browser available for users of Apple's iPhone, as well as its productivity app dubbed Google Drive. The move was a little surprising given the contentious relationship between the two companies in recent years since former Apple CEO Steve Jobs accused Google of stealing the iPhone. While Apple has developed a reputation for making it difficult for developers to get their apps approved for sale in the iTunes App Store, it has been especially hard on browsers, having only approved a handful of apps prior to Chrome.
Tech investors are starting to worry about the health of Larry Page after the Google CEO missed the search giant's shareholder meeting last week and will miss several more key events into next month. In addition to last week's shareholder meeting, Page will also miss this week's I/O conference and next month's second-quarter earnings call. The company has been relatively mum about what health problems are keeping Page from these events, but former CEO and current chairman Eric Schmidt did say that Page had lost his voice.
The posh New York City auction house Sotheby's on Friday sold an original Apple I, the first computer built by iconic Apple founder Steve Jobs. The winning bid, placed anonymously via telephone, was $374,500, enough to buy 750 basic iPads, or about 650 shares of stock in the world's most valuable company. The bidding went higher than expected for the 36 year-old computer, which Sotheby's touted as the “start of the personal computing revolution.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives from the world's most valuable company had a host of announcements at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, including the unveiling of a new, cheaper and faster line of MacBook laptops. The tech giant's super-thin MacBook Air got a new Ivy Bridge processor from Intel, a 720 pixel camera, and the price tag was slashed by $100 on both the 11-inch version and 13-inch. Intel's new Ivy Bridge processor has also been included in the higher-end MacBook Pro laptop line, which also got an upgrade in graphic processor and now features up to 1 GB of video memory.