It’s unusual for us to write a blog solely about one company, but I think its worth noting that Apple have had a pretty big couple of weeks and it is only going to get bigger for them on Wednesday. So a quick round up events over the last few days and what we are looking at on the 7th.
1. Last week Apple’s stock price rose over the $500 per share mark for the first time, this valued the business at a staggering $500 billion (£314bn). Only six US firms have ever been worth $500bn, Oil giant Exxon in 2007, Microsoft was briefly worth $600bn in 2000 and Cisco Systems, Intel and General Electric have all reached that mark. It means that last week Apple cemented its position as the world’s most valuable company as the price closed at $542.44 on the Nasdaq. GOOD TIMES
2. Last week Apple sent out an invite to the worlds techie journalists. Inviting them to a product launch event at their Cupertino head quarters. It was a classic Apple invite, not telling you want you were being invited to other than “We have something you really have to see. And touch.” Mystique, Suspense and Intrigue – all classic techniques from the Apple book of marketing. It is widely rumoured to be an iPad3 launch, potentially their much anticipated TV revamp and by looking at who’s being viewing the mashable website – possibly a new version of their OS software (iOS6). It you think that they are happy with a $500bn valuation just wait and see what the markets make of a new iPad, they will jump 10% without breaking a sweat. Why you ask? Apple managed to sell 15 million iPad’s in the 3rd quarter of 2011, generating revenues of £9.4bn. They have managed to sell that many iPads even with the rumours of a new product coming in early 2012. The iPad3 will make the company even more money.
3. Hard Cash takes me onto the third piece of big apple news. Apple and Samsung are embroiled in a rather large Intellectual Property (IP) battle. We’ve written about it in other posts, its been rumbling along for a number of years and in very simple terms, it stems from the fact that Steve Jobs believed Samsung and more especially Google with their Android OS copied Apple. Google/Samsung disagree and so we have lawyers on both sides making serious bucks fighting on-behalf of their clients. Anyway the reason the IP dispute makes it into my 3 points is that Apple and Samsung have both had patent lawsuits thrown out by a German court last week, the court dismissed both cases involving ownership of the “slide-to-unlock” feature used on their respective smartphones. Realistically this is going to influence future court rulings and unfortunately means that Apples claim that Samsung have copied their ‘slide-to-unlock’ feature have taken a bit of a dent. It won’t deter Apple (or Samsung for that matter) as these are just skirmishes before the proper battle, but the ‘slide-to-unlock’ feature was seen by many as a good test case for how the big fights could go. And then we come back to money….. If you’re going to take on a heavyweight make sure you can afford it, Apple has approx $100bn in cash reserves and is a business that literally prints cash, Google whilst a big firm isn’t quite in the same league when it comes to cash reserves with $44bn.
Lets put it in some context, Google’s total Q4 revenues were $10bn with quarterly net profit of $3.5bn in comparison Apple Q4 revenues were $28.27bn with quarterly net profit of $6.62bn. So the court ruling wasn’t a great finish to the week for Apple in terms of its battles with Samsung.
It leads to a very interesting couple of weeks for Apple and made even more important by the fact this will be the first product launch since Steve Jobs death. I hope it’s an ‘insanely great product’, their share price jumps big time and they are rightfully allowed to defend their Intellectual Property.