An Investor's Perspective on Apple's Announcements (Plus, What the Company Didn't Say)
By Sean Udall, Minyanville
Like many other Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) investors and aficionados, I have been following the announcements made at this year's Worldwide Developer Conference and considering how they might impact not just Apple stock, but my other holdings. Here are my responses to what the company delivered and some other thoughts on what it didn't.
1. Maps. I think many are missing the main point here as well as overstating the impact on Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). After writing TechStrat (subscription required) yesterday, here are my views on the mapping issue:
- Google maps are strongly preferred and engender a lot of loyalty. I don't see usage dropping much.
- One thing we know iOS users know how to do is download and use their preferred Apps. Thus the Google Map will go from being the standard App to one of the most popular iOS Apps.
- Google will be infusing more intelligence and value-added services into its mapping solution. This will be hard to rival, even for Apple.
- Google adds more data to its mapping platform than any other company on the planet. Probably more than all others combined.
- Chrome is becoming ever more popular and rapidly so. Chrome is also slated to be added to iOS in days/weeks. This will help Google maintain its high use case on most iOS devices as a large percentage of iOS users are already deeply entrenched in many other Google services. Chrome will greatly enhance that and is very much desired on the iOS platform.
The key point to mapping:
What I think many are missing is that Apple is now going to make a more concerted effort in the geo-location advertising game. I still contend that Google and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) will prove to be dominant in this emerging area, but Apple could emerge as a strong third. And, if either of the above slip, Apple will be positioned nicely to take future share.
2. Siri improvement. I think many should expect to see continued evolution with this. However, I still don't see a strong use case for Siri all the time. It's very hard to use in crowds or in public. You can't exactly be asking Siri questions during business meetings and presentations, etc. But I do like the function very much for driving and at-home queries. But again, I'm wondering about the trading implications, and where is any enthusiasm for speech-recognition software player Nuance Communications (NASDAQ: NUAN)? it is widely held that Nuance provides some or all of the engine behind Siri. I will likely be adding Nuance stock to my portfolio once we clear the Greece election issue.
3. Facebook integration. I think this is a nice add for iOS but an even better catalyst for Facebook. I was buying Facebook into the harsh weakness and plan on increasing the position. I also think the biggest criticism for Facebook (mobile monetization) could become one of the strongest areas for the company. And Apple's integration doesn't hurt at all!
4. Video and display improvement in the Mac lineup. Although Apple made several announcements regarding display improvements, this hasn't helped some of the vendors behind those upgrades, especially NVIDIA Corp (NASDAQ: NVDA). NVIDIA provides semiconductors, graphics chips, and processing units for computers and mobile devices. The horsepower behind the Retina Display is NVIDIA's graphics processing unit (or GPU). It was a pretty key win for NVIDIA in the Apple Mac lineup as now the NVIDIA GPUs are replacing those of Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD). This should prove a strong revenue and earnings catalyst for NVIDIA.
5. Touchscreen tech in Macs -- where is it? On this one, I think the signs are all there. In fact, the less Apple says about something can sometimes be the most positive affirmation that it's coming. I also think an integration with touchscreen-type iOS functionality into Macs and especially the Macbook Air will prove to be a positive catalyst for Apple shares.
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