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Two Tech Stories Making Headlines Thursday (AAPL, HPQ)

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Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) are front-and-center in tech news Thursday after two Asia-Pacific media outlets report key product offering developments.

Apple

The days of Apple being able to hide its upcoming products until a media event are gone, despite the company’s best efforts. In the wake of a stellar earnings report Tuesday, Want China Times is reporting that Hon Hai, known in American Markets as Foxconn, started a test run of both the iPhone 5s and the budget iPhone.

Although rumors such as these are always unconfirmed, Foxconn is apparently using the codenames Fisker to refer to the low-cost iPhone and Zagato for the iPhone 5S.

According to reports, Apple is planning to give its budget iPhone orders to Pegatron, a Taiwan-based company as it continues to diversify its supply chain. Apple also plans to source components from Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE: TSM) as it distances itself from rival Samsung as a component supplier.

Related: Apple to Recover from its Q3 2013 Mac Sales Flop

Hewlett-Packard

According to Digitimes, Hewlett-Packard will release a $99 tablet through Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) in time for the back to school buying frenzy.

The $99 tablet, manufactured by China-based BYD, will have a 7-inch touch screen and an Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) single-core processor.

Hewlett-Packard is returning to the tablet market after seeing weak demand for its $499 TouchPad. The company later slashed the price of the tablet to $99 to liquidate the supply.

If the reports prove to be true, Hewlett-Packard will have the cheapest tablet on the market. In early 2013, Acer sold its Iconia B1 at $150. Then, in mid-2013, ASUSTek announced the MeMO Pad that retailed for $129.

But even at this bargain price point, the tablet may have limited success. Because it’s being released through a limited retail channel, the market may be diminished.

It’s not likely to appeal to the tech-savvy market either. Critics believe that the single-core processor will be a turn-off compared to the quad-core ARM-based processors that are now standard.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker was long Apple.

Posted-In: Apple ARM Asustek budget iPhone BYD China Digitimes Fisker hewlett-packard Iconia Intel iPhone 5S MeMO Pegatron TouchPad Wal-Mart Want China Times ZagatoNews Rumors Retail Sales Events Global Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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