Posts by Aaron Pressman
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance1 day ago
Apple’s (AAPL) two big efforts to push aside some of the most popular mobile apps in maps and music have taken a drubbing from critics, but new data from Comscore show just how successful they’ve been.
Apple’s much-derided Maps app is rapidly catching up to Google’s (GOOGL) Maps app, the U.S. market leader. More than 42 million people used Apple Maps in the three months ended in June, compared to 64 million using Google. And iTunes Radio, the Pandora (P) clone that’s seen few improvements since it arrived last year, had almost 41 million U.S. users compared to Pandora’s 69 million. The totals include users on both iPhones and Android, even though Apple doesn't offer its apps on Android.
Are sales of personal computers coming out of their recent tailspin and finally recovering, or is it all just a Microsoft-induced mirage?
Most analysts, especially the ones that follow PC-making companies, seem to think a rebound is imminent. But a few contrarians warn that Microsoft’s (MSFT) move to stop supporting the ancient Windows XP system after April fueled a temporary upturn, one that likely will soon disappear.
So far in 2014, PC sales have been much healthier than over the past three years, giving a boost to major tech companies including Lenovo (0092.HK), Intel (INTC) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), which reports its fiscal third quarter earnings after the market close Wednesday. Lenovo's Hong Kong-listed shares are up 30% in 2014, while shares of Intel have risen 33%, and HP shares, which doubled last year, have gained another 26%.
It’s been perfectly acceptable for years to list certain leisure activities on a resume, such as golf, bridge or even poker. But what about some of the more modern and digital pursuits — say World of Warcraft, Minecraft or fantasy baseball? As the Wall Street Journal recently noted, some avid video gamers are starting to include their gaming prowess on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles. After all, many young people enjoy video gaming instead of traditional leisure pursuits including golf and tennis, which have seen their popularity take a dive.
Regulators have been shooting down wireless carrier mergers lately, and the results for consumers have been terrific, at least so far.
This week Sprint (S), the third-largest carrier, is slashing prices and offering one of the best deals on the market for families that use lots of data. Or, at least for families that use lots of data and live in areas with solid Sprint network coverage. And the company said it would also soon be introducing new, lower-priced individual plans.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance3 days ago
Expectations are rising for Apple’s (AAPL) newest iPhones, coming next month, which will carry larger screens and possibly fatter profit margins.
With Apple’s rumored iPhone introduction less than a month away, Asian factories have already cranked up production on the next version of the popular smartphone, generating numerous leaks of new features. Apple shares are up 16% over the past three months, as anticipation builds. After closing at $99.16 on Monday, the stock is nearing its all-time high, adjusted for the June split, of $100.72, reached in September, 2012. In afternoon trade on Tuesday, shares are at $100.29.
Investors and analysts say a larger screen is likely the top new iPhone feature, based on the leaks and credible media reports. Such a move would also be consistent with Apple’s strategy of revamping the iPhone’s physical appearance every two years, as it last did in 2012.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance8 days ago
As Apple (AAPL) prepares to launch its newest iPhones next month, the company could see big sales even in emerging-market countries where consumers have lower incomes.
Conventional wisdom says Apple needs to offer a much cheaper iPhone – current models start at around $450 – to succeed in countries such as Russia, India and Vietnam. But hidden amongst the hundreds of millions of mobile-phone buyers in those countries is a sizable and growing base of consumers who value the cachet and quality of iPhones and can afford the price tag, analysts say.
Apple’s market share in less wealthy countries lags far behind its share in countries such as the United States, where more than 40% of smartphone users have an iPhone versus about 50% who use phones running Google’s (GOOGL) Android software. Apple’s high share comes in part from wealthier customers but is also aided by carrier subsidies – which mask the total cost of a phone – and Apple’s prior success with its iPod music player that attracted millions of people to its iTunes store.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance9 days ago
Something didn’t go wrong for Candy Crush publisher King Digital Entertainment (KING) in the second quarter – everything did.
The number of people playing Candy Crush Saga plummeted, the number of people playing its other games grew only modestly and the number of people paying to play all of King’s games dropped. Not quite as much as King’s share price is dropping, however.
The stock, which was priced at $22.50 at the March initial public offering and has since struggled to get back to even $20, fell 23% to $14 in active trading on Wednesday.
King actually met Wall Street expectations for adjusted profit per share, at 59 cents. The company remains a cash flow machine and announced a special dividend of 46.9 cents per share payable to holders of record on September 30.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance11 days ago
As the big book publishers, led by Hachette, battle with Amazon (AMZN) over ebook pricing and related issues, the publishing industry and media are twisting a legendary author's words to make an erroneous point.
In March 1936, George Orwell decided to review 10 books offered via a new-fangled, low-priced process – the Penguin paperback. The books were just fine and a good value to the reader, Orwell conceded, but the pricing was an unmitigated disaster for the publishing industry. And he went on to explain, at length:
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance14 days ago
Amazon (AMZN) used to set the prices people paid for ebooks, but, thanks to an illegal price fixing conspiracy, they lost most of that power to publishers. Almost everyone -- probably even the big publishers -- would be better off if they got it back.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance16 days ago
Sprint (S) is backing off its plan to acquire wireless competitor T-Mobile US (TMUS), but the deal’s demise should prove to be a win for consumers.
T-Mobile has already shaken up the market, cutting prices and slashing fees with its self-proclaimed “Uncarrier” strategy. Now, analysts say, Sprint will also have to improve its offerings and cut prices to succeed on its own.
The proposed $32 billion deal was the brainchild of Japanese billionaire and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, who bought Sprint last year to expand into the United States. Son argued that the combination would create a more formidable competitor to market leaders AT&T (T) and Verizon Wireless (VZ).