What Apple's Announcements This Week Mean for Investors

Now that Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) Worldwide Developers Conference keynote announcements have come and gone, investors have now had a couple of days to digest the developments.

What does the news mean for shareholders?

Back to the Mac
There were three major areas of focus during the keynote: Mac notebooks, desktop operating system OS X Mountain Lion, and mobile operating system iOS 6. Two of these focus squarely on the Mac, despite the fact that WWDC has been relatively mobile-centric in recent years, most notably for iPhone hardware announcements prior to last year.

By focusing on the Mac and its traditional PC line, Apple shows that it's not resting on the laurels of its tremendous iPhone and iPad successes and is still committed to pushing the Mac envelope, even though Mac revenue pales in comparison to the iPhone and iPad combined. The Mac has brought in just $23 billion in sales over the past four quarters, compared to the $100 billion business that the iPhone and iPad have become.

Source: Earnings press releases.

Over the same time, Mac sales have fallen from 30% of trailing-12-month revenue to just 16% over the past two years, while iPhone and iPad sales have jumped from 37% to 70% over the same time frame.

Source: Earnings press releases.

It's good to know that Apple is intent on intensifying PC competition, even as Intel ramps up its Ultrabook initiative to challenge the adoption of tablets.

Street analysts are mostly impressed, with Wedge Partners' Brian Blair calling the new MacBook Pro with Retina display "a real step forward into the future of mobile computing" and comparing it to the original MacBook Air that was released in 2008, even though it was a little ahead of its time.

The sales figures may not show it, but the Mac remains just as important as ever.

Next up: Google
Google
's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) own Google I/O developer conference takes place later this month, where the search giant will detail the next major version of its own mobile operating system, Android. The mobile OS front is increasingly becoming a two-horse race, with Android and iOS combined grabbing 79% of the market.

Apple's iOS announcements put the pressure on Android. Some of the iOS announcements played catch-up, while others give it a leg up, such as the Facebook (Nasdaq: FB  ) integration. Considering the increasing competition between Google and Facebook in the ad market, I wouldn't expect Android to get any official Facebook integration anytime soon.

Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster believes the news strengthens iOS's position against Android, "tightening the ecosystem with other Apple devices" in ways that Android can't because it doesn't make the operating system people use (not for lack of trying, though). Munster thinks iOS 6 will help Apple grab more share domestically and in Europe, while Android will continue its lead in emerging markets.

Get ready for China
WWDC had attendees from over 60 countries, but there was one particular region that got extra attention: China. Both OS X and iOS are seeing features added specifically for the Chinese market, including the addition of Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU  ) as a default search engine and SINA's (Nasdaq: SINA  ) Weibo microblogging service, among others.

Mac software chief Craig Federighi made no secret about it: "Get your apps ready for China."

Operating Segment

Second-Quarter Revenue

Second-Quarter Growth (YOY)

Americas $13.2 billion 41.4%
Europe $8.8 billion 46.1%
Japan $2.6 billion 91.3%
Asia-Pacific $10.2 billion 114.1%
Retail $4.4 billion 37.9%

Source: Earnings press releases.

China continues to be one of Apple's hottest growth zones, so gearing its software toward Chinese users is the right move to make. Asia-Pacific revenue put up the most growth by far last quarter, as Greater China alone more than tripled to $7.9 billion in revenue. Catering software development to that region will keep growth chugging along.

An Apple a day

Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook, Baidu, Intel, Google, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Baidu, Intel, Google, Sina, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 15, 2012, at 12:47 PM, jaredfield wrote:

    Apple has clearly dropped the ball. Big event, big announcements and no stock movement. Apple is now seen to be abandoning their professional users. Only time will tell if this is a winning move, but for now the market gives a big yawn.

  • Report this Comment On June 15, 2012, at 3:13 PM, ItinerantRick wrote:

    The new MacBook is nice, but quite pricey.

    What this story, and most 'fan' analysts miss is that Apple showed a great vulnerability this week. The mobile phone market is on a 2 year upgrade cycle in the U.S., the length of standard carrier contracts for subsidized phones. The iPhone 4 went on sale in late June 2010, so the AT&T contracts for users with the iPhone 4 start to expire next week. Those users will be looking to upgrade, but Apple has no skin in that market at this time since they have no real upgrade from the 4 (the 4S really a marginally improved 4 and not enough for someone to lock into a contract for another 2 years). This has to be why Apple is pursuing a ban on sale of the Samsung Galaxy S III in the U.S; they screwed up, did not have the iPhone 5 ready, and know that Samsung is likely to get a good share of the upgrades for users coming off their contracts for the iPhone 4.

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