Tech Teardown: October 18

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Lenovo has now potentially joined the fray in BlackBerry's (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) ongoing auction process. That would be in addition to the current $9 per-share offer from Fairfax Financial that's on the table, and previous reports also suggested that BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis was contemplating a bid. Yet, with at least three bids potentially on the table, BlackBerry is still trading at a significant discount to $9. Clearly there's some skepticism around each deal.

Twitter's going private?
AllThingsD is reporting that Twitter is preparing to overhaul its private direct messaging service. Twitter has long focused heavily on users being able to publicly broadcast tweets for all to see, although it has always had a direct messaging component as well. Messaging has become an important competitive field for tech companies, including the aforementioned heavyweights. On top of that, smaller companies like WhatsApp, which now has more than 300 million monthly active users, are also making a dent in the market.

Microsoft's big update
This week, Microsoft  (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) released Windows 8.1, the first major update to its controversial Windows 8 operating system that launched a year ago. At the heart of the debate is Microsoft's ambitious shift to a tile interface that's a departure from the interface that Windows users had become accustomed to after nearly two decades. Windows 8.1 still embraces the tile interface, but Microsoft has now tried to incorporate it more seamlessly with the traditional desktop. The tile interface is what Microsoft now uses across all devices, including those that run Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.

Gaga for Google
Search giant Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) soared to fresh all-time highs today, with shares bursting through the $1,000 threshold for the first time ever. Google's stellar third-quarter results were to thank, as the company blew past Street expectations. Investors had been concerned about how advertisers would react to Google's new Enhanced Campaigns, which allow advertisers to target multiple screens in one campaign. The new initiative is off to a healthy start, and investors couldn't be happier.

Apple news: The bullish case for Apple's 5c, iPad sales estimates, and event information.
Ever since introducing the iPhone 5c last month, Apple  (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) has taken a lot of investor criticism over its pricing strategy. However, this skepticism could potentially be misplaced, as Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um makes the bullish case for the plastic device.

Last year, iPhone 4s demand didn't ramp up until the holiday season, and Um predicts the same thing will happen this year with the iPhone 5c. If that proves true, then Apple's decision to stick with its existing pricing and margin structure would be a definite win.

In addition, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek expects iPad sales of 27 million in the December quarter. What are the risks to that number?

Finally, what does Apple have to "cover" in their October 22 event?

In today's episode of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses the latest developments in the tech sector with Jamal Carnette and Evan Niu, CFA, our tech and telecom bureau chief.

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