Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) stock continued to lose ground this week, underperforming the S&P 500's 2.5% gain with a 1% loss. Zooming out, however, it's clear Apple may simply be taking a break from its massive run-up during the past six months.
Whatever the reasons for Apple's slight decline during the week, the past five days were certainly packed with nuggets for Apple investors. Most notably, Apple finally launched its radically redesigned Mac Pro.
The new Mac Pro
Before the latest refresh, the last Mac Pro launch was in 2010. Waiting for years, there was apparently some pent-up demand when Apple announced this week that the high-end computer would go on sale Thursday; on Apple's website, shipping dates have already slipped to February.
The computer is certainly an upgrade from its predecessor.
Its cylindrical shape is shockingly different from the first generation. Apple's press release announcing availability gives details on the dramatic change in form-factor.
Designed around an innovative unified thermal core, the all-new Mac Pro packs unprecedented performance into an aluminum enclosure that is just 9.9 inches tall and one-eighth the volume of the previous generation.
The guts, too, are light-years better. It's up to two times faster than the previous generation and supports 4K video.
Despite the irrefutable cool factor Apple achieved with its new Mac Pro, Macs now account for only 15% of its revenue. So even if the Mac Pro is a success (and shipment estimates indicate there is certainly considerable demand), Apple's biggest drivers are its iPhone and iPad segments, which together account for about 69% of its top line.
Other big Apple news during the week focused on the company's alleged agreement with China Mobile. Though the deal will undoubtedly ad incremental value to Apple's bottom line, The Wall Street Journal's prediction for an iPhone launch with the world's largest carrier to take place on Dec. 18 turned out to never pan out. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo speculates that China and Apple could be renegotiating the deal because of a higher-than-expected skew in demand toward the higher-end iPhone 5s among the two flagship phones.
How Apple disrupted an industry
Probably one of the most interesting stories of the week was an inside look at how Apple may have spooked chipmakers more than they let on when Apple introduced a 64-bit A7 processor. Apple's move to 64-bit architecture came sooner than the industry expected and it caused a bit of panic, according to one Qualcomm employee.
As we wrap up the week, a review of the week's Apple stories suggest none of them were big enough to change the outlook for Apple's business. Importantly, however, the China Mobile story should continue to be watched closely as it unfolds. If Apple can't make an arrangement with the world's largest carrier, the company could be missing out on a significant opportunity. Though given the extent of the opportunity (and the ongoing speculation that a deal is inevitable), Apple will likely find a way to make it work.
Hedge your bets in a pricey market with a stream of income from dividend stocks
One of the dirty secrets that few finance professionals will openly admit is the fact that dividend stocks as a group handily outperform their non-dividend paying brethren. The reasons are too numerous to list here, but you can rest assured that it's true. However, knowing this is only half the battle. The other half is identifying which dividend stocks in particular are the best. With this in mind, our top analysts put together a free list of nine high-yielding stocks that should be in every income investor's portfolio. To learn the identity of these stocks instantly and for free, all you have to do is click here now.