Over the past decade, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has transformed from a growing company in the midst of a comeback to the largest publicly traded company in the world. If that's not the definition of a "boom," then I don't know what is. As Apple has grown, other companies have been able to piggyback on that success and expanded their own businesses. Meanwhile, Apple's boom has come at the expense of many rivals as well, since competing with Apple can be quite a challenge. Between suppliers and competitors, here are a handful of stocks to watch related to the Apple boom.
Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) has been one of the most visible victims of Apple's rise. The company that pioneered the smartphone market in many ways is now but a footnote in its history. Once dominant, BlackBerry has seen its market share fall to less than 1%. That said, investors shouldn't write off BlackBerry altogether, as CEO John Chen is in the midst of constructing a potential turnaround for the fallen company. BlackBerry isn't out of the woods quite yet, as its turnaround remains in progress, but Chen is doing an immeasurably better job than his predecessor, Thorsten Heins.
Chen has a clear vision for BlackBerry's evolution. Importantly, his vision is viable, unlike Heins' plan. Chen hopes to steer BlackBerry directly into the enterprise-software and cross-platform security market, a place where it has always had key strengths and differentiation. In fact, as BlackBerry's hardware sales continue to decline, margins could stabilize and improve since software is inherently more profitable and scalable.
BlackBerry is definitely worth keeping an eye on to see whether it can pull it off.
Even though Android isn't a massive revenue driver for Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) directly, the platform is of utmost strategic importance as Google continues to help lead the mobile revolution. In fact, Tim Cook has explicitly said that he considers Google to be Apple's primary competitor, since Google is responsible for Android, which in turn enables a vast array of hardware competitors.
Apple and Google continue to both innovate at breathtaking pace, each refining their own platforms in a digital arms race. Once one company comes up with a great idea, the other promptly follows suit and replicates the feature or service. You can't watch Apple without watching what Google is up to.
While Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) fortunes remain intricately linked to the broader PC market, it's worth noting that Apple is one of the fastest-growing PC makers in the world. Of course, Apple is growing off a much smaller base compared with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows, but Apple continues to enjoy momentum with the Mac. In fact, Apple achieved its highest market share ever in the U.S. in Q3 2014, according to IDC.
Apple's rising relative influence in the PC market means it also has greater influence on Intel's business. Apple has played an important role in pushing Intel to bolster performance of its integrated graphics as well. There's also hope that Intel will be able to win some of Apple's foundry business, making A-chip processors for the company. There are numerous ways Apple affects Intel's top line, which is why investors should watch the chip giant.