RBC Capital analyst Mike Abramsky recently sat down in a meeting with Apple’s chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer and chief operating officer Tim Cook to discuss a range of topics, from Apple’s patent battles to the possibility of a budget-priced iPhone. “Apple’s primary criterion for launching a lower-end iPhone is an innovative, category-killer experience,” Abramsky wrote in a recent note to investors. The execs said that the components sector is currently a “buyers market,” which means it has the upper hand when it comes to negotiating for parts. In addition, Abramsky said Apple is interested in settling a number of patent lawsuits against Android phone makers such as Samsung and HTC, in an effort to strike favorable agreements in countries like China that have less firm patent protection. We recently reported exclusively that Apple has plans to launch a $350 contract-free iPhone, which could very well be the iPhone 3GS. Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPhone in the coming months for a September or October launch.
Apple reported its earnings for the first quarter of its 2011 fiscal year last night, posting revenue of nearly $27 billion on record sales. But as is often the case, much of the juicy stuff came from the question and answer session following the call, where analysts try their best to delve into areas not covered by Apple’s report or its press release. Apple fans who weren’t privy to the topics covered in the Q&A session will be happy to know that market watcher Seeking Alpha has issued a full transcription of the call from start to finish. Analysts didn’t manage to get any state secrets out of the crew from Cupertino, of course, but there were a few peaks among the valleys. Speaking of valleys, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster even managed to work in a subtle question about Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ leave, wondering just how prepared the company is right now for the long haul. Spoiler alert: COO Tim Cook’s response was that Apple is magic. Seriously. Hit the read link for the full transcript. More →