Struggling smartphone vendor Research In Motion is still a solid takeover target according to a new report, but only at a deep discount below RIM’s already low market value. RIM has lost 75% of its value over the past year but Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu says RIM’s true value lies below its current market capitalization, which sits at approximately $8.7 billion. Logical buyers according to Wu include Samsung — though the company has gone on record instating it is not interested in acquiring RIM — as well as Amazon, Microsoft and maybe even Facebook. Read on for more. More →
With Apple currently readying its next-generation iPad 3 tablet, new estimates suggest the company could sell nearly 50 million iPads this year. In a note to investors on Wednesday morning, Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu suggested that calendar 2012 iPad sales could come in at approximately 48 million units, and he calls that a conservative estimate. “We believe this significant refresh will likely help drive higher iPad sales and help further differentiate from arguably the only real competitor in the market, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and not to mention the myriad of Android offerings out there,” Wu wrote. “We are currently modeling 48 million iPad shipments for calendar 2012.” Apple is reportedly planning to unveil the iPad 3 in February with a faster quad-core processor, a new 2,048 by 1,536-pixel HD display and 4G LTE support. Multiple reports have also suggested that Apple will continue to sell an iPad 2 model at a reduced price following the iPad 3 launch.
Apple’s much rumored Siri-powered HDTV may offer a feature many TV viewers have been wanting for quite some time: customized channel lineups. According to Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu, Apple has its heart set on offering its customers customized programming. That means, for example, a user might be able to choose to pay for the ESPN and Comedy Central, but omit MTV and CNN. However, that may make licensing a lot messier. “This is obviously much more complicated from a licensing standpoint,” Wu said in a note to investors Wednesday. “And in our view, would change the game for television and give AAPL a big leg-up against the competition.” Wu also argued that Apple should continue to offer its Apple TV set-top box alongside its HDTV, Barron’s reports. The latest rumors have suggested that Sharp is already developing 32-inch and 37-inch LCD panels for the TV, which could launch during the second or third quarter next year. Apple is also already said to be holding meetings with top media executives about its television product, perhaps in an effort to iron out the licensing deals that would be required for customized channel lineups. More →
Strong sales of Apple’s new iPhone 4S smartphone can be attributed in large part to Siri, Apple’s new virtual personal assistant, one analyst believes. The Cupertino, California-based company launched the iPhone 4S in just seven markets on October 14th, and it later reported that sales of the new model surpassed 4 million units during the device’s opening weekend alone. In the U.S., Sprint said the iPhone launch brought the carrier its “best ever day of sales,” and AT&T confirmed that it activated more than 1 million iPhone 4S handsets in less than a week. Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu claims Apple’s success with the handset is due in large part to Siri. Read on for more. More →
As RIM prepares to report its earnings on Thursday for the second fiscal second quarter of 2012, all eyes are turning north following the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor’s first-quarter report, which was something of a bloodbath. RIM’s first quarter performance wasn’t abysmal — the company did see gains in several international markets — but it missed the Street’s consensus by a wide margin, trimmed its second-quarter guidance and stated that would soon be laying off workers in an effort to streamline operations. RIM has since launched its first wave of BlackBerry 7 smartphones and while sales of its new devices won’t really be reflected in its second-quarter earnings, some analysts still believe RIM could beat Wall Street’s expectations when it reports later this week. Read on for more. More →
Research In Motion will benefit in the near term from the ongoing launch of its new BlackBerry 7 smartphones, which are being described as the vendor’s strongest devices in some time. Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu upgraded his rating on RIM stock to Buy from Neutral, increasing his price target to $35 from $28. Wu sees near-term opportunity in RIM, and he thinks new BlackBerry handsets like the Bold 9900 will be well received. “The key differences this time include a refined user interface and improved hardware including faster processors, better graphics and displays as well as better build quality with its greater use of premium materials,” Wu wrote on Friday. “The company recently launched the new Bold 9900 and Torch 9810 and we see the upcoming launch of the full touchscreen Torch and new lower-end Curve in upcoming 1-2 quarters as future catalysts. RIMM has undoubtedly lost some customers but for loyalists still using 2-3 year old models, these refined updates are a worthy upgrade.” Read on for more. More →
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu sent a note to investors Wednesday that suggested Apple’s Mac and iPhone market shares could double or even triple in the next few years. “We believe [Apple] has opportunity to double or potentially even triple its market share in these end markets over the next few years, particularly with Greater China and international under-penetrated opportunities,” Wu wrote. He said there’s “plenty of headroom” for growth in the enterprise and consumer markets, and he thinks Apple can take advantage of “secular mega trends” including the mobile internet, cloud computing and the consumerization of technology. Shaw Wu ialso recently said Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 launch will be “bigger than expected.” More →
BGR took hands-on looks at the all new BlackBerry Bold 9900, the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and the BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860 last night, and while we were pleasantly surprised with RIM’s new hardware, several analysts were not impressed. Jefferies & Co.’s Peter Misek and Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu each cut their price targets on RIM stock Thursday morning, suggesting that the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor’s BlackBerry 7 phones just aren’t enough to reignite the public’s interest in BlackBerry devices. “Handset shipments will be worse than expected in the November quarter despite the sell-in of new OS 7 handsets,” Misek wrote Thursday in a note to investors. RIM said on Wednesday that the upcoming BlackBerry device releases across more than 225 carriers will be the vendor’s biggest launch ever, but Misek isn’t convinced that the handsets will get enough of a push. “Preliminary reviews of the handsets cite improved speed but a browsing experience still inferior to Android and iOS. We do not believe carriers will put extensive marketing dollars behind the new handsets,” he wrote. Shaw Wu at Sterne Agee said the devices were “better late than never,” but like Misek, he’s still not convinced the devices will be a hit. Misek cut his price target on RIM stock to $22 from his earlier target of $24, and Wu dropped his target to $23 from $27. More →