Apple Recap: Price Target Shocker, Two iPads in Two Months, and An iPhone for Growing Markets

On Monday: The Battle for the Mobile Crown, The Ecosystem is Strong as Ever, Mixed Bag of Predictions

This morning, in what has to be a big confidence boost for both investors and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), a study reported that iOS was now the majority smartphone platform in the U.S. for the first time ever. The Apple mobile platform brought in 53.3 percent of the share for the four-month period ending November 25, according to data from the Kantar Worldpanel, up from 35.8 percent last year. And the iPhone maker grabbed some of the market from Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, whose share over the same period fell to 41.9 percent from 52.8 percent… (Read more).

In some more good news, Apple announced that its App Store had now crossed 40 billion total downloads, with almost half of those coming last year. The numbers for December were also impressive, as the month saw a record two billion downloads. The company’s App Store is known to have a big edge on the Google Play store when it comes to monetization, and it appears the ecosystem is gaining strength. Apple also said it now had 775,000 applications for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, with more than 300,000 of those native to the iPad… (Read more)

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Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes raised his sales estimates for Apple’s just-ended first fiscal quarter, but cut his full-year assessment because of several negative factors. Reitzes’ estimates for the December quarter are now $54 billion in revenue and $13.38 in earnings per share, up from previous predictions of $52.4 billion in revenue and EPS of $13. He is modeling the company to have sold 47 million iPhones last quarter, up from a prior estimate of 43.5 million. However, the analyst’s full-year expectations are down on worries of a lowered average selling price for the iPhone, and iPad sales being cannibalized by the lower-priced iPad mini… (Read more)