Apple Recap: Waiting for Holiday Cheer, Mobile Match-Up, China’s Need

The stock rise on Wednesday was short-lived for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which went back to its end-of-2012 ways on Thursday and dropped 1.26 percent to  $542.10. The company announced early in the day that the earnings report for its fiscal first quarter, which coincided with the holiday shopping period, will come on January 23. While most analysts look forward to good results from what is traditionally Apple’s best quarter, some worries remain. Here’s a cheat sheet to what made the biggest Apple buzz on Thursday:

Bumper Holiday Crop?

Apple’s holiday quarter has always been a big one, and according to Evercore Partners analyst Rob Cihra, the iPhone maker may be headed to another blockbuster earnings report. Cihra said he expected Apple to report sales of 50 million iPhones, a 35 percent year-over-year increase and an 86 percent growth from the previous quarter, and 24 million iPads, a 56 percent year-over-year growth and a 71 percent jump from the September quarter. The strong tablet growth was largely fueled by the iPad mini, according to Cihra… (Read more)

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Apple Stays No. 2

Apple’s share of the U.S. mobile market grew the most in the three months ended in November, but Samsung (SSNLF.PK) remained the top handset manufacturer, according to ComScore. Apple rose by 1.4 percentage points to go from a 17.1 share of the market to 18.5 percent, while Samsung added 1.2 percentage points to go from 25.7 percent to 26.9 percent. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) unit Motorola Mobility saw its share decline the most among the top five handset manufacturers, to 10.4 percent from 11.2 percent. Android grew its share as the most popular smartphone platform, with iOS second… (Read more)

Chine to Come Calling

The lack of partnership between Apple and China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) may have hurt the former’s growth efforts in China, but it’s now time for the wireless provider to feel the need for the iPhone, Cihra also said. According to the analyst, China Mobile’s 3G market share has eroded by 7 percent in the absence of the Apple smartphone as an offering, with its rival providers enjoying the fall… (Read more)

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