Apple is its Own Competition: iPad vs. iPhone 4S

Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) media tablet market was hit hard in the fourth quarter by Amazon.com Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire and other cheaper tablets, but it’s real competition is the iPhone 4S according to researcher IHS Inc.

“Shipments of the iPad line fell short of IHS estimates in the fourth quarter, as many loyal Apple customers devoted their dollars to shiny new alternatives,” said Rhoda Alexander, senior manager of tablet and monitor research for IHS.  “However, the primary alternative wasn’t the Kindle Fire — which debuted to solid sales in the fourth quarter — but Apple’s own iPhone 4S smartphone.”

Apple’s iPad shipments were up 39 percent from the third quarter, but its share of the global media-tablet market fell to 57 percent from 64 percent.

Amazon, now the world’s largest tablet shipper with 14.3 percent of the global market, surpassed Samsung Electronics Co. Samsung shipments rose 16  percent from the third quarter, but its market share dropped to 8 percent.

IHS also said cheaper tablets such as the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Inc.’s (NYSE:BKS) Nook pushed Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android tablet companies to cut prices to purge inventory.

Here’s how these stocks are trading now:

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): AAPL shares recently traded at $506.22, up $4.01, or 0.8%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $310.50 to $526.29. Volume today was 4,388,133 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 13,448,600 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 14.39, while trailing earnings are $35.14 per share.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN): AMZN shares recently traded at $181.85, up $1.92, or 1.07%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $160.59 to $246.71. Volume today was 1,298,716 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,633,860 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 132.87, while trailing earnings are $1.37 per share.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS): BKS shares recently traded at $13.37, up $0.01, or 0.07%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $9.35 to $18.73. Volume today was 36,940 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 1,689,900 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-1.14 per share.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG): GOOG shares recently traded at $607.10, up $0.58, or 0.1%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $473.02 to $670.25. Volume today was 510,284 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 2,927,460 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 20.38, while trailing earnings are $29.76 per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laurie Danas at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com