Apple Recap: Brazil Troubles, Shareholder Votes, Screen-Size Questions

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) finally put an end to its four-day run downward, gaining 3.52 percent to $457.87 on Tuesday despite some worrying reports for the company. Here are the main stories that swirled around it on the day:

iPhone Trouble in Brazil

Apple may have officially lost the right to use the iPhone name to sell its smartphone in Brazil, but the company that owns it exclusively is still open to talks. A local newspaper reported that the Brazilian Institute for Industrial Property had rejected Apple’s request to regain the naming right from electronics firm IGB Eletrônica SA, or Gradiente, which had originally asked for the trademark back in 2000. According to Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, the decision will be announced on February 13. But the chairman of IGB told Bloomberg that while he had not received any ruling information yet, his company would consider selling the naming rights to Apple. “We’re open to a dialogue for anything, anytime,” Eugênio Emilio Staub said on Tuesday. “We’re not radicals.”

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Gradiente had earlier warned it may go after Apple for copyright infringement, saying it would take “all the measures used by companies around the world” to preserve its intellectual property rights. “The two brands can’t coexist in the market,” Staub told The Wall Street Journal in December. “It’s up to Apple to make a move”… (Read more)

Plea to Shareholders

In a move divergent from its previous positions vis-à-vis shareholder responsibility, Apple has enlisted pension fund CalPERS to help carry through investor voting rights reforms at its annual general meeting later this month. CalPERS, or the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, is known as the largest public pension fund in the country and own a 0.25 percent stake in Apple for a total worth of $1.1 billion.

However, the fund has been a fairly fierce critic of Apple’s corporate governance policies, while the iPhone maker has opposed requests of greater shareholder responsibility from it, Financial Times said. But Apple is now hoping to use the fund’s sway to lobby other big shareholders on the vote to change the way its board directors are elected… (Read more)

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What Apple Needs

Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu may be a strong Apple bull, but with the company facing growth questions, the analyst admitted that large-screen Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android phones had been a bigger success than expected. According to Wu, Apple will leave itself in a bad place if it did not launch a larger-sized iPhone sometime soon, especially considering that supply chain data suggested Samsung (SSNLF.PK) was planning to release the Galaxy S4 in April with a five-inch screen. “We believe Apple is leaving money on the table by not participating in larger touchscreen form factors,” Wu wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday.  He added that he did not believe investors’ deep worries about Apple’s future were likely to come true, but said the company did need a spark… (Read more)

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