Apple Recap: New iPads, China’s Growth, iPhone 5 Tops Charts

ipadsFriday ended in the red for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) as the stock fell 0.61 percent to $520.30. Somewhat surprising, considering most catalysts on the day appeared positive on the face. For the week, shares were down 1.27 percent.

Among the day’s more important news, Tim Cook was back to wooing China, while one analyst predicted new iPad launch dates. Here’s your cheat sheet to the day’s top Apple stories:

Two iPads in Two Months

Apple is headed to a twice-a-year product refresh cycle that will result in the company releasing an updated full-sized iPad and the second-generation iPad mini in March, Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets said. White said in a research note that his checks with industry sources at the Consumer Electronics Show had suggested that two iPad versions were on their way to the market barely five months after the tablets were last updated in October. The new 9.7-inch iPad will be lighter and thinner than the fourth-generation model, according to White, while the iPad mini’s processor will receive an upgrade. (Read more)

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Tim Cook’s Love Song

Cook told China’s government news agency Xinhua that the country was on its way to becoming the iPhone maker’s biggest market. “China is currently our second largest market. I believe it will become our first. I believe strongly that it will,” Cook reportedly said. He added that Apple intended to start “many more” outlets in China over the next several years to add to its current total of 11 stores in mainland China and Hong Kong. The Apple executive also answered questions about wages and other labor issues at manufacturing partner Foxconn. (Read more)

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The iPhone’s Gifts

The iPhone 5 was the bestselling smartphone in the U.S. market in the December quarter and gave Apple’s product margins over the three-month period a significant boost, Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley said. The analyst added that the Apple smartphone’s demand-supply balance had finally been reached. Because of the high sales of what is essentially Apple’s highest-margin product, Walkley felt that the company’s guidance for that particular statistic for the quarter was too conservative.  (Read more)

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