Apple Recap: Profit Margins, Emerging Markets, and iOS on the Move

Apple Recap Main ImageApple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is on pace to spend more than $4 billion on research and development this year, an amount that would make most technology companies an attractive buy. Yet, for the entire first half of 2013 and for much of the company’s current fiscal year, negative sentiment has been keeping the stock at depressed levels. In keeping with the generally roller coaster-like path that the iPhone maker’s stock has followed since last September, shares closed up $7.30, or 1.76 percent, at $422.35 on Tuesday. Here’s a cheat sheet to today’s top Apple stories:

Analyst: Investors Should Look at Apple’s Equipment Spending

Several problems have contributed to the changing perception of Apple’s fortunes: rising competition, innovation, and global markets. Particularly, worries about profit margin have prompted some investors to sell and others not to buy.

The market for the company’s primary products — the iPhone and the iPad — are extremely competitive, and price competition from rivals like Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) have especially hurt Apple in the smartphone market. The iPhone was first released six years ago and the iPad hit shelves three years ago, and that time lapse between major innovations has allowed competitors to catch up. Even Apple’s refreshed products have not been enough to keep the company ahead of the curve… (Read more.)

Does Apple’s iOS 7 Have Hidden Goodies for the Car?

Much to lawmakers and parents’ chagrin, the union between automobiles and technology is seemingly inevitable at this point. Automakers everywhere are partnering with different mobile companies in order to get first timer’s advantage as they rush to adopt new technology.

Earlier in June, we were clued in to a team-up between General Motors (NYSE:GM) and AT&T (NYSE:T), and it was just last week that we learned Ford Motors (NYSE:F) was partnering with Chinese search engine Baidu and mobile telecom company China Unicom to facilitate the development of apps and services for its new Ford Sync AppLink… (Read more.)

Emerging Markets Are Where Apple’s Competition is Growing

T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) began offering the iPhone on its network in April, and the partnership with the mobile carrier helped Apple increase the market share of its signature device to 41.9 percent in the past three months, while Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android held steady at 52 percent of the domestic market.

Comparatively, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) nearly disappeared with a 0.7 percent share, down from 4.6 percent, while Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone grew 25 percent to a 4.6 percent market share.

But elsewhere in the world, there is a much smaller divide between the smartphone market’s leaders and the herd.

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