The following are excerpts from Canaccord Genuity analysts' commentaries.
Amazon (AMZN): All Fired Up!
Tech critics have had a chance to take a look at the $199 7” Kindle Fire HD tablet. So far, the reviews have been positive for the superior display and other hardware improvements from its predecessor and for its media content availability. However, there was some disappointment in the Fire HD’s app selection and performance relative to Android tablets and Apple’s iPad. Additionally, some were not a fan of the styling, and one reviewer noted that the main differentiating feature for the Kindle Fire HD is its low price tag.
Separately, CEO Jeff Bezos has confirmed that the company is looking to expand its number of warehouses across the US as it looks to reduce delivery times for online shoppers, and potentially opening the door for same-day delivery. Same-day delivery could remove one of its last existing hurdles of competing with retailers such as Best Buy
(BBY), eliminating the delay clients currently face in receiving their products.
Apple (AAPL): Will You Buy It to Gain Half an Inch?
Apple released the long-anticipated iPhone 5 on Wednesday, unveiling a thinner, faster device with a larger screen. The new iPhone boasts a 4” screen, up from 3.5”, and is 18% thinner than existing models. It will support LTE wireless technology and uses a new chip that offers twice the computational performance and graphics speed on the iPhone. Additionally, it features a new charging port that is 80% smaller than the one that Apple has used since 2003 and Apple will provide adapters to use with existing accessories.
Pricing for the iPhone 5 starts at $199 for a 16-gigabyte model with a two-year service contract, in line with 4S model pricing and it is expected to be in users’ hands by September 28. At the event, CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple has sold 84 million iPads through the end of June and the device accounts for 91% of Web traffic generated by tablet devices. Additionally, a new version of the iPod Touch was unveiled, featuring a 5 MP camera and photo editing software, along with several other features seen on the iPhone, making it more of a computer than a music player.
Facebook (FB): Like?
Down 50% since its May IPO, Facebook’s battered stock actually rose, after CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that the social networking company is interested in turning a profit as well as making the world “more open and connected.” Zuckerberg gave his first interview since Facebook went public to a standing-room-only audience at a tech conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, saying, “I would rather be in a cycle where people underestimate us; I think it gives us the latitude to go out and make some big bets.” Ask and you shall receive. Zuckerberg said the drop “has obviously been disappointing,” but he said it’s a great time to “double down” on the company’s future. Wearing a gray T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, Zuckerberg suggested that Facebook will likely intensify its rivalry with Google
(GOOG) by getting into the search business.
As it is, Facebook already processes about 1 billion search requests per day, Zuckerberg said, “and we basically are not even trying.” Zuckerberg also affirmed his faith in Facebook’s stock by pledging not to sell any of his more than 503 million shares, for at least another year.
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