It has been a few weeks since I have written about Apple (AAPL) and since the recent pullback I have been seeing more negative articles about the future prospects for the share price of Apple as well as the actual business of Apple itself, and whether it can maintain its rate of growth.
I think it is time for a reality check.
The stock has rebounded today on a flat day for the most part, but it has been in a trading range of late and I anticipate that will continue until the Apple marketing gurus begin the next phase of "leaks" and "inside info" of their net hot product: the new iPhone.
I do not believe we will have that long to wait. Take a gander at this report written just today. In it are some of the "leaks" we could begin hearing, well, now!
Apple is trying to regain ownership of the domain name iphone5.com from an entity that uses the website to run a social forum about the company's products. A sign of what the company's next-generation device, rumored to be coming this fall, may be called?
Well, why would they be doing this if not for the fact that they are launching the product and want that name, right?
Last month, Apple had also filed separate petitions for reclaiming the domain names applecom.com and appleprinters.com. Before that, it successfully took control of ipods.com as well as seven domain names with the word "iPhone" in their titles, including iphone4s.com, through either appeals or opting to pay for them. Some users of the forum on iphone5.com have said they will stand their ground against Apple, though given Apple's past history with these cases and its brand name, the success of such a move looks unlikely.
Apple always gets its way in these matters. Now will not be any different. The real issue is why they are doing this now when in the past they have waited until after a product launch?
Here is some insight:
So, the company's attempts at gaining control of iphone5.com even before launching the product seem somewhat strange to analyst Eric Slivka. "Given that Apple typically doesn't pursue domain names for its products until after they launch, lest their names be revealed ahead of time by the negotiation process, it seems odd that Apple is already seeking to gain control of iPhone5.com," he writes.
Okay, so what we have here is speculation, right? Given that the company wants to continue to maintain its total and complete advantage in the smartphone world, and given that there have been a bunch of new Android and Microsoft (MSFT) products of late, is it inconceivable that Apple will launch the new iPhone sooner than later?
Another little tidbit of information is regarding China. There are always issues with China, right? Could Apple be caving in on some recent issues that can pave the way for an even stronger foothold there?
This article offers some hints and actually, for Apple bulls this is a wonderful turn of events.
Apple is said to have offered Proview Holdings a compensation amount in the two companies' court case over the use of the iPad trademark in China. The two had been talking after a Chinese court deciding on the case asked attorneys to discuss settlement before it delivered a verdict.
Seems like this issue might be coming to a swift ending. It continues:
"We feel that the attitude of Apple Inc has changed," Proview attorney Xie Xianghui told the Xinhua news agency on Sunday. "Although they expressed that they were willing to negotiate, they have never taken any action before. But now, they are having conversations with us, and we have begun to consult on the case."
The ice is definitely melting and even though there was no doubt prior to this that Apple would find a way, the timing of this is also the most important information to take note of. So, the new iPad and new iPhone sales in China without a hitch, and faster than we might think.
Finally there is the issue of competition and pricing in other product segments.
Read this fun little article for some info about this issue. It states;
Apple could be looking to launch a $799 MacBook Air in the third quarter of 2012 to take on Intel's challenge in the segment, according to DigiTimes. At the moment, Apple starts its Macbook Air at $999 and goes up to $1,599. The current entry-level MacBook Air is an 11.6-inch model that comes with a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 2GB memory and 64GB of flash storage.
Food for thought about another new product right on the heels of the new iPhone launch.
Apple has just come off an amazing quarter and to most observers the fact that Apple itself is looking for lower expectations next quarter means that Apple might have "hit the wall." That's nonsense. Apple always promises less and delivers more. Given the little clues about the immediate future, why should we believe that things at Apple have suddenly changed?
I believe it might be time to look at going long once again with Apple, sooner than later.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
Additional disclosure: I am looking at the January 2013 Call Options, 600 strike price LEAPs