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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple and Google

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – September 14, 2017 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Apple (Nasdaq:(AAPL - Free Report)  Free Report) and Google (Nasdaq:(GOOGL - Free Report)  Free Report).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Tech Stock Roundup: Apple’s New iPhones & More

Here are the top technology stories:

WSJ Discovers Apple iPhone 8 Production Glitches

The Wall Street Journal has finally woken up to the fact that there’s a good chance that Apple (Nasdaq:(AAPL - Free Report) Free Report) is facing production issues with its new iPhone that could delay shipments past the crucial holiday season. This could have an impact on estimates for the holiday season.

Many analysts, including Apple expert Ming Chi Kuo, have earlier reported something similar. The problem areas are the touch screen sensor, which Apple said it’s not placing under the phone as earlier envisaged; the OLED production volumes on which it is still solely reliant on archrival Samsung; and the new 3D sensing feature, which may or may not make it to this iteration of the iPhone.

Apple’s guidance seems to indicate that it will not include any features that could impair its ability to churn out required volumes (as may be expected). It’s generally believed that the company will have 3 iPhone models this time, and if might just keep the new redesigned one marking the tenth anniversary as something of an exclusive item (justifying high prices and allowing it to push out some major updates in initially low volumes).

Google May Buy HTC’s Smartphone Business

It’s being rumored that Google (Nasdaq:(GOOGL - Free Report) Free Report) is getting ready to acquire its long-time hardware partner HTC. Taiwanese publication Commercial Times reported the news and UBS analyst Eric J. Sheridan explained why such a deal could make sense for Google. Neither Google nor HTC have however confirmed the rumor. Nor have they denied it.

As far as HTC is concerned, its smartphone business hasn’t been successful and none of its phones have been big hits. So it makes sense to offload the R&D team to a tech giant that might have use for it (HTC reportedly still has hopes for its VR efforts although its Vive headset hasn’t been a roaring success either). 

The thought of Google going into hardware immediately brings to mind its Motorola purchase and the way it sold the unit off a few years later after stripping it off most of its important patents. But Google just isn’t the same company any more. Nor is the smartphone/mobile computing business the same as it was some years back. Today, Google has more of an internal hardware effort and it just might make sense for it to tightly integrate the software and hardware the way that Apple does.

Microsoft was effectively kicked out of this market by mostly Apple at the high end and Google at the low end. But if the company doesn’t want to remain at the low end forever, or if it wants to get more serious about enterprise customers, or even if it wants to remain up to speed with new technologies like AR/VR, Google Assistant, etc, it’s got to do something about platform fragmentation. It might also make sense to build the Google hardware brand. As far as consumer sales are concerned, lower end phones and the Asian supply chain would be helpful, both being things HTC engineers may be able to provide.    

And that’s not all. Google is in regulatory investigations that might force it to agree to the unbundling of apps, especially in the EU. Since it’s only through the apps that the company generates revenue, it would help to have a Google phone where the apps could come pre-installed.   

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