ADD - 300 instant millionaires 33 years ago

A lot of interesting stuff in the Apple world today. Did you know that it has been exactly 33 years since Apple went public? Samsung loses another lawsuit against Apple, this time in its hometown, more iPhone sales success stories and huge discounts on new iPhones in the US, read further for more details, in this inaugural chapter of the Apple Daily Digest (ADD).

300 Millionaires in one day

On December 12, 1980, Apple launched its IPO (initial public offering) of its stock, selling 4.6 million shares at $22 per share with the stock symbol “AAPL” on the NASDAQ market... The shares sold out almost immediately and the IPO generated more capital than any IPO since Ford Motor Company in 1956. Instantly, about 300 millionaires... are created...
— EDN

EDN reports a flashback on the Apple success story that began exactly 33 years ago. The company that was founded in Steve Jobs's garage, garnered more than $100 million on day one after it went Public. Apple which is almost the most successful start up story (after Fairchild Semiconductors [PBS] in the Silicon Valley) is an American dream come true story. To add more value to the success, the company was within hundred days of declaring bankruptcy when Steve Jobs returned for a second time to turn around things for Apple. In the literal sense, Steve Jobs was responsible for two start-up successes, both the companies were called Apple. Apple's stock price when Steve Jobs returned for a second tenure was around $3. The Apple stock today is at around $560. 300 millionaires in one day... would have been just another day in the Silicon valley. 

Apple (AAPL) stock - A look back

(Source - https://www.google.com/finance)

No more iPhone subsidies in US?

AT&T CEO, Randall Stephenson made headlines recently when he was quoted saying that since the smartphone market has saturated (in US), there is no more a need for huge subsidies (AT&T subsidizes the iPhone 5S for example from $649 to $200 on signing a two year contract) and the only way to grow further is to cut down on these subsidies, according to CNET.  

When you’re growing the business initially, you have to do aggressive device subsidies to get people on the network... But as you approach 90 percent penetration, you move into maintenance mode. That means more device upgrades. And the model has to change. You can’t afford to subsidize devices like that.
— CNET

Apple and AT&T (then Cingular) partnership (Original iPhone introduction in 2007)

Now this might be true or not, but remember how Apple apparently strong armed AT&T into making this deal when the original iPhone was released in 2007 and how though AT&T regretted that decision at that time, has repeatedly acknowledged the benefits [CNETNYTimes] of the head start they got in the smartphone era, thanks to that deal Apple forced them to make? Recently emerging countries with growing smartphone markets like India have started adopting this subsidy model [BusinessWeek]. But again the difference between India and US is indeed huge in terms of the smartphone v/s feature-phone sales. As of November 2013, for every 5 feature phones sold, only one smartphone was sold in India [Times of India]. Whereas in US, for every 9 smartphone sold, one feature phone is sold [ArsTechnica]. So these two markets definitely need two totally different strategies?

iPhone is the king of smartphones in the US

Another month and another iPhone sales record. For three months in a row now Apple's iPhone 5S is the number 1 top selling smartphone in all the major US carriers, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, according to data cited by Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley in a Thursday note to investors [AppleInsider].

Via AppleInsider

Via AppleInsider

Impressive huh? wait till the iPhone 5C enters the picture, yeah the same iPhone 5C that was expected to be super cheap and disappointed a lot of analysts [TheFrustum] when it was indeed only $100 cheaper than the iPhone 5S. iPhone 5C was either in the second place of the third place with all the carriers in terms of sales for the past three months. Apple might be criticized non-stop for not introducing lower cost iPhones or for not introducing another "revolutionary" iPhone and for not taking steps to increase market share in emerging countries, but no one can complain about Apple's US stratergy or compete against Apple in its home turf, Apple iPhone is truly the king of smartphones in the US. 

iPhone market share doubles in China

Elsewhere in the world, China, the iPhone market share has apparently doubled according to market intelligence specialist Counterpoint [9to5mac]. As the figure below shows, a sharp turn around in the iPhone market share in October of 2013 from under 5% to more than 12% was witnessed in China. Since both the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C were released simultaneously by Apple for the first time in October, this spike in market share cannot be attributed to the lower cost iPhone 5C, definitively. Also this market share jump for the iPhone happened much before the deal between Apple and China Mobile, China's biggest smartphone provider was finalized [CNN]. Meaning a potential of more than 700 million customers for the iPhone is not included in this 12% market share in China! 

Apple iPhone market share in China (Market intelligence specialist Counterpoint)

Apple iPhone market share in China (Market intelligence specialist Counterpoint)

Samsung loses another lawsuit against Apple

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Thursday lost its bid to ban sales of Apple Inc’s older iPhone and iPad in South Korea after a court dismissed a lawsuit claiming the U.S. firm had infringed on three of Samsung’s mobile patents.
— Reuters

Samsung lost yet another lawsuit against Apple today. While this news itself might not be that interesting, its defeat in its backyard, South Korea will definitely raise some eyebrows [Reuters]. This trial relates to how the iPhone and other compatible iOS devices handle SMS. It is not clear if this patent that Samsung claims ownership is also another SEP or Standard Essential Patent. However since the court has ruled that Apple did not violate the patent(s), it really does not matter. Though the legal battle between Apple and Samsung seems to be never ending with no clear winner in sight, the recent momentum is certainly more towards Apple, with Samsung having been ordered to pay close to $900 million to Apple in patent infringement in the US [TheFrustum].  

Post-Thanksgiving sales on iPhones in US

Just after a huge shopping and sales week of Thanksgiving in US that saw significant sales success for the iPads and iPhones [VentureBeat], big retailers like BestBuy and Walmart have declared huge discounts on both the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C [9to5mac]. Both the iPhone models will be discounted around $70 to $80 in BestBuy, Walmart and the online retailer MacMall, starting this Friday. Customers however should bear in mind that these discounts are only for iPhones purchased with a 2 year contract.