The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Apple, Google,, Microsoft and Intel

  The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Apple, Google,, Microsoft and

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Nov. 30, 2012

CHICAGO, Nov. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ 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), Google Inc.
(Nasdaq:GOOG), Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN), Microsoft Corporation
(Nasdaq:MSFT) and Intel Corporation (Nasdaq:INTC).


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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Android: The New King of Tablets?

Market research intelligence firm ABI Research's new report claims that
Android-based tablets are eating away at the iPad's market share at a rapid
rate. Though Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) continued to maintain its lead in the tablet
market, its market share slipped to 55% in the third quarter, the lowest ever
since the iPad was launched in 2010.

Apple's failure to respond in a timely fashion to the challenge presented by

Google Inc.'s



) Nexus 7 and Inc.'s



) Kindle Fire is the primary reason for its decline, says ABI. Though the
company has ultimately introduced the lower-priced iPad Mini, it fell short of
delivering an innovative product at the correct price point and increasing its
availability during the critical holiday shopping season.

The bigger worry for Apple is that the Mini has failed to reclaim market share
from Android-based tablets. Instead, there is a serious threat of the company
losing the market share of its other products – namely the larger iPads.
Meanwhile, Android's market share has risen to 44%.

Earlier this month,

International Data Corporation's

("IDC") Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker delivered an unpleasant surprise to
Apple, revealing that Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Amazon had made
significant inroads into its share of the tablet market. Third quarter data
revealed that the tech major's market share had slipped from 65.5% in Q2 to
50.4% in Q3.

Other tablets cashed in on the opportunity with Samsung leading the pack,
thanks to continuous expansion in its line of tablets. The Korean electronic
giant's tablet sales grew a whopping 115% over the second quarter.

Amazon, Asus and Lenovo complete the group of top 5 tablet vendors and all
three experienced sales growth over the second quarter. The new 7 inch and
8.9 inch Kindle Fire HD tablets from Amazon helped the company grow its market
share from 4.8% in Q2 to 9.0% in Q3. The Google-powered Nexus fueled Asus'
growth while Lenovo gained from strong China sales.

The primary reason for Apple's slow growth seems to have been the fact that
consumers were awaiting the launch of the iPad mini. IDC said in its report
that a large section of consumers were eagerly awaiting the launch of the
smaller tablet. The research firm predicted that Apple would have a good
fourth quarter, riding on the back of the iPad Mini and a new fourth
generation full-sized iPad.

While the Surface tablet from

Microsoft Corporation



) was expected to emerge as a third option, it has done poorly until now. This
may partly have to do with a $500 price tag which is warding off potential
customers. According to an analyst at Piper Jaffray, Microsoft's retail store
at a leading mall in Minneapolis had 47% less traffic than the Apple store on
Black Friday. After observing both stores for two hours, the analyst noted
that Apple had sold 11 iPads whereas not a single Microsoft Surface tablet was
sold during the period.

Customers seemed to be waiting for Microsoft to release Surface tablets
running the Windows OS onIntel Corporation's (Nasdaq:INTC) processors. The
Surface models in stores now use Windows RT running on low powered ARM
processors. Meanwhile, the iPad continued to dominate sales for now, with the
iPad Mini being sold out at several stores.

It is Google and Amazon's aggressive pricing that has hit Apple the hardest
with the Nexus 7 being introduced at the $199 and the Kindle Fire HD being
announced at the same price point. Google and Amazon are expected to grow
their market share significantly over the next year. The verdict is still out
on who will eat the larger chunk of Apple's lost market share. But clearly,
Android has started to beat Apple at its own game.

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