Apple Inc. is a global technology company that designs, manufactures, and sells smartphones, personal computers, tablets, wearables, and accessories. Apple Inc. is listed on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol AAPL. Some of its main products include the iPhone, the Mac line of personal computers and laptops, the iPad, the Apple Watch, and Apple TV. The company also has a fast-growing services business that includes its iCloud cloud service and its digital streaming-content services, such as Apple Music and Apple TV+.
Since its founding in 1976, the tech giant has grown into a diversified technology behemoth. When it comes to acquisitions, Apple's strategy has been to purchase small tech companies that it can easily integrate into its expanding line of products.
Apple faces numerous competitors, including smartphone manufacturers Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and LG Electronics Inc., computer manufacturers Lenovo Group Ltd. and Dell Technologies Inc., streaming-content providers Spotify Technology S.A. and Netflix Inc., and other technology companies like Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc., and Amazon.com Inc.
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Apple's Latest Developments
- On September 10, 2021, a U.S. district judge ordered Apple to begin letting developers include links to alternative in-app payment systems within 90 days. The order stemmed from the case between Epic Games and Apple. The judge did not, however, say that Apple had a monopoly on the mobile games market. The ruling allows Apple to continue to ban third-party app stores and charge 30% commissions on its own app store.
- On August 31, 2021 the South Korean National Assembly passed a bill that would allow customers to pay for in-app purchases using payment systems other than that of the app store on which they purchased it. Google currently currently takes upwards of 30% of in-app purchase revenue from apps purchased on its App Store.
- On August 19, 2021, the Center for Democracy & Technology announced that they and more than 90 other policy groups had sent an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook "urging Apple to abandon its plans to build surveillance capabilities into its iPhones, iPads, and other products." The letter is in response to a program to be launched by Apple to use algorithms to scan iCloud images to attempt to find and report child pornography. The policy groups contend that this technology is unreliable and introduces mass surveillance which could also be used to search for and notify Apple of the presence of other kinds of content, especially if Apple is pressured by governments to do so.
- On August 12, 2021, a bill was proposed in the U.S. Senate that could force companies that control operating system on mobile devices, including Apple, to allow third-party app stores.
- On July 28, 2021 Apple reported its earnings for Q3 FY 2021. It surpassed analysts' expectations for revenue and earnings per share.
- On July 15, 2021, market research firm Canallys released analysis showing Apple had fallen from second to third place among smartphone manufacturers in the of phones shipped in Q2 2021. It was displaced by Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi. First place is held by Samsung.
- On July 9, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden released a sweeping executive order taking aim at anticompetitive practices in the U.S. economy. The order could affect Apple substantially in a number of ways depending on how it is implemented by various federal agencies, but some of the larger effects include promoting regulations preventing Apple from restricting repairs of its products as well as increasing scrutiny on tech-sector mergers.
- On June 30, 2021, Apple announced that it would repot Q3 FY 2021 financial results on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, after markets closed.
- On June 15, 2021, the Competition and Markets Authority, the U.K. antitrust regulator, announced that it was looking into the iOS and Android "mobile ecosystems" to see whether there is evidence they present an antitrust concern.
- On May 25, 2021, the court battle between Apple and Epic Games ended. U.S. District Court Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers will decide the case some time in the next several months; however, it is likely to be appealed, which could take years.
- On April 30, 2021, the European Commission released a "Statement of Objections," saying that its "preliminary view" was that Apple had "distorted competition in the music streaming market as it abused its dominant position for the distribution of music streaming apps through its App Store." This follows a complaint by Spotify concerning antitrust concerns surrounding the App Store. Apple will have 12 weeks to respond.
- On March 4, 2021, the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority, the U.K.'s antitrust regulator, announced that it was launching an antitrust investigation into Apple over complaints that it is using its market power to set uncompetitive terms on its app store. On the same day, Reuters reported that EU antitrust regulators were finalizing a charge sheet against Apple related to complaints from music-streaming service Spotify. Spotify claims that Apple is acting to unfairly disadvantage rivals of Apple's own streaming service, Apple Music.
How Profitable Is Apple?
Apple had a net income of $21.7 billion for the quarter that ended June 26, 2021, according to its most recent quarterly earnings report, which was released on July 28, 2021. That's a 93.2% year-over-year (YOY) increase from the same quarter in 2020. It also reported quarterly revenue of $81.4 billion, a 36.4% YOY increase, and earnings per share of $1.30, a YOY increase of 100%.
Who Owns the Most Apple Stock?
The biggest individual insider shareholder of Apple is Arthur Levinson, who has been the company's chair of the board since 2011 and a co-lead director since 2005. As of Feb. 2, 2021, Levinson owns 4.5 million shares of Apple stock, representing 0.03% of all outstanding shares.
The biggest institutional shareholder of Apple is The Vanguard Group, which owns 1.3 billion shares, representing 7.8% of total shares outstanding, according to the company's most recent proxy filing, reflecting the number of shares as of Dec. 28, 2020.
Who Invented the Apple iPhone?
The late Steve Jobs, co-founder and former chair and CEO of Apple Inc., invented the iPhone with his team of engineers and designers in the early 2000s. The iPhone beta version was created in 2004, and the first iPhone was released to the public in June 2007.