Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week10:50 AM EST Fri. Sep. 28, 2012
In its first weekend on the market, Apple's iPhone 5 hit 5 million units sold. Shareholders were expecting a bigger pop, and Apple shares dropped in the wake of the report.
Always one to come up with positive spin, Apple CEO Tim Cook pitched the situation as one of short supply and not stemming from weakening demand.
"While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date," Cook said in a statement. "We appreciate everyone's patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone."
Research In Motion's inability to ship its BlackBerry 10 operating system in time for the holiday season could have serious ramifications for its ability to remain viable in the marketplace, according to a new study from Raymond James & Associates.
"Considering BB10 for BlackBerry will not arrive until after the holiday season in first-quarter 2013, the oft-delayed move to the new platform might prove to be fatal," Tavis McCourt, a managing director of equity research with Raymond James, said in the report.
Nokia is finally coming to the table with pricing and availability for its Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 smartphones, after earlier playing coy by not offering these details. However, some industry watchers think Nokia's pricing is a bit high.
The Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 smartphones will go on sale in Europe in November, with the 32-GB 920 priced as high as $860 in Sweden.
"Nokia will find it difficult to command a premium over Samsung's Galaxy S III which is the pricing benchmark for a non-Apple flagship smartphone," Ben Wood, head of research at British consultancy CCS Insight, told Reuters.
Jeffries & Co. analyst Peter Misek downgraded HP shares from "hold" to "underperform" and cut his target price for HP shares from $17 to $14, citing risks from HP's planned re-entry into the smartphone and tablet markets, as well as other headwinds facing its businesses. "While the move makes sense strategically, we see it as a high-risk move," Misek said in the research note. "On top of adding costs and working capital burdens to an already stressed balance sheet, there could be additional write-offs."
The EU is getting ready to lower the boom on Microsoft for not complying with a 2009 agreement under which it pledged to offer Windows users the option of choosing Web browsers other than Internet Explorer.
"The next step is to open a formal proceeding into the company's breach of an agreement," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a press conference, as reported by Reuters. "It should not be a long investigation because the company itself explicitly recognized its breach of the agreement."