Apple Inc. (AAPL) iCloud Beta, China Mobile: Goldman’s Take

iphone 8 apple stockElisaRiva / Pixabay

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) week in review via Bill Shope of Goldman Sachs

Apple adds realtime collaboration, document organization to iWork for iCloud beta (Apple
Insider, November 14, 2013)

Our summary: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) released a new version of the iWork for iCloud office suite, rolling out new real-time collaboration features and new administrative options. Users of the webbased versions of Keynote, Pages, and Numbers will be able to invite others to edit documents. While collaborating, they will be able to see the position of each other’s cursors and a list of which users are making changes. In addition, spreadsheets, presentations and documents can now be sorted and organized into folders.

Our take: In October Apple made Pages, Keynote and Numbers free for users of Mac and iOS devices. Though the refreshed suite initially received complaints from existing users, who noticed features had been omitted for the sake of compatibility across devices, the company has continued to improve on the offerings. With its relatively small user base, presently we do not view iWork as a critical component of Apple’s ecosystem, though if adoption increases it could eventually factor into more users’ implicit switching costs.

China Mobile plans to introduce new mobile services brand, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could win (WSJ Digits Blog, November 21, 2013)

Our summary: China Mobile plans to introduce a new brand for mobile services on December 18, during the company’s 4G global partners conference. The announcement raised expectations that the carrier would finally partner with Apple. According to an executive, the company is also ready to start fourth-generation mobile services, though China has yet to issue 4G licenses.

Our take: Although Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) investors have been discouraged by the long wait, we believe a China Mobile partnership is imminent and remains an important component of the longterm growth outlook. In addition, as we discussed last month, a late December quarter or early March quarter launch would suggest minimal channel fill for China Mobile in the December quarter guidance (which was above expectations). Furthermore, this would suggest that March quarter seasonality could be less severe than in the past.

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