The Apple of investors' eyes
Feb 14th 2012, 17:34 by The Economist online
Investments in dotcoms and national giants a decade ago would have reaped great rewards
HINDSIGHT can be illuminating and frustrating. Ten years ago a share in Apple would have set you back $12.50. Yesterday, thanks partly to recent news of record profits for the final quarter of 2011, the technology giant’s share price rose above $500 for the first time. A hundred dollars invested in Apple in February 2002, around the time it unveiled its redesigned iMac, would have swelled to almost $4,000 today. The same investment in Sberbank, Russia’s biggest state-owned bank, would now be worth more than $3,700. The decade has not been so kind to a number of western banks. A $100 stake in Allied Irish Banks and AIG would be worth $1.33 and $2.21 respectively. As the chart looks at the 200 biggest existing companies that also existed in 2002, it necessarily ignores both new and recently bankrupt firms.
Photo by Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images.
Apple is testing a version of the iPad with a smaller screen, say officials at some of the company's Asian suppliers.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has shown screen designs for an 8-inch iPad (compared with the 9.7-inch iPad 2) to suppliers, and is working with companies that include Taiwan's AU Optronics and LG Display of South Korea on producing test versions of the new product, which may or may not actually go into production.
The test might indicate a departure from Apple's approach to tablets under Steve Jobs: The smaller size would be below the minimum size the late Apple co-founder believed was necessary for "great tablet apps." But a smaller tablet could also be more competitive in an increasingly full marketplace.
Samsung and Amazon are doing well in sales of smaller-size tablet offerings, including Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire and Samsung's Galaxy Tab, which comes in three sizes, including a 7-inch. As the Journal notes, however, Apple would also need to price competitively in the smaller tablet market to make any dent in current sales—compared with the Kindle Fire at $199, the lowest price one can pay for an iPad from Apple is a relatively whopping $499.