Apple will hold its annual shareholders meeting later on today, with CEO Steve Jobs on hand to field questions and (we reckon) show off the iPad as he tries to gee up investors.
We’ll be interested to see what transpires, but a couple of related business news stories should offer AAPL buyers some ease as US stocks dip today on gloomy economic news and more signs of an ongoing recession-based malaise.
In brief: Competing vendor Palm says sales have fallen steeply beneath expectations; conversely, France Telecom (Orange) returned better-than-anticipated quarters on strength of iPhone sales – and an impressive 91 per cent of iPhone users would recommend the device to a friend or colleague while 88 per cent would recommend the iPod touch.
That’s pester power.
First the bad news, at least for former Apple exec and now Palm boss, Jon Rubinstein. His company is warning of a 30 per cent sales shortfall for the current quarter, citing weak demand for the Pre and Pixi Palm phones.
Palm anticipates Q3 sales between $285 million to $310 million. The company had originally forecast $310. Palm also “expects fiscal year 2010 revenues to be well below its previously forecasted range of $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion,” the company said.
Attempted company spin from the company: “Palm webOS is recognized as a groundbreaking platform that enables one of the best smartphone experiences available today, and our work to evolve the platform and bring industry-leading technology to market continues. However, driving broad consumer adoption of Palm products is taking longer than we anticipated,” said Jon Rubinstein, chairman and chief executive officer.
Rubinstein felt required to stress the strength of his company’s relationships with mobile corps, saying, “Our carrier partners remain committed, and we are working closely with them to increase awareness and drive sales of our differentiated Palm products.” Palm will announce its third-quarter fiscal year 2010 financial results on Thursday, March 18.
And to the good news (for Apple). France Telecom and Orange have both returned better results than they thought they would achieve. Orange relied on iPhone to persuade new customers, while T-Mobile dived back into the pre-pay market.
In the last three months of 2009, third-placed Orange added 404,000 new customers – aided by admitted strong demand for the iPhone, while fourth-placed T-Mobile gained 571,000.