Apple Inc. (AAPL) Reportedly Wants to Help Customers Switch to Google’s (GOOG) Android OS

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Perhaps what might seem like the most unproductive move on the behalf of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) yet, it is now being reported that the company is working on an application to help their users switch over to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android Operating System.

While the idea seems boneheaded on the outside, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) apparently has reasons for the move. The company has faced pressure, especially from European carriers, to help aid their customers in moving to Android phones. They recently released an app to help Android customers transfer their contacts, photos, etc over to the iOS operating system, but going the opposite direction certainly isn’t an easy move.

The concern here by carriers is that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is hurting competition by making it so difficult for customers to change hardware. In essence, customers are being locked into Apple devices once they convert over to the iOS operating system. While stats show that more Android users are switching to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) than vice versa, this probably isn’t because of the difficulty in the switch itself though, but rather the fact that most agree that iOS is easier to use, especially by those not so tech savvy users. While Android offers more “openess”, Apple offers an easier to use and understand experience, mostly because of the lack of additional settings that you will find on Android.

This move probably won’t hurt Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in any way, and perhaps could help them when it comes to regulators and potential antitrust issues they could have in the future if they continue to take marketshare from other mobile operating systems.

The stock is up 1.22% or $1.18 following the news, hitting $98.14 per share. About 9.51 million shares traded hands. AAPL has declined 24.63% since June 5, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 18.78%.

From a total of 30 analysts covering Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, 26 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 4 a “Hold”. This means that 87% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $200 while the lowest target price is $102. The mean of all analyst targets is $146.21 which is 48.98% above today’s ($98.14) stock price. Apple Inc. was the topic of 98 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. RBC Capital Markets maintained shares on January 7 with a “Outperform” rating. Barclays Capital maintained shares with a”Overweight” rating and a $150 target share price in their report from a December 14. Stifel Nicolaus maintained AAPL stock in a recent report from December 23 with a “Buy” rating. BMO Capital Markets initiated the rating on December 11. BMO Capital Markets has a “Outperform” rating and a $145 price target on shares. Finally, Cowen & Co maintained the stock with a “Market Perform” rating in a report they issued on a December 22.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.18 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.22, from 0.96 in 2015Q2. The ratio increased, as 103 funds sold all their Apple Inc. shares they owned while 854 reduced their positions. 102 funds bought stakes while 1032 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 3.20 billion shares which is 1.58% less than the previous share count of 3.25 billion in 2015Q2.

Compton Capital Management Inc Ri holds 45.15% of its total portfolio in Apple Inc., equating to 113,694 shares. Raiff Partners Inc owns 100,000 shares representing 32.27% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Rfg Advisory Group Llc has 25.06% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 70,558 shares. The New York-based Independent Investors Inc has a total of 23.66% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Dock Street Asset Management Inc, a Connecticut-based fund reported 269,584 shares owned.

Since March 6, 2015, the stock had 0 insider buys, and 7 sales for a total of $17.48 million in net activity. Maestri Luca sold 2,908 shares worth $325,347. Williams Jeffrey E sold 46,873 shares worth $5.18 million. Riccio Daniel J. sold 24,085 shares worth $3.01M. Ahrendts Angela J sold 44,789 shares worth $5.90 million. The insider Levinson Arthur D sold 70,000 shares worth $9.20 million.

Apple Inc. designs, manufactures and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players, and a variety of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications. The company has a market cap of $544.14 billion. The Company’s services and products include iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, a portfolio of consumer and professional software applications, the iOS and OS X operating systems, iCloud, and a variety of accessory, service and support offerings. It has 10.67 P/E ratio. The Firm also delivers digital content and applications through the iTunes Store, App StoreSM, iBookstoreSM, and Mac App Store.

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