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ATPM 18.03
March 2012



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by Robert Paul Leitao,

Welcome to the March issue of About This Particular Macintosh! While we wait for an official announcement from Apple about the release date for the much-anticipated iPad 3, the editors of ATPM have been working hard to deliver our unique blend of monthly views, news, and product reviews for your enjoyment. Much has happened over the past month, and we begin this month’s issue with a recap of recent Apple-related news and events.

25 Billion App Downloads and Counting

At press time, Apple’s App Store was about to pass the 25 billion download marker. Opened in July of 2008, the App Store has more than one-half million apps available for purchase and download by owners of the company’s iOS devices.

Due to the number of apps now available and the challenges consumers often face when attempting to navigate through the massive online store, Apple has recently purchased Chomp, an app search engine. Presumably, the acquisition will provide consumers with additional tools to navigate through the store and locate desired apps for purchase and download. The Chomp app is available in iTunes.

No Apple Dividend (Yet!)

During the annual Apple meeting of shareholders held in February, Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated his call for investors to be patient on management decisions concerning the ways in which the company will distribute or deploy portions of the more than $100 billion in cash and marketable securities on Apple’s books.

Apple is currently generating cash at the rate of about $1 billion per week. There have been calls from shareholders to reinstate the quarterly dividend program that was suspended in late 1995 and to repurchase millions of the company’s outstanding shares.

A regular quarterly dividend would open the floodgates for investment in Apple by conservative funds and institutions that invest only in dividend paying equities, and a dividend could be amply funded through operations without an impact on the company’s current cash reserves.

A share repurchase would reduce the number of shares outstanding. The impact of fewer shares is higher earnings per share each quarter. At Apple’s current rate of earnings growth, a reduction in the number of shares outstanding isn’t needed. Organic growth alone is delivering strong eps gains. On the dividend, Tim Cook did not close the proverbial door, but he said a decision to reinstate a regular dividend program had not been made.

Since last month’s issue, Apple’s share price has reached new all-time highs, and the company’s market capitalization now exceeds one-half trillion dollars. The return to a regular quarterly dividend and the repurchase of outstanding shares are two ways in which management could assist in further boosting the company’s share price.

But, long-term, the best way for Apple to increase the value of the company is by a continuance of the time-honored practice of providing real value to the consumers who purchase the company’s products by the tens of millions each quarter. Apple’s free iCloud service is used by over 85 million device owners, and the iPhone 4S is the most popular smartphone in the world. Quality, value, and strong customer relationships have brought the company great success and enriched the lives of shareholders and Apple device owners alike.

China Telecom

Beginning March 9th, China Telecom becomes the second authorized iPhone carrier on China’s mainland. The iPhone is currently available on the mainland through China Unicom, and there’s widespread speculation that the iPhone will be made available through China’s largest carrier, China Mobile, following release of the iPhone 5 later this calendar year. In Apple’s fiscal year ended last September, China was the only country other than the United States to deliver more than 10% of the company’s reported revenue. By the end of Apple’s current fiscal year, Apple’s Asia-Pacific region, exclusive of Japan, may surpass Europe to become the company’s second largest revenue producing region.

Our March issue includes:

MacMuser: Our Macs Are Under Attack

Mark Tennent discusses the inevitable arrival of Mac malware as the platform becomes increasingly popular.

PEBKAC: More Than Just the Mac

How does owning an iPhone or iPad change the way you use your Mac?

Segments: Making the Leap

In this installment of his Apple-computing experiences, Dave Trautman tells of his mother’s iPad adoption.

How To: Give Alert Sounds a Little Personality

Following up on last month’s tutorial on iPhone ringtones, Sylvester Roque is back to explain how to set up custom Mac alert sounds.

Desktop Pictures: Rwanda

Christopher Turner shares some photos from his trip to Rwanda to adopt his family’s third child, in November 2011.

The Spinning Beachball

This month’s comic has iPad users pegged.

Review: Agloves Touchscreen Gloves

Want to use your iPhone or iPad but don’t want to take your hands out of the toasty, warm gloves you’re wearing? Agloves may have a solution for you.

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