The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple, Alphabet, Qualcomm and Qorvo

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - December 31, 2018 - announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Apple AAPL , Alphabet GOOGL , Qualcomm QCOM and Qorvo, Inc. QRVO .

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Apple's iPhone XR Attracts More Android Users than Prior Models

Apple 's iPhone XR launched on Oct 26 has been successful in attracting a higher number of Android users in the United States per a survey. Notably, Android is owned by Alphabet.

A Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) report stated that 16% of users migrated from the Android platform during the 30-day period after the launch of the iPhone XR. This compares favorably with 11% users who switched from Android after the launch of iPhone X in November 2017 and 12% after the launch of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in September 2017.

CIRP Partner and Co-Founder, Mike Levin notes that the lower-priced model and its features might have attracted Android users. Another CIRP report stated that Android users primarily incline toward low-cost iPhones due to the availability of cheaper Android phones. However, 40% of the switchers tend to pick Plus-sized iPhones due to larger displays of the Android models.

This follows reports that state Apple is battling production cuts due to lower demand for its iPhones.

Cost Cuts, Brand Value to Boost iPhone Sales

Apple boasts a loyalty rate of 70% per a Merrill Lynch report while its major Android counter parts Samsung and Huawei had about 54% brand loyalty. Notably, the availability of low-priced Android sets might have caused a brand loyalty problem among users.

To cash in on its brand loyalty, Apple is introducing lower-priced models and slashing prices to encourage user switch and to eliminate any user churn. The company has also adopted new marketing strategies like promotional discounts and trade-ins to bolster iPhone sales in the holiday season.

Moreover, Apple's move to initiate production of its high-end iPhones in India by partnering with Foxconn, per Economic Times, may further reduce iPhone prices in 2019 for users in India.

The move by Apple comes at a time when iPhone is struggling in the country. Sales of iPhone were flat in India in fourth-quarter 2018. Moreover, Counterpoint Research points out that sale of iPhone may further drop in the country by a quarter to 2- 2.5 million units due to significant competition from Chinese smartphone makers.

Although iPhone is struggling at the moment in India, its initiatives coupled with India's growing smartphone user base may help the company attract more Android users. Android commands a market share of about 66% in India.

Notably, the number of smartphone users in the country is expected to reach 337 million in 2018 and grow to 490.9 million by 2022, per eMarketer .

Qualcomm Lawsuit Hits in China and Germany

However, Qualcomm's ongoing feud with Apple may hinder its growth in China. A court in China banned the import and sale of most iPhone models for infringement of two Qualcomm patents. Notably, Greater China, one of Apple's major markets, accounted for roughly 18% of Apple's fourth-quarter 2018 revenues.

Moreover, the iPhone maker suffered another blow as a court in Germany found iPhones violating one of Qualcomm's "envelope tracking" patents. Per Reuters, Apple said it will withdraw iPhones including iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 after it was prohibited to sell phones that have Qorvo, Inc. and Intel chips.

Apple currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss . This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report

Qorvo, Inc. (QRVO): Free Stock Analysis Report

QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM): Free Stock Analysis Report

Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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