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Apple Inc. (AAPL) News: Ed Parker, Eric Jackson, Google Inc (GOOG)

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Lazard Initiates Apple with a Buy Rating and $540 Target (Forbes)
Lazard’s analyst Ed Parker initiated coverage of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) with a Buy rating, $540 price target and a view that it is a “storage” company due to incenting customers to buy NAND flash memory at 80%-90% incremental margins. Lazard’s thesis is that Apple’s business model has more in common with EMC and NetApp than RIM/BlackBerry and Nokia since there is a better user experience by having content on a mobile device and therefore needing more memory.

Apple’s iMessage encryption trips up feds’ surveillance (CNET)
Encryption used in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iMessage chat service has stymied attempts by federal drug enforcement agents to eavesdrop on suspects’ conversations, an internal government document reveals.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)Credit: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

An internal Drug Enforcement Administration document seen by CNET discusses a February 2013 criminal investigation and warns that because of the use of encryption, “it is impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices” even with a court order approved by a federal judge.

Apple’s ‘Spaceship’ Campus Budget Reportedly Balloons To $5B, Will Look To Cut $1B Before Proceeding (TechCrunch)
Apple’s massive new spaceship-style headquarters in Cupertino is not on-budget or on schedule, according to a new report at Bloomberg Businessweek. The article provides an inside look at what exactly the project requires, down to specific standards around the perfection of surface finishes put in place by Steve Jobs. Blowing past budgets with building projects is pretty much guaranteed, but Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s has reportedly added an additional $2 billion to an already high $3 billion projected spend.

Why The Apple – Samsung Rivalry Isn’t As Important As You’d Think (Forbes)
When Samsung announced their new Galaxy s4 last month, many tech pundits rushed to declare that the Korean giant had finally bested the iPhone. Others disagreed and still consider the iPhone king. Most people, however, really don’t care. After all, you can get a great smartphone from a variety of manufacturers and any significant difference will be wiped away in six months or so. The smartphone race has become less about technology and more about taste and preference.

Rumours Of Two New Apple Phones This Year: iPhone 5S And A Cheap iPhone For Emerging Markets (Forbes)
Apple Inc. plans to begin production of a refreshed iPhone similar in size and shape to its current one in the second quarter of the year, according to people familiar with the device’s production, teeing up a possible summer launch for the next version of its flagship device. At the same time, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to work with its manufacturing partners in Asia on a less expensive iPhone that could be launched as soon as the second half of this year, these people said. The four-inch device likely will use a different casing from the higher-end iPhone. Apple has been working on different color shells for the phone but its plans remain unclear.

Apple aims to outdo Google’s Street View (CNET)
Apple may be eyeing its own “Street View” type navigation system and one that offers a key benefit over Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s version. Published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple’s “3D Position Tracking for Panoramic Imagery Navigation” patent filing describes a navigation technology that looks and works like Street View. The system would display a panoramic image of a certain location on your mobile device, allowing you to virtually move around the area.

Samsung Presses Apple Fight With Mini Stores in Best Buy (Bloomberg)
Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), stepping up a battle with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), will staff mini-stores at Best Buy Co. (BBY)’s U.S. locations to showcase how its tablets, smartphones and televisions work together. Starting April 8, the Suwon, South Korea-based electronics maker will…

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