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Apple Inc. (AAPL) News: Richard Williamson, La Playa Carmel, Cirrus Logic, Inc. (CRUS)

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Editor’s Note: Related Tickers: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS), France Telecom SA (ADR) (NYSE:FTE), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)

This Morning: Cirrus Effect hits AAPL, Next Up, Haswell, A YHOO Upgrade (Barron’s)
Today analysts are scrutinizing the report for what to make of Apple (AAPL), given it has of late been the largest customer for Cirrus’s audio chips. Cirrus got one downgrade this morning, from Needham & Co.‘s Vernon Essi Jr., who cut his rating to Buy from Strong Buy, writing “the blame Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS) management for aggressively building to what now looks like an optimistic customer forecast. And we blame Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for losing its mobility mojo.” “The guide indicates that therecent fears of Apple’s lackluster iPhone demand in 2013 are warranted,” adds Essi, “and reflect units that are more likely in the 55M range for 1H2013 vs. Street forecasts that are above 60M units.” Apple shares this morning have notched a new 52-week low of $410.61, and are currently down $16.08, or 3.7%, at $410.16.

Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS)Credit: Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS)

Apple In Trouble If U.S. Phone Market Follows France, India, China (Forbes)
Apple became the largest company in the world by market capitalization on the strength of innovation in mobile phones. Fortunately for Apple, the last several years there has been a consumer trend to treat their phones as status symbols or fashion accessories. What about a possible inflection point that is arriving when most consumers will consider their phone simply as a utility device and not as a fashion accessory? France Telecom SA (ADR) (NYSE:FTE), one of the largest carriers in Europe, has already concluded that going forward selling a $600 device such as an iPhone to consumers will be difficult. Stephane Richard, the CEO of France Telecom, recently stated that consumer behavior is changing and there are fewer early adopters.

Apple’s Secrecy Is Killing the Stock (Yahoo! Finance)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has spent the last 20 years “unveiling” new devices at cutesy, invitation-only mystery events. Where once such showcases dazzled, they have now become as tired as iTunes or the form factor of the iPhone. The Apple of old had both substance and sizzle. Today, Apple is just an old company with great cash flow. Gene Munster, senior analyst at Piper Jaffray, is a longtime Apple bull who cut his price target for the stock yesterday. He now sees the shares capped at $688, down from his prior top end of $788 and well below the $910 forecast of a year ago.

Apple Named in China Porn App Investigation (Wall Street Journal)
Apple Inc. is once again in the pages of the People’s Daily, this time in an article listing a number of websites and app stores that have been investigated for providing pornographic content in China. The Cupertino, Calif., company’s appearance on the list, which mostly includes relatively obscure websites, has spurred concern on the Chinese Internet that this may represent the beginning of another campaign by the government against Apple. But Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s most recent appearance in state media is markedly different from the March attacks that prompted an apology from Chief Executive Tim Cook.

Why ‘New’ Apple Products Won’t Happen Anytime Soon (Forbes)
What are the chances of Apple wowing the market with an iconic new product in 2013? About as slim as a Nano. Apple likes to create highly desirable products with an emphasis on slim and smaller – remember Steve Jobs holding up the slimmed down Mac Air a couple of years ago! But unless Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning on breaking with its famous, minimalist design aesthetic, there will be no ‘new‘ products in 2013. The technologies that would give Jony Ive scope for iconic watch and TV products is not quite there, and/or is mired in legal conflict.

Facebook Is Said to Hire Apple Maps Executive in Mobile Push (Bloomberg)
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has nabbed another member of Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s original iPhone team, hiring Richard Williamson, the manager who had led Apple’s mapping efforts, according to people with knowledge of the hire. Williamson joined Facebook in the past couple of weeks to be…

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