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Bullish News for the Apple Inc. (AAPL) Ecosystem: eBay Inc (EBAY), Staples, Inc. (SPLS)

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Throughout this week, we at Valuentum have encountered a slew of positive data points that support our long thesis for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), one of the holdings in our Best Ideas Newsletter.

Apple on the Offensive

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller provided some interesting thoughts in a Wall Street Journal interview. Since Steve Jobs passed away, we haven’t heard any of the top brass at Apple make negative comments about Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android. The timing might not be coincidental, as the interview was released the day before Samsung unveils its Galaxy SIV. Schiller criticized the user experience, saying:

“When you take an Android device out of the box, you have to sign up to nine accounts with different vendors to get the experience iOS comes with.”

Schiller also said criticized Android for being a poor replacement for the iPhone, noting:

“Android is often given as a free replacement for a feature phone and the experience isn’t as good as an iPhone.”

The first point is a valid criticism, in our view, while the second may be a matter of preference. Either way, we’re happy to see management showing confidence in its product and not afraid to attack rivals. The first quote addresses a compelling issue — with the US smartphone market nearing saturation, we could see late adopters flock to the iPhone because it is often perceived as the simpler device.

Schiller also mentioned, according to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s research, that 4 times as many users leave Android for iOS as users that leave iOS for Android. We think this number is well-reflected in Apple’s sky-high retention rates, and it also brings to light the varying opinions regarding Apple’s market share. We’ve heard whispers suggesting Apple is losing ground domestically and abroad—although data suggests otherwise. While we’re not as positive about the overseas market share, we’ve seen Apple post terrific sales numbers at AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), where iPhones accounted for 84.3% and 63% of all smartphone activations in the fourth quarter, respectively.

PayPal for iPad

Best Ideas Newsletter holding eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY)’s PayPal released a POS solution for iPad. Not only is this a positive for PayPal as it works to expand its physical presence, but we think it speaks volumes about the iPad’s position in the business market. Tablets aren’t the standard; iPads are the standard.

This isn’t the first company that we’ve seen focus on completing products for iOS before considering Android, and we’ve even seen some prominent companies shun creating Android applications. The NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) Fuel Band app for iOS is the only of its kind, and Nike has no plans to develop one for Android. For what it’s worth, CEO Tim Cook is also on Nike’s board of directors. Still, exclusive apps for iOS make the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ecosystem more valuable.

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