Apple Inc (AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Tablet Wars

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)Apple, Microsoft gambling on a growing taste for tablets (Globe and Mail)
With Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) dropping down a weight class and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) entering the ring for the first time, this week marks the closest thing to a fair fight in the tablet market. On Tuesday, Apple is expected to unveil what is being called the “iPad Mini,” a 7-inch tablet designed to give the company a slice of the growing niche that exists somewhere between the standard 4-inch smartphone and the 10-inch tablet.

Will Apple go for ‘kill’ with iPad Mini? (The Sun Daily)
Just weeks after its momentous launch of the iPhone 5, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is back with what is expected to be another hot gadget — a “mini” version of its market-leading iPad tablet. Apple sent out invitations for an event Tuesday in San Jose, California, keeping details under wraps as it normally does, saying only: “We’ve got a little more to show you.” Reports have been swirling for months about the “iPad Mini,” but Apple has made no comment. But blogs which closely monitor Apple say the new tablet could be priced from $249 to $399, which could pressure rivals such as the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Apple heads busy week in US stocks (The Australian)
EARNINGS for technology companies are firmly in investor focus following a rash of disappointing results in the sector, and that will increase the pressure on such companies as Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), which are scheduled to report this week. More than 150 S&P 500 companies, along with eight Dow components, are scheduled to report quarterly earnings this week. “Apple may be watched closer than normal because of the weakness in tech earnings so far, because of the move away from desktops,” said Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Wealth Management.

Apple’s CEO: Is the right Cook in the kitchen? (Venture Beat)
Other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , Tim Cook must be the most speculated-about figure in the world. What will they do next? Reporters and journalists are obsessing over how far along they are in developing weapons of mass destruction or mass distraction. Apple’s recent debacle over the abandonment of Google Maps for their own home-grown cartographic calamity has raised concerns over Cook’s leadership, and whether he embodies the relentless perfectionism that’s part of the Jobsian hagiography. I mean, if Steve would get all spun up over a flush-mounted screw on the back on the iPod, he probably would have been more than a little concerned about misplacing the Washington Monument. To which I say: It’s way early. This is Cook’s first inning, or to use a more appropriate metaphor, we’re merely at the amuse-bouche. The Jobs era was cumulatively and collectively brilliant, but it exhibited enough sporadicism to allow us to cut Cook some real slack. The passage of time compresses our memories, events which were separated by years are recalled as nearly back-to-back. We forget the long periods between Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) innovations.