Apple Inc. (AAPL) News: Larger Screens, Integration of Tencent Weibo, Eddie Cue The Chief Ringleader & More

Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)

Apple looking at bigger iPhone screens, multiple colours (Reuters)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is exploring launching iPhones with bigger screens, as well as cheaper models in a range of colours, over the next year, said four people with knowledge of the matter, as it takes a cue from rival Samsung Electronics. The moves, which are still under discussion, underscore how the California-based firm that once ruled the smartphone market is increasingly under threat from its aggressive South Korean competitor. Samsung has overtaken Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in market share through the popularity of its bigger-screen Galaxy “phablets” and by flooding the market with a range of products at different prices.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

David Lerner Associates Welcomes Merger of Apple REIT Six into BRE Select Hotels (NewsWire)
David Lerner Associates, a privately-held securities broker-dealer headquartered in Syosset, NY, recently welcomed the announcement by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) REIT Six, (“Apple Six”), a real estate investment trust (REIT), of the closing of the merger of Apple Six into BRE Select Hotels Corp (“BRE Select Hotels”), an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII. The total transaction value, including transaction costs and the assumption or repayment of Apple Six’s debt, is approximately $1.2 billion. David Lerner Associates was the exclusive broker-dealer for this offering. Pursuant to the terms of the merger agreement, each issued and outstanding Unit (Common Share and related Series A Preferred Share) of Apple Six was converted into the right to receive consideration with a stated value of $11.10 per Unit consisting of…

Value investor Nygren bullish on Apple, still avoiding Dell (Reuters)
William Nygren, a top manager at Oakmark Funds, said on Wednesday he remains bullish on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), but is still avoiding Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) in light of the company’s plans to take the computer maker private. Nygren, a noted value investor who runs the $9.6 billion Oakmark Fund, said at the Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is undervalued while Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) has one of the top management teams in the banking industry.

Apple makes room for Tencent Weibo (Ecns)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has integrated Tencent Holdings’ microblogging service into its newly unveiled operating system iOS 7, highlighting the company’s focus on the Chinese market and heating up the competition between China’s two largest microblogging service providers, an industry analyst said Wednesday. During Apple’s 24th annual Worldwide Developers Conference held Monday in San Francisco, Craig Federighi, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s senior vice president of software engineering, unveiled new iOS 7 features including the integration of Tencent Weibo for users in China. The final version of iOS 7 will be available this fall. Sina Weibo, Tencent’s major competitor in China, was integrated into iOS 6 last June.

Apple’s Eddie Cue Is Key to Defense of E-Book Price-Fixing Case (BusinessWeek)
The government’s antitrust case over e-book pricing reaches a crucial stage as a key Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) executive takes the stand to try to convince a federal judge he didn’t lead an illegal scheme with publishers to fix prices. Eddie Cue, called “the chief ringleader of the conspiracy” by a Justice Department lawyer, is scheduled to testify today in the Manhattan civil trial of the government’s case against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Cue, 48, is Apple’s central negotiator in dealing with the owners of music, magazines, books, movies and television shows. His role will be highlighted as he testifies about leading talks with the six biggest U.S. publishers in late 2009 and early 2010.