Beyond Apple: Three Other Ways to Profit From the Smartphone Boom
Apple posted record revenues of $15.7 billion, selling 8.4 million iPhones, 3.47 million Mac computers and 3.27 million iPads. As for the next quarter, the company predicted revenues of $18 billion -- and that's probably a low-ball number.
Of course, the main driver of Apple's growing revenue is the smartphone revolution and so far, it's still the franchise player. Since Apple got into the market three years ago, its revenues have tripled and earnings have quadrupled. Oh, and the stock price has zoomed from $118 to $260.
Given that, it's natural that Apple has taken much of the attention of investors. But there are certainly other smartphone plays that should benefit, right?
Definitely. Here's a look at some interesting prospects:
Skyworks Solutions (SWKS): The company develops semiconductors primarily for mobile devices. Functions include strengthening signal strength and power management. At the same time, the technology is available for the key mobile standards like CDMA2000, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, LTE and WCDMA.
According to Skyworks latest quarterly report, the company saw a 44% spike in revenues to $275.4 million (which was a 16% sequential increase). Operating income came to $63.5 million.
And the growth ramp is likely to continue for some time: The company's guidance for the next quarter is $300 million in revenues and a 25% operating margin.
Synchronoss Technologies (SNCR): This company operates ConvergenceNow Plus+, which helps mobile device operators activate new customers. In the last quarter, Synchronoss saw its revenues increase 19% to $35.1 million. It helps that the company activates iPhones for AT&T (T).
Further, to boost growth, Synchronoss recently purchased FusionOne. This company's software transfers address books, email lists, photos and even Facebook friends from one mobile device to another. FusionOne's marquee customer is Verizon (VZ), which is getting lots of traction from its Droid X device. In turn, this could mean a jump in revenues for Synchronoss.
eBay (EBAY): A key part of the company's turnaround strategy relies on mobile devices. According to its earnings report last week, eBay announced that it will transact about $1.5 billion in sales through mobile devices, 2.5 times more than last year's volume. And eBay's main iPhone shopping app has seen 11 million downloads this year.
Continuing its innovation, the company has launched a new app for high-fashion shoppers. eBay also recently purchased RedLaser, which allows people to use their iPhones to read bar codes and engage in comparison shopping. In fact, eBay company intends to release a mobile app about every five weeks or so.
But the big opportunity could be the mobile wallet. And given the PayPal system -- which continues to grow at a nice clip -- eBay has the necessary pieces of technology to pull this off.