What's Important in the Financial World (9/18/2012)


July Air Travel Report

U.S. Department of Transportation's Air Travel Consumer Report for July is out. It grades, among other things, which airlines are most likely to have on-time arrivals. The data always gets a lot of news coverage. But is there any valuable data in it, or information to help travelers? Probably not. A small percentage of people are caught on planes that depart very late. On rate occasions, people lose luggage. In July, the worst on-time arrival figures are for United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) at 64.1%. The company recently has gone through a merger, and it flies into and out of some of the busiest airports in the country. Also receiving black marks are two regional carriers - ExpressJet Airlines (67.7%) and American Eagle Airlines (75.4%). Hawaiian Airways (89.6%) and Alaska Airways (88.6%), which fly almost no where, do very well.

New Motorola RAZR with Intel Inside

Google Inc.'s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Motorola Mobility handed Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) a much-needed victory in the smartphone industry. The big chip marker has had a hard time breaking out of the PC market and into the one for portable devices, which includes smartphones. Motorola announced the new Motorola RAZR i has:

the new full-screen smartphone that fits in the palm of your hand. Its Super AMOLED Advanced 4.3-inch display spans from edge-to-edge with virtually no border - giving you more screen with less phone. RAZR i is the first smartphone that can achieve speeds of 2.0 GHz thanks to a fast Intel Atom processor.

Consumers in the United States may have to wait a long time to try the smartphone:

Motorola RAZR i will be available in black beginning in October in select European and Latin American markets including the U.K., France, Germany, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico with more to be announced. A stand out white version will also be coming to select markets.

Like the Ford Model-T, it comes in any color you want as long as it is black.

Apple Still Leads in Tablet Sales

Global tablet sales should rise 56% to 126.6 million units, according to industry research group iSuppli. As expected, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has the lead in the market, but that lead may be threatened. iSuppli added in its report:

While the 9-inch segment dominated by the iPad will account for the majority of tablet display shipments this year, the fastest-growing portion of the market will the 7.x-inch screens used in products like the Galaxy Tab from Samsung Electronics, the Kindle Fire from Amazon, the Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble, and other tablet products using the Google Android operating system.

But the new iPad may come in a smaller screen, so Apple has nothing to worry about.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Market Open Tagged: AAPL, featured, GOOG, INTC, UAL