What's Important in the Financial World (9/24/2012)


iPhone 5 Reviews

Now that millions of people and thousands of tech reviewers own an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 5, the attention about the device has turned to its features and connection speed. The speed comparisons usually take two factors into account. The first is the difference in download and upload activity between the 4G networks the new model uses compared to the 3G networks previous versions of the iPhone used. In these evaluations, the new phone wins hands-down. The only complaint is that 4G networks are not built out as widely as 3G ones are geographically. Another set of popular tests is the difference between the iPhone 5 and other 4G-enabled smartphones. Since the Samsung Galaxy S III has been described as an "iPhone killer," it is the logical target for these comparisons. One of the most widely read tech sites, CNET, reported the following:

The iPhone 5 did slightly better with download speeds while the Galaxy S3 enjoyed a bigger margin on upload speeds. Keep in mind that your results may vary depending on your location, the strength of a carrier's network at a given the time, and the number of people using it around you.

In other words, it is a tie, as far as CNET is concerned.

Disappointing Box Office

The movie industry suffered through another bad weekend. Experts often have argued that people go to theaters less because of DVDs and streaming download services. Those assumptions could be tested now as attendance dwindles. Or, alternatively, perhaps the films currently in theaters are bad or have no broad appeal. The Los Angeles Times reports:

Two of young Hollywood's biggest stars beat out a grizzled industry veteran at the box office this weekend — but just barely.

Jake Gyllenhaal's cop drama "End of Watch" and Jennifer Lawrence's horror vehicle "House at the End of the Street" tied for the No. 1 weekend position, each grossing a decent $13 million.

Clint Eastwood's baseball drama, "Trouble With the Curve," didn't hit a home run with opening weekend audiences, as the movie debuted with a slightly lower sum of $12.7 million.

Based on analysts expectations, all of these movies posted numbers that were lower than expected.

AMR vs. the Unions

Bankrupt AMR, parent of American Airlines, faces increasing resistance from employees as it attempts to cut wages and headcount. Worker activism has started to harm American's relationships with customers, and almost certainly its sales as well. AMR says the primary culprit is the Allied Pilots Association, which has pressed back against AMR's plans to thin the ranks of its members. The union denies the charges. The WSJ reports:

The unit of AMR Corp. cut 300 flights, or more than 1% of its schedule, between Tuesday and Sunday to minimize cancellations and reduce delays. Nevertheless, only 55% of flights arrived within 14 minutes of their published schedule on Saturday, an American spokesman said, after 57% hit that mark on Friday

Douglas A. McIntyre

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