US hedge fund Omega Advisors leaves Apple for Facebook

Leon Cooperman’s hedge fund Omega Advisors divested the shares it held in US technology major Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and acquired new shares in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and in oil and gas company SandRidge Energy Inc (NYSE:SD) in the fourth quarter of last year, according to a filing with the US securities regulator.

Omega Advisors, which is led by Cooperman as CEO, shed 266,404 shares in Apple, which represented its entire holding in the technology firm and bought 3.16m shares in Facebook as well as 24.38m shares in SandRidge.

The market value of Apple has fallen considerably in the last months.

In addition, Omega Advisors boosted its ownership in US energy firm McMoRan Exploration Company (NYSE:MMR) by some 1.8m shares.

The filing provided no financial details.

Apple not interested in acquiring Israeli social app maker Waze — report

US technology giant Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) does not plan to acquire Israeli social mobile applications provider Waze Ltd, CNET said quoting a knowledgeable source.

The report follows speculations that the parties were in takeover discussions.

TechCrunch, which cited insiders, said on Wednesday that the US firm was proposing USD400m (EUR306.6m) in cash and earn-out payments of USD100m, although the target was hoping to pocket USD750m. Later the news agency reported that there was no deal.

The rumours about Waze and Apple also follow a statement by analyst Hans Slob of Rabobank International a month ago who claimed that there was a 30% chance of the US firm proposing to buy Dutch portable navigation devices (PNDs) maker TomTom NV (AMS:TOM2).

Apple buys Italian start-up Redmatica – reports

Italian blog Fanpage, has reported that US tech giant Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reportedly acquired Italian start-up Redmatica.

Fanpage has also obtained a document by Italy’s Communications Regulatory Authority, or AGCOM, which may offer a solid proof for the deal.

The small Italian company is focused on creating software applications for music editing. According to the local blog, the firm generates yearly revenues of less than €100,000 ($123,750) and a profit of some €26,000. The company’s Keymap Pro software is a sampled instruments editor. It markets three more products, all of which are intended to be run on Apple’s personal computer Mac.

According to another publication, Techcrunch, through the deal, the US major may be looking to bolster its staff or combine some of the acquired software into its offerings.

Apple was formed in 1976 and currently markets consumer electronics, computer software and personal computers. The company’s products include the Macintosh line of computers as well as the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Apple also develops software, including the Mac OS X operating system, the iTunes media browser, a multimedia suite called iLife and a productivity software, iWork. The company’s offering further includes the photography-focused software Aperture, its audio and film software Final Cut Studio and its Safari web browser, among others.

iPhone 4 back into nation’s top three

Apple’s iPhone 4 has surged back into the nation’s Top 3 favourite mobiles, according to the latest tracker from independent price comparison and switching service.

The uSwitch.com Mobile Tracker, which ranks the most popular handsets based on live searches and sales, also shows that for the second month in a row, HTC’s Desire and Desire HD handsets are the nation’s most popular mobiles. Meanwhile, Android has maintained its 50% stranglehold on the charts, further intensifying the battle between the tech giants of Apple and Google.

This month also sees a host of new handsets enter the Top 10 with Motorola, Blackberry and Samsung fighting it out lower down the table, as well as two Nokia phones appearing in the Top 10 for the first time.

Number one handset for March 2011 – The HTC Desire is once again the first choice for UK consumers. In many cases coming free on standard tariffs, gadget lovers can get one of the best Android experiences available on the market from as little as £15 a month.

Biggest climber – February’s biggest faller has become March’s biggest climber, as the iPhone 4 shoots back into the Top 3 from seventh place at the end of February. With retailers keen to shift stock before a possible summer announcement of iPhone 4’s successor and a wave of interest following the release of Apple’s iPad, there has been a flurry of attractive deals with consumers keen to bag a bargain.

 

Biggest fallers – The Blackberry Curve 8520 has fallen two places, adding to a bad month for RIM, with the Blackberry Torch also dropping a place. Making way for the iPhone 4, the HTC Wildfire has dropped out of the Top 3 and is now fifth. HTC’s falling prices have enabled budget conscious consumers to shift their attention to the attractive yet affordable Android curves of the Desire.

Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com, comments: “For the second month in a row Android has taken another big chunk out of Apple, which will be sure to leave a sweet taste in Google’s mouth. Maintaining its dominance in the top ten is a clear statement that the search giant won’t be loosening its vice-like grip on the mobile market anytime soon.

“The exciting iPhone deals currently on offer mean that consumers can finally lay their hands on the object of their desire without breaking the bank. Three offers an almost unbeatable 2,000 cross-network minutes plus 5,000 minutes to Three networks, 5,000 texts, all-you-can-eat data and even a free cover for just £30 a month plus £69 upfront.

“HTC may still be dominating the charts, but we are starting to see other handsets fight their way into the top ten. Great phones from Nokia and Motorola are appealing to people who are watching every penny they spend, but still want the best in smartphone functionality. The advertising around Nokia’s N8, complete with 12-megapixel camera, should mean we see it hanging around the Top 10 for a while.”