CHICAGO, July 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Research In Motion Ltd. (Nasdaq: RIMM), Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG).
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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:
Nortel Assets Go to Consortium
In a multi-day auction, the consortium of six technology companies including iPhone maker Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) won the bid to acquire Nortel Network Corp.'s intellectual assets for an estimated $4.5 billion.
Besides Apple, the consortium comprises Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Research In Motion Ltd. (Nasdaq: RIMM) and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE), among others. It won the right to Nortel's patents and thereby gained the access to a pool of technologies used in mobiles and tablets. The transaction process is expected to be completed by the third quarter.
The sale is subject to Canadian and U.S. court approvals, which will be effective after a joint hearing expected on July 11, according to Nortel.
Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) showed substantial interest in the patents but ultimately bowed out. The company had initially placed a $900 million bid for the Nortel assets last April.
According to sources, of the $4.5 billion to be paid to Nortel, RIM's contribution is about $770 million and Ericsson $340 million. However, other financial details were not available.
Nortel's intellectual property consists of more than 6,000 patents and patent applications r wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, Internet, service provider, semiconductor technologies, among others.
Of all the patents and patent applications, most of the smartphone companies, especially Apple, were vying for the patents relating to the 4G and Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies.
Given the inherent advantages of the 4G technology compared to the conventional 3G technology, the former has gained tremendous popularity among mobile companies. The 4G technology not only accelerates the data transfer rate, but also reduces transmission error. The technology is more secure than 3G, and uses Internet Protocol address system similar to the Internet.
Separately, LTE uses radio waves to allow more data to be transferred over the same bandwidth used by 3G equipment. As a result, service providers should be able to get more data transferred out of their existing cells, and possibly lower the cost of running their networks.
LTE, which is currently under development, allows wireless providers to shift from 3G technologies to 4G networks and equipment using GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) types of networks. However, LTE is not expected to be available for widespread use until 2012.
We believe Apple and Microsoft will likely be the main benefactors with the 4G and LTE technology. Apple has been facing stiff competition from Google's Android-based handsets and has lost significant market share over the last few quarters. We believe a new upgraded 4G iPhone is absolutely necessary for Apple to boost its declining market share. Hence, the win at the auction will improve its chances of launching a 4G iPhone in the near term.
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