Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, whats in 2013?

Rashmi is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

There were many great technological innovations last year; some became popular, and some bit the dust. There were great product launches like the iPhone 5 and the Windows 8, while the smartphone and tablet market changed the way people use computers and endangered the existence of laptops and desktops.

Let us begin with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), which launched the highly anticipated iPhone 5 this year. It beat all sales records, as Apple is expecting sales of 45 million units. The company has sold 26.9 million iPhones in the third quarter, which is 58% more than last year in the same quarter. The maps in iPhone was a blunder, but it is still the most desired device in the U.S.  Apple also launched the iPad Mini and new Macs to boost its product line.

Over the course of 2012 Apple’s stock prices increased by 30%, which is quite remarkable. For a decade Apple has been known for its innovation and excellence in product delivery. This year they lived up to their name with the launch of iPad mini. They are also planning to launch an iPhone mini in order to target the lower-end smartphone market.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) launched its new operating system, Windows 8, with the new Metro interface. There was mixed reception to Windows 8, but despite the flaws it sold 40 million licenses in the first month. There were a number of new features in Windows 8, such as USB 3.0 support, boot ability from removable devices, and the new Windows Store to download apps. In addition to this, Microsoft has officially entered the battle of mobile operating systems against Google, which has been reigning over the market with its Android operating system.

Next comes the social networking site Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), which IPO'd on May 18, 2012. The IPO faced a lot of problems on the first day, with a delay in trading due to technical issues with the NASDAQ exchange.  The opening price was $38, put shares plummeted in the subsequent days. The primary reason was the company's inability to convince shareholders of a continuous revenue generating business model. However, Mark Zuckerberg has been trying different models to generate the continuous source of income and convince his shareholders. He has been able to do it to a certain extent in the last three months, which is reflected in the share prices below:

<img src="/media/images/user_14703/facebook-last-3-months_large.JPG" />

*Source: http://money.cnn.com

Nokia (NYSE: NOK), once the world’s largest cell phone maker, faced a lot of troubles in 2012, with sales going down and new products not picking up. It did launch the new Windows-based Lumia devices, but was left behind by iOS and Android devices. Many people wrote off Nokia because of this dismal performance. But then a ray of light came with the introduction of Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. These devices have are predicted by many analysts to be some of the best smartphones in the market. This is visible with the pickup in the share prices, which has increased by 55.22 percent in the last four months.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) also launched the Nexus 4 smartphone and the Nexus 7 tablet. The Nexus phone is currently sold out in the Google Play store, and there is no news about when it will be available for purchase again. Google's main strength lies in their mobile operating system Android. People prefer Android because of its huge app database. The only thing to watch out for is how competent Microsoft's Windows 8 will be compared to Google's Android. 

Below is a summary of the major technology stocks for this year:

<table> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><strong>Company</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>December 28, 2011</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>December 28, 2012</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>%change</strong></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Apple</p> </td> <td> <p>402.64</p> </td> <td> <p>510.7</p> </td> <td> <p><span><strong>+29.19</strong></span></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Microsoft</p> </td> <td> <p>25.82</p> </td> <td> <p>26.7</p> </td> <td> <p><span><strong>+4.42</strong></span></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Facebook</p> </td> <td> <p>38.23 (May 18, 2012)</p> </td> <td> <p>25.84</p> </td> <td> <p><span><strong>-31.86</strong></span></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Nokia</p> </td> <td> <p>4.74</p> </td> <td> <p>3.86</p> </td> <td> <p><span><strong>-15.61</strong></span></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Google</p> </td> <td> <p>639.7</p> </td> <td> <p>703.14</p> </td> <td> <p><span><strong>+10.91</strong></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

Clearly Apple, Microsoft, and Google were gainers, while Facebook and Nokia were losers. Now the new year is coming and we have to see what fortunes it will bring for these companies and their investors.


rajsenapati has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft and has the following options: long JAN 2014 $20.00 calls on Facebook. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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