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Will Apple Change Its Name To Oranges?

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October 10, 2013 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: AAPL , MCD , UTX

Burger King International (NYSE: BKW) just announced that it will temporarily change the name of some of its stores in the Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami areas to Fries King. The move is designed to promote lower fat French Fries on the menu. In addition to the name change BK will also sell T-shirts with the Fries King logo on it. 

Big Mac attack
The move appears to be a short-term marketing gimmick so the company can distinguish a popular menu item from the one offered by its arch rival in the fast food arena. McDonalds (NYSE: MCD) recently announced some changes to its menu as well. The company will be offering several new items, including fruits and vegetables, breakfast steak, and Mighty Wings, but not fries with lower calories. 

Both companies are probably feeling the effect of a decline in disposable income of consumers  , partially as the result of the expiration of the payroll tax holiday at the beginning of the year, and need to boost traffic to their stores. 

United we stand
Name changes sometimes make sense. The industrial giant United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX) changed its corporate name from United Aircraft in 1975 to reflect a diversification process under way. The next year company bought up commercial entities Otis Elevator and Carrier Refrigeration in 1979 to compliment the defense and aerospace pioneers Pratt and Whitney and Hamilton Standard, which have been part of the company from its beginnings over 80 years ago.  

Today UTC is well positioned to take advantage of two major trends,  a projected increase in global air traffic and expanding populations in emerging markets such as China and India, by its two major segments: Aerospace and Propulsion, including Pratt and Hamilton, and Building and Industrial Systems, which contains Otis and Carrier. 

Apples and oranges
As far as I know the tech giant Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has no plans to change its name to promote its latest line-up of smartphones.

The iPhone 5c, being sold at a slightly lower price point than its more technologically advanced cousin, the iPhone 5s, is offered in green, blue, yellow, pink, and white, instead of just black and white. It is basically a "5" contained in a plastic cover.

The "5s" has more state of the art features such as 64-bit computer architecture, just like your PC or laptop, a faster processor, larger capacity battery, and a fingerprint sensor in the home button to allow faster access from the lock screen. It continues a long history of innovation at the company, dating from the 1970's. 

Apple is counting on the new devices to pump up profits and its stock price which have been floundering since the predecessor version, the iPhone 5, was released about a year ago.

Early returns indicate the new devices are brisk sellers, with more than 9 million shipped in the first weekend alone, topping the 5 million iPhone 5's purchased in the first 3 days last year. 

Both devices run on Apple's updated mobile operating system, iOS7, a radical change from earlier versions and which has a look and feel that goes back to the original interface, "iPhone OS". A nostalgic touch on the part of Apple.

Conclusion
Burger King is changing the name, just for a short period of time, of some stores as a marketing ploy to promote lower fat French Fries and to compete with rival McDonalds. 

United Technologies made a corporate name change to reflect a diversification of their business. The addition of commercial entities will continue to pay off, more than 35 years later.

The largest company in the world by market cap , Apple, has no plans to change its name to Oranges to reflect the recent release of colorful versions of the iconic iPhone. That is probably a good thing. 

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