Today: Apple gains while launching new CarPlay initiative, discovering that loss of tablet title is official. Also: eBay declines as Carl Icahn battle rages on.
The Lead: Apple notches slight gain, launches CarPlay offering
Despite a rough day on Wall Street as investors faced fears about Russia's involvement in Ukraine, Apple managed to post a gain while trotting out its new automobile integration offering, dubbed CarPlay, and discovering that the company's market lead in tablets officially disappeared in 2013.
Apple, which had slid 6.3 percent so far in 2014 as institutional investors move away from the stock, gained 0.3 percent to $527.26 Monday after officially launching the in-car integration in partnership with a handful of car companies; the effort was first mentioned as "iOS in the Car" at the 2013 WWDC event in San Francisco.
Success with CarPlay -- which allows drivers to access their iPhone and the Siri voice-activation system from the car's dashboard, and offering a similar look and feel to Apple's iOS mobile operating system -- could help Apple while hurting Silicon Valley rivals who could be shut out of the system. Apple said only a handful of third-party applications will be accessible through CarPlay, which will have Apple Maps and iTunes Radio fully integrated into the car's dashboard.
While some other music apps will be available alongside iTunes Radio, Pandora Media's pioneering streaming-radio offering is not on the list. In a statement emailed to the Mercury News, Pandora sounded a hopeful note for future integration.
"At this time, Pandora is not integrated with Apple CarPlay," a Pandora spokeswoman wrote. "As a first mover in the auto space, we continue to broaden our relationships with OEMs while also exploring other opportunities to expand our presence in the car. Apple has been and continues to be a valued partner."
Google, which makes the more popular Google Maps application, seems less likely to receive future integration, but the company announced earlier this year its own initiative to get Android into automobiles, which gives the two massive Silicon Valley tech giants a new front in which to battle.
Google dropped 1.1 percent on the day to $1,202.69, while Pandora gained 1.2 percent to $37.78.
CarPlay wasn't the only story surrounding Apple on Monday. The Cupertino tech giant was reported to be on an Asian hiring spree, with the Wall Street Journal saying that it was looking to bring on engineers and supply-chain managers in China and Taiwan as it looks to Asia for growth.
Apple could use some growth prospects as analysis firms continue to show the company struggling for market share as Google's Android operating system continues to dominate. In a report released Monday morning, Gartner said that tablet shipments grew 68 percent in 2013, but most of that growth went to Android, which wrested away Apple's title as tops in the tablet game.
Android's ability to trounce iOS in total shipments began in 2013, but Gartner's report makes it official, showing that Android controlled more than 60 percent of the tablet market in 2013 after Apple captured 52.8 percent in 2012. Apple continues to be the top manufacturer of tablets, however, as Samsung's Android-based tablets captured just 19 percent of the market in 2013 compared with Apple's 36 percent.
"Apple's tablets remain strong in the higher end of the market, and Apple's approach will continue to force vendors to compete with full ecosystem offerings, even in the smaller-screen market as the iPad mini sees a greater share" Gartner research director Roberta Cozza said in Monday's news release.
Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley believes Apple will be able to generate a higher market share with its focus on the higher end of the mobile device market, bumping his price target from $570 to $600 Monday while predicting "a strong upgrade cycle among Apple's loyal base."
SV150 market report: eBay fight continues, stock price finally declines
Among the many stocks to decline in Monday's dour session was eBay, which is in the middle of a fight with activist investor Carl Icahn that entered yet another round of verbal fisticuffs Monday.
eBay rose to split-adjusted record prices last week amid daily back-and-forths with Icahn, who wants the San Jose company to spin off its PayPal online-payments company and has taken to attacking the firm's CEO and directors in open letter to shareholders. While Icahn released yet another letter Monday -- his fifth in the past week -- famed Silicon Valley venture investor and singled-out eBay director Marc Andreessen released his own missive defending himself and the company, while avoiding mentioning Icahn by name. eBay dropped 0.8 percent to $58.31 Monday while being in the middle of the battle, which could escalate into a war between Silicon Valley and Wall Street, Quartz reporter John McDuling wrote.
Twitter dropped 2.2 percent to $53.71 after some free attention during the Academy Awards broadcast Sunday night, when host Ellen DeGeneres attempted to break the record for most retweeted tweet of all time, and succeeded. Rival Facebook fell 1.5 percent to $67.41 while launching its first video advertisements in a couple of years, though the ads will only be shown on Facebook's own platform, according to Re/Code. Zynga took its first steps toward a mobile-focused future, announcing the impending relaunch of three popular games as the San Francisco company seeks to rebound; Zynga shares gained 3.6 percent to $5.24. Tesla Motors avoided a letdown and gained 2.4 percent to $250.56, though CEO Elon Musk's other Silicon Valley company, San Mateo solar installer SolarCity, declined 2 percent to $83.26, then fell more in late trading after announcing that recent discoveries will lead to restated financial information.
Up: Apple, Zynga, Tesla
Down: Google, Oracle, Cisco, Intel, eBay, HP, VMware, Juniper, Gilead, Yahoo, LinkedIn , Facebook, Twitter
The SV150 index of Silicon Valley's largest tech companies: Down 12.20, or 0.78 percent, to 1,555.91.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index: Down 30.82, or 0.72 percent, to 4,277.30.
The blue chip Dow Jones industrial average: Down 153.68, or 0.94 percent, to 16,168.03.
And the widely watched Standard & Poor's 500 index: Down 13.72, or 0.74 percent, to 1,845.73.
Check in weekday afternoons for the 60-Second Business Break, a summary of news from Mercury News staff writers, The Associated Press, Bloomberg News and other wire services. Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/jowens510.