The iPhone is a phenomenon unto itself.
The top-shelf smartphone is responsible for nearly half of Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) sales these days. A fairly large industry has formed around this single product line: Well-known component suppliers such as TriQuint Semiconductor (Nasdaq: TQNT ) and Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS ) rise and fall by ridiculous amounts on any iPhone-related news or even rumors; OmniVision Technologies (Nasdaq: OVTI ) jumps and crashes even quicker because Apple bends over backwards and inside out to hide the identity of each iPhone's camera sensor chips.
This phenomenon has gone so far that we've compiled a special report on the hardware cottage industry around the iPhone market, and how to invest in it. The report is totally free -- get your copy right here to learn more. But there's always one more way to skin the same cat. Now a band of networking specialists have found yet another way to piggyback on Apple's magical mystery tour.
Aruba Networks (Nasdaq: ARUN ) just reported first-quarter results, beating its own revenue guidance with sales of $119 million and landing non-GAAP earnings at $0.14 per share, right where the company expected them. But that wasn't Aruba's biggest news of the day. The company also announced its intention to buy privately held Avenda Systems, an expert in creating secure business-class connections to whatever devices you might bring into your company's network.
And that's where Apple comes in. As more and more corporate employees bring their own networked gadgets such as iPhones and iPads to work, businesses need to manage the potential security risks in this Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, phenomenon.
Trying harder to make Apple deices wor! k for bu siness is not exactly new to Aruba; it has already built special iOS-enabling features into its wireless gateways. But Avenda lets Aruba take the concept further and faster. "Avenda allows us to expand our reach to all kinds of devices, not just Apple IOS devices, which is what we initially supported with the MOVE architecture and the MDAC service," explains CTO Keerti Melkote.
The Avenda buy is small enough that financial details of the deal weren't disclosed. But it could be a game-changer in the long term as Aruba saddles up to ride the iPhone like never before. Aruba shares may look expensive at 39 times trailing earnings, but the growth runway in front of it looks clear for takeoff. I'm giving Aruba a thumbs-up vote in CAPS right now. Feel free to follow along.