Valley grab bag: Apple shares down; Leo Apotheker speaks; 23andMe’s $99 genetic tests

Quick hits about Silicon Valley companies:

Apple shares continue to hover around 3.5 percent lower today after an analyst downgrade. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich reportedly says iPhone component suppliers have seen “large order cuts” in the past couple of days. Milunovich also wrote that in China, where the iPhone 5 just became available, it is not expected to do as well as the previous iPhone.

Shares of Apple were trading at $510.30 as of this post, at their lowest level since near the beginning of the year.

• Remember Leo Apotheker? The former HP CEO is speaking out about the ill-fated Autonomy acquisition he presided over. “No single CEO is ever able to make a decision on a major acquisition in isolation, particularly at a company as large as HP — and certainly not without the full support of the chairman of the board,” he said in an email to Bloomberg. The chairman of Hewlett-Packard’s board, of course, is Ray Lane.

HP bought British software maker Autonomy in a more than $10 billion deal last year, and took an $8.8. billion charge on it last month. (See HP shares sink on double whammy of huge writedown, falling sales.)

• And finally, 23andMe this week announced this week that it has lowered the price of its personal genetics test from $299 to $99. That’s right, for the price of an e-reader or cell phone, you can mail the Silicon Valley company a spit sample and it says it can let you know more about your genetic makeup, including whether you might be predisposed to certain diseases.

The steep price drop is being made possible by a new round of funding in the company by billionaire Yuri Milner, who’s making an investment for the first time, according to my colleague Peter Delevett at SiliconBeat, along with past investors such as Google Ventures, NEA and Google’s Sergey Brin, who’s married to 23andMe founder Anne Wojcicki.

A couple of years ago, 23andMe and similar companies were criticized by the U.S. government for providing products that were supposedly “misleading and of little or no practical use.” (See DNA, IPO: Can these initials stand for ka-ching?)

 

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