Warren Buffett seems to have overcome his famous reluctance to invest in digital technology. His Berkshire Hathaway disclosed this morning in an SEC filing that at the end of Q1 it owned 9.81 million shares of Apple, valued at more than $1 billion.
Apple shares opened up 1.7% after the news.
The disclosure follows the revelation during the weekend that Buffett is backing Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert in a bid for Yahoo.
These developments suggest the legendary investor is becoming more comfortable with the prospects for digital media. He has eschewed the sector, favoring time-tested brands that enjoy clear competitive advantages. His investments include Geico, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, Kraft Heinz, American Express, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo and IBM.
Buffett also might believe that the market has beaten up Apple enough; its shares are down 29.7% in the past 12 months. Many are concerned that the company depends too heavily on iPhone sales, a product that’s showing signs of maturity.
Apple last month reported its first decline in iPhone sales: It moved 51.2 million units in the first three months of this year, down from a year ago’s 61.2 million. CEO Tim Cook told analysts last month that while the smartphone market is “not growing, we’re optimistic that this too shall pass,” citing strong numbers of consumers switching to the iPhone platform during the quarter.