As the tech market rises, founder Philippe Laffont's bets on Apple and Google pay off
By Carolyn Sargent
When Apple launched the iPhone on the last Friday in June, the throng waiting outside the AT&T store on Lexington Avenue at East 61st Street in midtown Manhattan included more than amateur enthusiasts. Four of the first 11 people to get hold of the sought-after device from that store that day were employees of Philippe Laffont's Coatue Management, a $1.7 billion hedge fund firm that specializes in technology, media and telecommunications.
With iPhones in hand, Coatue staffers hustled back to their nearby office to synch their phones with the firm's e-mail server. Intensive testing began immediately - and lasted all weekend, when, for 12 hours a day, analysts assessed the smartphone's features and functionality.
Coatue is an investor in Apple, and the research reaffirmed the hedge fund's conviction in the quirky...