I'm fresh out of high school and have no professional experience in finance, but I'm interested. I've been working at a small software company for the last several months where debates over lunch about iOS vs. Android, which company is cooler, who has the better software happen every single day without fail. The conversations aren't very quality and it usually just comes to something like "Well, Larry Ellison is clearly a closet pedophile so there is no way that blah blah technology with threaten Intel's position and you suck". It is a lot of fun to joke around like that but I am genuinely curious about getting down to business and doing real research on these companies instead of just learning from rumors and the latest rant posted on Hacker News.
So in order to do that I've messed around this morning researching smartphones and going on investor.apple.com reading SEC reports but I'm kind of hitting a wall when it comes to actually recording and analyzing the available data. I was thinking of making a directed graph of related companies in the smartphone space and mapping their income from various products, relationships between competing products, price information, target markets, supply side exposures, and anything else I think is relevant. Does this sound like a sane approach? Is there some software out there that will help me do this?
If any of you ER guys could give me advice on where to start researching companies, that would be awesome.