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NewsPoster Jan 16, 2013 08:22 PM
Some investment analysts raising AAPL targets
Reinforcing the notion that some of Apple's recent stock-price tumble may be down to <a href=" nst.aapl/" rel='nofollow'>call options timing</a> and manipulations of the media meant to keep the price low, two prominent investment houses have painted a <a href="" rel='nofollow'>bright picture</a> for the company based on the expectation that Apple will be able to beat consensus estimates on its flagship iPhone sales. One firm has raised year-end targets on the stock to a staggering $1,111 -- more than double the current price.<br />
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Topeka Capital Markets and their analyst Brian White have good reason to be upbeat: White says the present product mix "has never been stronger" and expect the company to launch an entirely new product line sometime this year, most likely the long-rumored <a href="" rel='nofollow'>Apple-branded HDTV</a> -- which, despite the emphasis on televisions at CES earlier this month, is still "ripe for disruption," reports <em>AppleInsider</em>. The likelihood of a deal <a href="" rel='nofollow'>coming soon</a> with China Mobile, the world's largest carrier by far by subscriber base, to carry the iPhone and iPad will keep sales of the company's most popular devices growing at record pace, the firm believes, and then there are the expected polishes and improvements to existing products.

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray has also advised his clients of positive upsides for Apple in the coming months, starting with the claim that Apple will beat <a href=" ord.breaking.quarter/" rel='nofollow'>consensus estimates</a> on the iPhone (which is currently at 47.6 million units sold during the holiday quarter) by just over 10 percent, or five million units for a total of 52 million. Munster bases his optimism on reports from US carriers such as AT&T and <a href=" es/" rel='nofollow'>Verizon</a> that iPhone sales were strong enough to push their results into record territory, and uses that as an assumption on foreign sales. Munster's numbers echo those of investment bank Bernstein, which <a href="" rel='nofollow'>tweeted a chart</a> showing historical trends and a strong probability of Apple beating consensus numbers.

He thinks Apple sold 15 million iPhones in the US and at least twice as many in all other countries combined. Given the unusually quick and widespread rollout of the iPhone -- even <a href=" mber/" rel='nofollow'>including China</a>, albeit only in the last month of the quarter -- it could be a very safe assumption. Numerous reports have said that iPhone demand is <a href=" .also.found/" rel='nofollow'>still "robust"</a> but more spread out than with previous models, perhaps confusing analysts who don't see the line-ups and store sell-outs that accompanied the initial nine-country release.

On the iPad front, Piper Jaffray expects around 25 million iPads sold during the December quarter, slightly above consensus estimates of 24 million. Munster guesses the mix to be 20 million full-size iPads and five million iPad minis, but if US holiday <a href=" .tech/" rel='nofollow'>gift surveys</a> were any indication Apple may have a surprise for analysts on the strength of the iPad mini, which saw widespread shortages in the most popular models all around the world as Christmas buying season reached its peak.

The firm expects a drop in Mac sales, reflective of the <a href=" erialize/" rel='nofollow'>overall trend</a> in the desktop and notebook industry as more consumers shift to primarily using mobile devices for most tasks. Munster believes Apple will have sold only 4.8 million Macs in the last calendar quarter, a drop of seven percent from last year but still <a href="" rel='nofollow'>better </a> than the industry as a whole, which has seen a significant contraction in PC sales over the last year.

Topeka's White has rated AAPL a "buy" at its present price, which rose four percent on Wednesday after numerous media outlets (including this one) <a href=" nst.aapl/" rel='nofollow'>debunked several earlier articles</a> -- including a prominent one by the <em>Wall Street Journal</em> which has since been <a href="" rel='nofollow'>edited to remove inaccurate figures</a> -- that appeared to be trying to <a href=" l/" rel='nofollow'>manipulate</a> the stock price of the company, possibly in an effort to avoid payouts on <a href=" nst.aapl/" rel='nofollow'>call options</a> written during the summer, when the stock price was on a strong upward swing and selling for around $600 a share. It closed today at $506.09, up more than $20 from yesterday's nine-month low.

White told clients that Apple will likely continue to dominate the tablet market in spite of increased competition, that it will remain the most profitable by far of the smartphone makers, and that new "smart" TVs from Samsung, LG, Huawei and other companies are not that impressive (particularly at the five-digit price points many of them will sell for). As Apple continues to express interest in the TV market, White remains confident that it has something disruptive in mind -- though whether any actual product will debut in 2013 <a href="" rel='nofollow'>remains to be seen</a>, as rumors of Apple entering the HDTV arena have persisted for years. White also mentioned the possibility of a lower-cost iPhone, though <a href="" rel='nofollow'>little hard evidence</a> exists to suggest that Apple is actually making one at present.
bobolicious Jan 16, 2013 09:02 PM
On increasing sales ?
"Snow Leopard was the last OS X version to support PowerPC legacy applications, which probably accounts for its strong staying power, particularly for users of older Macs."
Report: Mountain Lion overtakes predecessors in OS X share | MacNN

"I'm not switching my Macs wholesale to 10.8, not yet: I still have data in PowerPC apps that I need to migrate to modern formats and applications first."
Pro Video Coalition: Camera Log by Adam Wilt

...might this last hurdle simply be addressed by simply changing the EULA and allowing virtualization in other than the 10.6 server...?
Charles Martin Jan 16, 2013 09:57 PM
Not sure what this has to do with the story -- Apple is not having ANY trouble selling anything, and in fact are doing a better job of it than any other single company excluding Samsung. If you're referring to the Mac sales, the entire PC industry is doing WAY worse, so again there's not really any need to retrograde anything, and really when has Apple ever been around retrograding stuff anyway? Never, that's when.

Snow Leopard/PowerPC hangers-on need to move on already. The replacement apps or upgrade path IS HERE and has been for some time. Keep up or get left behind -- at least 10 million new, never-used-PPC-apps users are being added every year ... do I really need to spell out where that path goes?
bobolicious Jan 17, 2013 12:08 AM
"The firm expects a drop in Mac sales, reflective of the overall trend in the desktop and notebook industry as more consumers shift to primarily using mobile devices for most tasks."

There would seem easy ways with little cost to remove possible recent possible deterrents to hardware purchasing that currently exist for businesses that do more technically complex things than edit text...

...there is a world where project liability, statute of limitations, need for historical record and base documentation access and reuse, and life cycles last longer and are more complex than ascii or pdf based files may be needed as a writer/editor ?
elroth Jan 17, 2013 01:31 AM
Hey, chas -

Don't tell me what I should do. Snow Leopard is better for me in many ways than Lion or ML, and I will continue to use it. It's a free country - you follow what Apple wants you to do, and I'll do what works best for me, which is Snow Leopard. Why are you so offended that I disagree with you - are you that insecure?
Charles Martin Jan 17, 2013 05:09 PM
I don't have a problem with anyone who needs to use Snow Leopard for a particular reason ... but it's a dead-end street (like all OS versions eventually) and users need to remember that and prepare for it. I've had to do a LOT of "rescuing" of clients' files (mostly AppleWorks) when they had to buy a new computer (old one died suddenly, thank heavens for TIme Machine!) and suddenly they DON'T HAVE THE OPTION of sticking with their outdated software anymore ...

... I make a TON of money when this happens, so please DO stick with Snow Leopard if you like ... it's just more money in my pocket later. I didn't say anything bad about SL -- in fact I think very highly of it. But that's not really a viable long-term plan the way, say, sticking with Windows XP has turned out to be.

You're reading into my post that I'm anti-SL when there's nothing in the post that supports that tells me that I'm not the one who's insecure here ...
bobolicious Jan 18, 2013 11:26 AM
You just gave the great reason...
...for windows users to stay with xp or w7 with virtualization, which ironically may be the way I have to access all my older project files save Appleworks - design 'for the rest of us'...?

The point being that all your crisis customers might have increased Apple sales long before they were 'forced to' if Apple hadn't abandoned the ship they floated long ago...
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