Apple Investor: iPhone Needs To Find Additional Carriers To Maintain Rapid Growth

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AAPL Hits Another All-Time High
AAPL shares hit an all-time high, closing yesterday at $228.36 (17x estimated fiscal-year 2010 EPS and 18x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow). Upcoming catalysts include analyst reports previewing the March quarter earnings release (likely the third week in April); March NPD data on Mac unit sales; continued commentary on iPad sales and trends; and the launch of the next generation iPhone this summer.

iPhone Business Slowing Unless Apple Diversifies Carriers And Eliminates Data Plan Says Analyst
(Bernstein Research)
Bernstein Research analyst, A.M. (Toni) Sacconaghi, Jr., called into question this morning the continued strength of the iPhone business. He believes that Apple’s current ~40% market share makes it increasingly difficult for the company to continue to generate strong growth rates. To avoid slowing iPhone growth, he believes that Apple needs to expand carriers (outside of AT&T) and offer a device that doesn’t require a data plan (isn’t that an iPod?).

Apple Should Go After The TV Market After All Says Gene Munster
(Business Insider)
Apple should set its sights on the $31 billion TV market, according to Gene Munster, analyst at Piper Jaffray. Apple is well positioned to enter the market in the next several years as TVs become more interactive. If the company currently sells a Mac at the premium price of $1,700, it could easily sell a TV for $2000. Live TV is a big hurdle, but Gene thinks Apple could try creating an iTunes TV Pass at $50-$90 per month to compensate for a cable package. The only problem, no big TV or movie studios are currently willing to get on board with Apple.

Apple’s iPad Enterprise Opportunity Underestimated
(Business Week)
The iPad might not be just for fun and games. Many industries could see a revolutionary change in how workers stay productive with the new device. Apple has even created an iPad version of its iWork suite (similar to Microsoft Office suite) to cater to business use. Recent surveys suggest that work-related uses of the iPad are underestimated since 52.3% of respondents stated that they would most likely use a tablet for work.

Apple Crushing The Competition On Operating Margin
(Business Insider)
Apple’s integrated hardware and software system make it the most valuable PC maker in the world, according to a research note from Deutsche Bank. While Apple has only 7% of the share of revenue, it’s grabbing a whooping 35% of the operating profit. Deutsche Bank attributes this to the strength of the Mac/MacBook lineup and other companies losing profit margin because they have to shell out for Microsoft Office.

The iPad Winner Of The eBook War Will Need To Compete On Experience And Incentives
(The New York Times)
There will be several ways to purchase eBooks on the iPad; Apple’s iBookstore, Amazon’s Kindle app, the Barnes & Noble app as well as a slew of others. Current users of other e-reader devices will likely stick with their previous platform. Like it did with the music business, Apple will likely tie it’s eBook business to its devices; which, in this case, could be “risky” given its tiny current customer base. Ultimately, each eBook provider will have to win customers on experience, price (although that’s never been Apple’s strategy) as well as incentives.

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