Goldman Sachs makes Apple a 'conviction buy' -- here's why

Goldman Sachs has released a note arguing that Apple stock is a “conviction buy,” one of the strongest stock recommendations the firm offers. Here’s why:

  • Apple is not leveraging its software assets to their fullest extent.
  • There is potential for a bundling deal, like Amazon Prime.
  • Apple’s upcoming TV could play a huge role going forward.
  • Hardware sales continue to be strong.

The Goldman note argues that Apple should start operating as a service — “Apple-as-a-Service” — using its hardware to sell software, especially subscription software.

“With an estimated installed base of 500 million loyal iPhone users, we see a significant multi-year opportunity for Apple to increase monetisation,” the note reads.

Apple currently offers a range of software services including Music (a $US9.99/month subscription), Pay, and the rumoured TV bundle. Using compelling hardware, such as the iPhone, Watch, and Mac, to get user buy-in is something Apple is not focusing on enough, according to the note.

Apple also recently introduced an iPhone instalment plan for $US32 a month, locking a customer into a profitable agreement for the company that yields a new device every year.

“In a recurring revenue framework, we have constructed an average revenue per user (ARPU) metric that captures the instalment plan pricing of the iPhone ($US32/month), assumed instalment plans for the other hardware products, and services (e.g. Music at $US10/mo, TV at $US40/mo),” the note reads.

From here, Goldman estimates that Apple is missing out on a massive $US113 a month per iPhone user in revenue. Multiplied across even a small portion of iPhone users (say, 10%), Apple could see revenue gains of $US7.6 billion a month.

Goldman goes on to predict that Apple will see 200 million iPhone sales over the next two years, a growth of 40%, that brings the total install base of the iPhone to around 700 million.

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