Ah, the hazards of equity research. A few days ago, JPMorgan’s telecom equipment analyst in Taiwan, Kevin Chang, predicted that Apple would soon release a new, cheaper version of the iPhone based on the iPod Nano. The press went bananas. Chang, and JPMorgan, basked in the glow of a global scoop.
But it turns out that another JPMorgan employee–Bill Shope, the JPMorgan Apple analyst–also went bananas. In fact, he spent the next 24 hours frantically cranking out a report that refutes almost all of Chang’s assertions. Apple would be crazy to immediately launch a cheaper iPhone, Shope opines–why would it undermine the most successful product in history? The next iPhone will be an even more expensive one, Shope says, with faster Internet access. Shope did his own channel checks and didn’t hear bupkis about a Nano-phone. So, take that, Chang.
Asked by Reuters which analyst clients should believe, a JPMorgan spokeswoman murmured that Shope has responsibility for the firm’s view on Apple stock. Yes, but who said anything about Apple stock? What about the next iPhone? Shope-Chang fight at 11.