It’s easy to get buried in all the noise from the dozens of analysts and bloggers who cover Apple, particularly when Apple is getting close to launching a new product, or as is the case this week, announcing its quarterly earnings.Most people probably don’t have time to read through every analyst note and product rumour. So we’ve cherry-picked our favourite Apple analysts and reporters that we look to for insight on Apple’s earnings, upcoming product releases and big picture issues.
When it comes to Apple analysts, Gene Munster is top dog. Munster stayed bullish on the company throughout the past decade, and his reputation ballooned with the company's stock. He may be one of the most quoted Apple analysts around, weighing on virtually every aspect of the company. Munster isn't always right - he keeps saying the Apple TV is coming, but the date keeps getting pushed back - but his insights, research and supply chain sources make him a must read.
John Gruber's website DaringFireball.net has become a top destination for Apple fans and Apple employees alike to get news about the company. Gruber has developed good sources at Apple and he's smart enough to know how to use them. He spends most of his time curating news from other websites and occasionally offering his own take. When he says something about Apple, you should listen.
Brian White gained some notoriety this year as the guy who predicted Apple's stock would shoot to $1,001. A publicity stunt? Maybe. But other analysts including Munster have since upped their price targets for the stock to four figures. Meanwhile, White has proved himself as someone very much tapped into Apple's supply chain and overseas demand for products.
BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk bucked conventional wisdom earlier this year and downgraded Apple from Buy to Neutral. While some might label this another publicity stunt, Piecyk's decision was founded in a clear argument: carriers will fight back against heavy iPhone subsidies by changing their plans and making it harder for customers get new phones. Some disagree with his premise (others just misunderstand it), but either no matter what you think about him, there's no denying that Piecyk has played a big role in shaping the conversation around Apple.
Katy Huberty, Morgan Stanley's Apple analyst, has been particularly bullish this year, arguing that investors continue to underestimate Apple's potential. Huberty and Morgan Stanley put a price target of $960 on Apple stocks for the end of 2012.
Misek is one of just two Apple analysts with a five-star rating on Yahoo Finance for his accuracy in prediction Apple's earnings per share over the past two years. Aside from having a good track record, Hargreaves also isn't afraid to call Apple out, as he did earlier this year about the challenges the company will face if it chooses to release a television set.
AllThingsD's Walt Mossberg may be the only person on this list who can safely claim to have been a friend of Steve Jobs, or at least a close acquaintance. Mossberg, like Gruber, is plugged into the company, and he has lots of historical perspective on Apple to draw from in his insights into the company.
MG Siegler is a self-professed Apple fanboy with a penchant for pissing people off with his brash writing style, but whether you love him or hate him, you have to take him seriously. Siegler has a track record of breaking stories both in his time as a reporter at TechCrunch and since then blogging on his own at ParisLemon.com.
Peter Misek, an analyst with Jefferies, has a knack for grabbing headlines with his research reports, whether it's news that Apple has inked a deal with the major television studios, or speculation that Apple will call its next TV the iPanel.
If you want to know what products Apple has in its pipeline, Mark Gurman is your guy. Gurman, a reporter for 9to5mac, hasn't even graduated from high school yet, but he is already breaking Apple rumours left and right. He is very tapped into the developer community and has some quality sources in Apple's supply chain, so he has a great track record of finding out what's coming up next.
Philip Elmert-Dewitt covers Apple for Fortune, and his column is a must read for anyone who invests in the company or is just interested in it. Dewitt provides an excellent quarterly roundup of analyst predictions for Apple earnings and does a great post-earnings recap to see which analysts had the most accurate predictions.
Rene Ritchie, editor-in-chief of the Apple-focused blog iMore.com, is one of the more reliable sources for information about upcoming Apple products and developer news. Ritchie and his website also an excellent job of providing analysis and context for rumours, like explaining exactly how Apple could make an iPad Mini work.
Jim Dalrymple has been writing about Apple for longer than some teens with an iPhone have been alive. Dalrymple worked at MacWorld for about a decade and currently runs Loop Insight, which curates the big Apple news of the day (and happens to be one of the few websites that consistently gets a comment from Apple's PR team.) And if you can't tell by the picture here, he's not exactly your typical tech geek either.
Will Strafach, an iPhone and iPad developer, offers insights into the developer community, as well as news about Apple's operating system and jailbreaking. His Twitter account @chronic is a must-follow.
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