I have taken a leave of absence from investment writing over the last month in order to finish my book titled The Alpha Hunter that will be released by McGraw Hill this fall. Along with the book I will be launching a revolutionary online investment advisory service at economictiming.com so my time is limited this summer. However, I can’t help myself...I’ve got to post on Apple’s (AAPL) latest news. Here are my takes:
- Calvin Huang of Daiwa Securities is the Apple analyst that everyone should be listening to. Huang totally trumped Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster who had previously told investors not to expect the Tablet to be released until 2010. I read Munster’s report from last month and immediately thought his logic was off base. Huang is the analyst with the best contacts in Asia, he’s located in Taipei, he has done the real research. He is reporting that Apple will ship the 10-inch touchscreen tablet in Q4 2009. It will be manufactured by Hon Hai Precision Industries with chips from Infineon with technology from ARM Holdings.
- Steve Jobs is back. The WSJ has reported that Jobs has been actively working with the company during the last six months. Unnamed sources from Apple suggested that his publicly announcement return to the company will be held in conjunction with a special product announcement. That new product will be the Media Tablet. Jobs will redefine the netbook space this holiday season. It needs to be announced soon in order to freeze the current netbook market and to allow developers 3 months to create applications for the new device. This is the timeline that Apple follows for a new product that doesn’t have to compete with their existing products. Because there is no threat of cannibalization, Apple wants to get the word out asap.
- China will be one of the 80 countries to distribute the iPhone in August. Consumers in China and India will flock to the cheaper 3G iPhone. Jobs will probably announce the deal at his come back event.
- The $99 iPhones will sell like hot cakes at Wal-Mart (WMT).
- AT&T (T) made a huge mistake in not allowing the new iPhone 3GS tethering capability to work in the USA. This small piece of technology is a high speed wireless game changer and it represents the final straw to break the back of the AT&T/Apple exclusivity contract that runs through 2010. Apple will not renew the deal and the iPhone will become available through Verizon next year. A big Apple catalyst for 2010.
- There’s only one thing better than using your finger to navigate the latest technology; using your voice. Apple’s voice control software built into the iPhone 3GS could become a wonderful surprise.
- The Macbook Air price cut is significant. That is the best laptop on the market by far. Any business user who owns one knows they can never go back to the old ways. The Air will see increased demand.
So now let’s talk price targets. The announcement of Steve Jobs' return in conjunction with a product announcement pushes this stock up to $170. The announcement of a China iPhone deal pushes it up to $180. And holiday sales expectations to be released in January of 2010 could push it over $200. Trade accordingly. The biggest pop could come by the end of July.
Disclosure: Long AAPL.