Apple set to build on its blockbuster success in 2010
A report by Frank Cioffi, published by MarketWatch, indicates investors have multiple reasons to closely watch Apple as it heads into the new decade.
Cioffi cited the company's sustained sales of iPods, which have hovered at or above ten million units per quarter, as a strength that will allow Apple to "contribute consistently to its bottom line" even as the potential for big new growth in the MP3 market levels off.
Also noted was Apple TV, which while being rumored to face discontinuation as an experimental "hobby" that the company never managed to achieve blockbuster sales with, is still being updated and expanded. Over the past few months, Apple released the Apple TV 3.0 update and added support for iTunes LP and Extras.
Another topic to watch that Cioffi highlighted in the article was Steve Jobs. Despite back and forth reports on the seriousness of his health issues that culminated in the news of his liver transplant, Cioffi cited three takeaway discoveries: "Apple's stock price could still rise even as concern over Jobs' suspected demise grew, that Apple has a deep bench of talent aside from its chief executive, and that Jobs' determination is as extraordinary as his ability to create compelling products."
The article said that it's possible that new Tablet rumors may result in a disappointment for investors, "not because it won't be a good product or a good seller, but because it will not be the iPhone-level megahit many are expecting." At the same time, Cioffi notes that the blockbuster sales of the iPhone may be less important in the long run than the wild success of the iTunes App Store.
"Software still drives hardware, and with thousands of apps available and developers creating new ones every day, every other mobile platform will be playing catch-up for years to come," Cioffi wrote.
Apple's incredible financial results throughout the severe economic downturn are also a factor to watch closely, and in particular the growth in Mac sales. The article cited an ITIC survey which "showed 73% of global IT administrators and C-level executives say they were likely to allow their end-users to deploy Macs as their corporate enterprise desktops within the next year."
Cioffi also pointed to the fact that Apple has a strong position in home sales, with Needham & Co. analysts reporting that "Apple gets one out of every $10 spent on home computers worldwide. In the U.S., its dollar share is more than 1 in 5."
Apple's global market share of around 6% shows that the company has tremendous potential for growth, suggesting a "trend that may have a decade or more left to unfold."