Wall Street analysts reacted positively to Apple's unveiling of the iPad 2 on Wednesday and remained optimistic about the company's continued ability to lead the tablet market, though they viewed the refresh as mostly "evolutionary."
The most likely use of Apple's secret $3.9 billion long-term supply investment is for tens of millions of displays for the iPhones and iPads the company plans to sell in the near future, one Wall Street analyst believes.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty described China as an "unappreciated" potential growth driver for Apple, setting a $375 "base case" target for the company's stock and a "bull case" scenario where Apple shares could reach $500 by next fall.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said Monday she believes iPhone market share growth, including in the enterprise market, along with strong initial demand for the iPad will push Apple stock to $310, but her "bull case" scenario shows it going even higher, to $400.
Research investment firm Oppenheimer on Friday raised its price target and estimates for Apple through the end of the fiscal year to reflect improving momentum across all the company's product lines and expectations of strong March quarter results.
A new survey of 2,500 consumers found that a large number — 21 percent — are interested in purchasing an iPad, which has led one prominent analyst to project 7 million sales of Apple's new device in its first 12 months on the market.
With Apple's retail presence delivering growth in Mac and iPhone marketshare elsewhere in the world, the company's plans to build 25 new stores in China is expected to have a significant impact on sales.
An aggressive back-to-school promotion and a more affordably-priced overhaul to Apple's MacBook Pro notebook line are boosting Apple's personal computer shipments to levels not seen since last October, shortly before the economic climate caught up with the Mac maker in earnest.
Arguing that the market is underestimating demand for iPhones over the next two calendar years, investment bank Morgan Stanley on Tuesday upgraded shares of Apple to Overweight from Equal-weight, saying success of the touchscreen handset should offset any growth risks in the company's core Mac and iPod businesses.