Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 will compete for presence on handsets in a smartphone market "race to the bottom," one that could leave Apple's iPhone as the "last man standing," one prominent Wall Street analyst believes.
A prominent Wall Street analyst has upped his price target for Apple stock from $280 to $375, citing stronger than expected iPad, iPhone and Mac sales, and the fact that the company remains "a small fish in three very large ponds."
Apple's same-store sales rose 8 percent in the March quarter of 2010, propelled by a 22.3 percent year-over-year increase in Mac sales, even though a MacBook Pro refresh did not arrive during the three-month period.
Analyst Charlie Wolf with Needham & Company said Friday he believes the open source community, which has backed Google's Android mobile operating system against the iPhone, has the wrong take on Apple's patent lawsuit against rival handset maker HTC.
Worldwide smartphone shipments stormed back last quarter with 37.2 percent in growth, and Apple's iPhone led the way with a 97.9 percent year-over-year surge in shipments. But the real coming battle in the mobile market, according to one analyst, lies between Microsoft and Google.
With an aggressive $499 starting price point, Wall Street analysts believe Apple's e-reading, game playing, media consuming iPad device is a worthwhile risk that will become a multi-million seller in its first year.
Apple beat most Wall Street analysts' expectations Monday when it reported its most profitable quarter ever, but the impending product announcement scheduled for Wednesday is what everyone is really waiting for.
Needham & Company downgraded their assessment of Apple stock from a "strong buy" to "buy" rating Tuesday, as a result of the firm's own rules for ratings, but not a change in their positive outlook for the stock.