updated 12:45 pm EDT, Tue October 24, 2006
iPhone, iTV, Apple growth
Apple's growth engine, which previously depended almost entirely on the company's enormously successful iPod digital media player, has added another 'cylinder' with the advent of surging Mac sales backed by 'switchers' -- consumers exposed to Macs via the iPod. That growth engine is set to add two additional cylinders in early 2007, however, with Apple's rumored launch of its "iPhone" mobile handset alongside the iTV media device. Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster believes that a significant addressable market remains for Apple in its iPod business, and that its iPhone and iTV will add new addressable markets within the next six months.
"The mobile phone market represents a large potential supplement to iPod sales," Munster said. "Music-enabled phones are gaining popularity, but Apple will be the first to offer a unified solution with the design and usability of the iPod."
The upcoming iTV will add the living room as a fourth driver to the growth engine, according to the analyst, providing integrated operability between iTunes media content and televisions. "Both the iPhone and the iTV represent initiatives that could add iPod-like growth to the Apple story."
Munster believes iPod growth will continue at around 30 percent year-over-year, despite talk of market saturation as Apple's competitors continue releasing similar products and services. "We believe 30 percent growth is realistic and would provide upside to our numbers." Munster believes that the iPod-to-Mac 'halo effect' formula is working, and says growth of higher-margin Mac products is even more important than the continued growth of the iPod.
The analyst expects Apple's year-over-year iPod growth to stabilize at around 20 percent, but believes 30 percent growth is achievable for the Cupertino-based company. Speaking again on the iPhone and iTV, Munster says the iPhone and iTV could collectively add 15 percent to Wall Street's calendar year 2007 revenue.
"Mac sales have added a second cylinder to the growth engine. We believe the iPhone and iTV will provide the third and fourth cylinders to the growth story, not currently reflected in Street numbers."
Written, edited and compiled by Jeff Valvano