updated 10:10 am EST, Wed March 5, 2008
Piper: Apple drops hints
Yesterday's shareholder meeting for Apple may have produced "nothing material," according to analysts from Piper Jaffray, but it did provide small pieces of information about Apple's products and strategy. It was for example unknown if the company's goal to sell 10 million iPhones in 2008 meant a total since the product's inception, or simply within the calendar year; it is now confirmed that Apple wants to add 10 million to the 3.7 million sold in 2007. Piper is currently projecting sales that exceed Apple estimates, at 12.9 million iPhones during 2008.
It also expected that while the company's plans for an iPhone launch in Asia are vague, particularly in regards to China and India, Apple will make good on its promise to release the iPhone somewhere in the continent during 2008. Japan is considered the most likely candidate, but an obstacle is that leading carrier NTT DoCoMo uses W-CDMA, instead of the GSM/EDGE technology found on current iPhones.
Finally, for investors in particular, Apple has acknowledged that there are no plans for share buybacks in the future, nor any dividend payments, as at many other companies. Piper notes however that this is in keeping with Apple's general shareholder policy, so it should not affect most stakeholders.