updated 03:35 pm EST, Wed December 23, 2009
75 percent chance of January event?
Apple stock is likely undervalued at the moment, contends Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Current models of share performance are said to be ignoring the Apple tablet, which is increasingly rumored to be launching in early 2010, possibly as soon as January. Munster suggests that there is at least a 50 percent chance of the tablet being unveiled next month, and a 75 percent chance of some sort of Apple event.
If no tablet is shown in January, the company may still announce a camera-equipped iPod touch, and/or an Apple TV with support for a subscription service. The Touch variant was originally expected by many media outlets to debut in September; the subscription service has mostly been speculation, but has gained some backing courtesy of a Wall Street Journal report. The Apple TV has elsewhere been described as long overdue for a hardware update.
Assuming the tablet ships in March, Munster estimates that some 1.4 million units could be sold next year. A 2 percent boost in revenue could be generated if the tablet has an average selling price of $600. In terms of functionality, Munster expects the device to run a modified version of the iPhone OS, supporting both current App Store titles and a new category.
"We believe Apple's tablet would compete well in the netbook category even though it would not be a netbook," the analyst comments. "Rather it would focus more on apps, entertainment content (from the iTunes Store), and web surfing."
Apple stock is forecast to increase as hype around the tablet grows, and other analysis firms begin devising models.