updated 10:30 am EDT, Mon July 11, 2011
Growth largely at expense of other corporations
"Genius Squads" and Apple-branded TVs could help push Apple's market cap in the near future, says UBS analyst Maynard Um. The basis for the Genius Squad prediction is unclear, but suggests extended tech support services akin to Best Buy's Geek Squad. Apple Geniuses could conceivably be hired to provide custom setup and support, even offsite.
The TV claim is better substantiated. Apple is rumored to be looking into integrating its technology into TV sets from a "major supplier," but with Apple branding. TVs represent one of the few substantial areas in electronics that the company has yet to touch, the Apple TV set-top notwithstanding.
If Apple succeeds with TVs in the same way it has with phones and computers, it could add another $50 to $100 billion in market cap, Um suggests. The analyst argues however that Apple's performance has come largely at the expense of other companies, not because of a better market. "From the beginning of 2007 through mid-2011, Apple's mkt cap increased by $191bn while key handset & PC competitors combined lost $216bn," he writes. "We expect similar value shift toward Apple to continue as it enters new markets. Additionally, enabling services such as iCloud and potentially Genius Squad could drive more hardware 'halo effect' sales."