Apple's expected unveiling of iTV in 2012, coupled with continued huge sales of iPads and iPhones should create a halo effect to propel shares to around $500, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek told International Business Times.
Apple shares Wednesday traded at $388.27, down $2.66, about 10 percent below their record high of $426.70 set Oct. 18, 13 days after the death of chairman, Steve Jobs, 56.
After Steve's passing, a lot of people went into a bit of a mourning period, Misek told IBTimes. Some don't even seem to have come out of it yet. Jobs left not only a two-year roadmap for the company, Misek said, but one that may be longer lasting.
The product road map for the next few years is laid out, the Jefferies analyst continued. That product mix likely will be bolstered by continued strong demand for the new iPhone 4S, the older iPhone 3 as well as iPad 2.
Apple may build as many as 31 million iPhones in the quarter ending Dec. 31, Misek estimated, as well as 13 million iPad2s. Strong holiday demand as well as customer satisfaction suggest Apple will sell as many as 14 million iPad2s by Dec. 31.
By comparison, last quarter Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., sold 17.1 million iPhone3s and 11.1 million iPad2s, the company reported Oct. 18, since when its shares haven't regained their record price.
Development of AppleTV, or iTV, is well under way and the labs of both AT&T and Verizon Wireless are testing it as well as methods of delivery, Misek told IBTimes. Service will begin during the second half of 2012.
That means that besides using its own iCloud, Apple will be delivering TV using other people's pipes so that the big wireless carriers will also participate, creating huge demand for cloud services, Misek added.
Despite his optimism for Apple, Misek also suggested there could be setbacks such as the departure of a principal Jobs lieutenant such as consumer guru Jonathan Ives or loss of one of the major patent infringement lawsuits against Samsung Electronics, a major supplier as well as competitor.
The analyst also said Apple rivals headed by Google, as well as Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook, need to get serious about the forthcoming explosion in tablet sales, as well as services like wireless TV.
This is a land grab, he told IBTimes, in which Apple rivals will need to quickly establish alternatives to the Apple OS before it is too late.
Google, which is expected to complete its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility next quarter, will likely phase out low-end Motorola phones and focus more on smartphones like the Droid RAZR, he said. Then it will use Motorola as a sort of reference lab for other manufacturers like Samsung and HTC to polish their products using Google's Android 4.0 OS, whose current version is dubbed Ice Cream sandwich.
Companies with so-called forked versions of Android, notably Amazon with its successful Kindle Fire, and Facebook, which wants to develop its own tablet, may have problems, he said.