Apple should match or exceed its revenue targets during the current quarter, with the Mac sales boom compensating for slower growth in iPod sales, an analyst claims.
Shaw Wu from American Technology Research told clients: "While near-term trends look difficult with a looming recession and a slow-down in consumer spending, we continue to believe Apple is well-positioned to weather the storm better than most with its strong fundamentals."
The analyst rates Apple as a stock to buy with a 6 to 12 month price target of US$175.
"Our sense is that Apple is tracking modestly above its guidance of $6.8bn," the analyst explains. "Macs appear to be the most promising with continued momentum carried over from previous quarters. While MacBook Air sales look somewhat underwhelming, it is helping drive more traffic. We remain comfortable with our forecast of 2.1 million Macs against consensus of 2 million," Wu warned.
iPods appear to be tracking to 9.5 to 10 million units led by fairly robust demand for higher models, the analyst explained, pointing to seasonal decline in iPod sales and lower than anticipated demand for the low-end iPod shuffle.
On the iPhone, the analyst warned of weaker than anticipated demand, and confirmed the extensive nature of the market for unlocked iPhones.
"Our sources indicate that iPhone is being used in 35 to 40 countries against the four authorised countries," he said. "Out of the four million iPhones shipped, we estimate at least one million, and perhaps as high as 1.5 million may be hacked."
"While hacked iPhones have some impact to deferred revenue, we are not overly concerned as iPhone is only a 3% contributor to reported revenue."