Piper Jaffray Previews Apple's Macworld Presentation; Sees Low Expectations (AAPL)

December 30, 2008 10:07 AM EST
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Analysts at Piper Jaffray issued a research note this morning previewing Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) appearance at it's last Macworld, which will be held on Tuesday, January 6. As Apple has recently announced that its famed-CEO, Steve Jobs, will not present at the expo, the firm believes expectations for Macworld are extremely low. Despite this sentiment, Piper Jaffray maintains a Buy rating and $235 price target on shares of Apple.

The firm says, "With Phil Schiller delivering the keynote, we believe it suggests there will not be any
revolutionary products at this year's event." Still, Piper expects to see an updated iMac or possibly a redesigned Mac mini. Although Piper does not see it happening at Macworld, it believes Apple will announce "a new form factor iPhone in the March quarter."

Piper also offers an iPhone unit estimate for next year, predicting that Apple could sell as many as 45 million iPhones. The firm said this estimate "is largely predicated on our belief that Apple will expand its iPhone lineup to include a lower-end model early in CY09." Specifically, Piper believes the next iPhone could be slightly thicker given "the inclusion of a slider keyboard for students (texting) and business use (email) between $99 and $149." Finally, the firm also feels Apple could "alter the value proposition of the $199 iPhone 3G by using a different material than plastic for the casing, or giving it a slightly thinner form factor."

Shares of Apple are currently hanging onto modest gains, trading up about $0.29 to $86.89.

Apple, Inc. designs, manufactures, and sells personal computers, portable digital music players, and mobile communication devices, as well as related software, services, peripherals, and networking solutions worldwide.

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