Thursday, November 02, 2006

Calls of Note Part 1

Piper Jaffray has compiled answers to 16 questions regarding Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL) ranging from their take on the iTV launch to Apple's thoughts on the holiday shopping season. Here are some:

1) How Do New Product Initiatives Like iTV Play Into Apple's Future? Apple's new wireless media hub, codenamed iTV, will be released in the Mar-06 quarter. While this product does not fit neatly into either the Mac or the iPod+iTunes sales segment, the firm believes this third category, the digital living room, bridges Apple's two main growth engines. The iTV lets users access iTunes content stored on a computer and view it on a television.

Whereas the iPod gives portable access to the same content, the iTV brings the content into the digital living room. Therefore, the iTV provides further integration between the Mac and iPod sales segments, by adding a 3rd significant growth driver to the mix. With the addition of an iPhone in the next 6 months, Apple will add a 4th driver, as the company continues to add to the ways in which media content stored on a computer is accessible anywhere at any time.

2) What Is Apple's Strategy For The Holiday Shopping Season? PJ believes that Apple sells more of its lower ASP iPods during the holidays relative to the rest of the year. With the significant updates to both the Shuffle and the nano in September, it seems Apple is focusing on the flash-based iPods for the Dec-06 quarter. The simple fact is that shopping data suggests that gift-givers buy lower-ASP products for others than they do when buying products for themselves. Firm believes Apple recognizes this trend and is situating the iPod line accordingly for the holiday shopping season.

3) What Is The Status Of The Options Backdating Investigation? On October 4, 2006 Apple released the findings of the internal option grants investigation and found no misconduct by any current board members, including Steve Jobs. Firm believes Jobs will remain Apple's CEO, given he was aware of these favorable grant dates but was not aware of the accounting treatment and did not benefit from them. Apple has indicated that the investigation was conducted by 3 board members using independent counsel. On Oct. 27 Apple announced that the Nasdaq had granted its request for continued listing on the exchange, pending the timely submission of its delayed Jun-06 report.

Maintains Outperform and $16 tgt.

Notablecalls: Not actionable but good to know.

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