Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): RBC Capital comments on iPhone

- RBC Capital held a discussion with Greg Joswiak, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) VP, Worldwide iPod and iPhone Product Marketing. While Apple did not disclose specific product plans, the discussion sharpened our views on iPhone momentum and strategy. Topics covered included 3G, hardware/service pricing, carrier expansion (incl. Europe), iPhone roadmap, and new features and applications. Apple appears well positioned to achieve/ exceed its stated iPhone sales goals, and the firm affirms Outperform rating.

Apple appears firmly committed to EDGE/GSM and its Q4CY07 European launch (initially UK, Germany, France, in RBC's view). However, despite 3G's greater prevalence in Europe, 3G iPhones may not arrive until Spring CY08, given battery life and form factor challenges. Apple may promote Wi-Fi as its high-speed strategy for now, offsetting slower EDGE.

While not facing pressure to do so, the firm speculates initially Apple will differentiate its iPhone lineup not by features, but by price and memory capacity, similar to its iPod lineup, simplifying market positioning. This affirms RBC's view of a lower priced ($349-399) iPhone CYQ4/ Q1, with a higher priced version at higher capacity, to expand its market opportunity.

Reiterates Outperform and $175 target.

Notablecalls: Not actionable but good to know cateory. For you Apple fans out there.

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