“Apple shares are down $1.10, or 0.9%, at $121.27, despite getting a new bit of positive coverage from the Street this morning, from Nomura Equity Research’s Jeffrey Kvaal, who took over coverage from Stuart Jeffrey, who had had a Neutral rating on the stock,” Tiernan Ray reports for Barron’s. “”

“Kvaal boosts the firm rating up to Buy, with a $145 price target, writing that ‘We expect Apple to extend its share gains in 2016’ and ‘the strong iPhone 6 cycle still leaves plenty of scope for growth both with the 6S cycle and in China,'” Ray reports. “Kvaal describes the company as ‘bestriding the consumer electronics industry like a colossus’ and notes that it should be able to avoid the fate of prior colossi such as Nokia, writing ‘We do not consider Apple vulnerable to such a rapid reversal of fortune given its ecosystem of devices, software, and services.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Especially since Apple was responsible for it. 🙂

Ray reports, “Kvaal thinks the Street expectations are much too low for the next model of the iPhone, presumably an ‘iPhone 6S.’ He’s modeling units of iPhone moving up from 230 million this fiscal year to 250 million next year, versus Street expectations for things to be roughly flat.”

Apple has managed to hold share as the market moved away from its sweet spot in the high end of the smartphone market —an impressive feat indeed. Apple held ~20% share of the global smartphone market in 1Q15, down modestly from 1Q12. We believe Apple has been able to do this in part by converting Android users over to the iOS ecosystem and in part by expanding its distribution. According to a recent survey conducted by CRR, the research arm of CLSA, more Chinese consumers are switching from Android to iPhone. The survey showed that 53% of the respondents that own an iPhone have switched from Android; and, perhaps more important, 32% of Android users who plan to buy a new phone within the next 12 months intend to switch to iPhone. This supports our view that Apple has been faring well in China and the switch rate from Android is at historical highs. Aside from China, iPhone is gaining traction in Europe and the U.S. as well. Switch rates from Android were 18% and 12% in Europe and US, respectively, in 4Q14; these numbers increased to 33% and 14% in 1Q15, respectively. — Nomura Equity Research analyst Jeffrey Kvaal

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 phones suffer weaker than expected sales in South Korea homeland – April 22, 2015
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[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David E.” for the heads up.]