“Investment bank Piper Jaffray said Wednesday it disagrees with the consensus on Wall Street that growth in Apple Inc.’s iPod business will screech to a halt this year, saying new products like a sub-$200 wireless touchscreen model will allow the company to grow the segment at moderate levels for the foreseeable future,” Katie Marsal reports or AppleInsider.
“‘While we do not see the iPod business as a significant growth catalyst, we believe Apple remains positioned to slightly exceed Street estimates in 2008. Specifically, we believe the Street expects iPod unit growth to be about 53 million in 2008, essentially flat year-over-year. We disagree,’ he told clients. ‘We believe Apple can maintain iPod unit growth and slightly exceed Street expectations for the full year,'” Marsal reports.
“While Munster admits that it’s unlikely the iPod will ever return to a high growth business of 20 percent and above, he sees growth levels of approximately 10 percent as obtainable on a yearly basis even given the possibility of an off quarter where units will reflect slightly negative growth,” Marsal reports.
“‘We note that this rapid increase in available features on the iPod touch is not speculation; Apple has indicated that the new iPod touch (and iPhone) operating system will be out by late June,’ he said. ‘Secondly, we expect Apple to release new Wi-Fi enabled, touchscreen iPods in the sub-$200 range by September. In fact, we believe the concept of the iPod will change in the next 12-18 months from a standalone music player to a mobile Internet device that fits in your pocket,'” Marsal reports.
Much more in the full article here.