“Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi asserted in a research note this morning that Apple (AAPL) officials in a briefing this week ‘appeared confident’ about its guidance for the fiscal second quarter ending in March. Sacconaghi met this week with COO Tim Cook, CFO Peter Oppenheimer and SVP-Product Marketing Phil Schiller and says the three ‘projected a confident and unwavering tone,'” Eric Savitz reports for Barron’s.
• Mac channel inventory is below target level; Sacconaghi says that suggests a return to targeted level could add 500 basis points to Mac unit growth in the quarter.
• The trio was “most bullish about the iPhone business,” seeing a chance to gain share, with its software as the principal differentiator.
• In personal computers, the company still sees “huge” market share headroom.
• In iPods, Apple is pushing the iTouch [sic], which benefits from its ties to the App Store.
• A netbook offering “does not appear imminent,” but he says that the company is clearly thinking about the possibilities. He reports that Cook said Apple has “ideas here,” and that it could eventually offer an opportunity for the company.
• Sacconaghi sees new iMacs in March and new iPhones in mid-year.
• Sacconaghi says the company does not appear to be pursuing his idea of an “iPhone Nano,” and that any new phones will likely include both a browser and ties to the App Store.
• Apple said “emphatically” that it did not believe in fixed keypads for phones, since the touch screen provided more flexibility for alternative keypads and for various App Store offerings, and that it is portable across geographies and languages, providing significant scale economics.
More in the full article here.