Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has finally recovered from its year-long slump, now up about 3% after losing almost a third of its value during the year, and people are starting to wonder if it will be able to recover the $700 stock price it once commanded. There’s no question that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) dominates the mobile computing market, but that market is quickly maturing and expanding into China has proven difficult. A slightly larger iPhone and a slightly smaller iPad are being added to the mix, but these amount to shades of grey more than new product lines.
Apple ‘just has to perform’ to hit $700
“To get back to the $700 level next year, Apple just has to perform,” writes Eric Jackson for The Street, but he argues that, “what will really move Apple’s stock price will some other product not previously mentioned or discussed in the press.”
Most analysts who follow Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) agree with at least the first part of this assessment, rating Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) a Buy or Strong Buy, and people who went long on the stock over the summer have good reason to be happy now. But how high could the stock realistically go?
Don’t underestimate the iWatch
While Jackson is probably right that the range of iPod, iPhone, and iPad, while still a great source of revenue, have limited growth potential over the next few years, he may be dismissing the importance of the iWatch (or whatever Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) eventually calls their new wearable tech). It can be hard to imagine how useful something will be before you get your hands on it (some people initially dismissed the iPad as a nothing but an oversized iPhone), but when the interface changes dramatically all sorts of new applications come up. Google is hoping to create a new product category with its hands-free, always-active Google Glass, but an iWatch has the potential to be less intrusive (and less inviting of ridicule) and more useful.
The bottom line is that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has had three consecutive homeruns in the mobile computing space, and continues to dominate each segment even as competitors have started to improve their own products. We know that a genuinely new product is coming out soon, probably next year, and betting against it seems like a bad idea.