Topeka: ‘Apple fever has more room to run’

The world’s most valuable company is showing no signs of slowing down, and numerous industry watchers believe Apple will continue to grow despite increased competition from rivals like Samsung. Topeka Capital Markets, new home to analyst Brian White, on Monday initiated coverage of Apple with a Buy rating and a sky-high $1,001 price target. “Driven by an ever expanding portfolio of innovative products, a growing integrated digital grid, unmatched aesthetics and a brand that is able to touch the soul of consumers of all backgrounds, Apple fever is spreading like a wildfire around the world and we see no end in sight to this trend,” White wrote in a note to investors on Monday. Read on for more.

White sees plenty of upside for Apple right now, and he lists three key points that will positively impact the company’s position in the near term. First, Apple’s entry into the 4G LTE space with the new iPad seemingly shows that Apple is prepared for what White calls “the rise of the mobile Internet.” 4G LTE networks are still very young, and the analyst sees Apple emerging as a 4G leader as network buildouts continue. White also believes the next-generation iPhone, which he refers to as the iPhone 5, will include integrated 4G LTE connectivity.

China is the second key factor for Apple’s upcoming growth, according to White. The country recently surpassed 1 billion mobile subscribers, and White believes Apple is about to make significant headway in the region. “Apple just recently added China Telecom (CHA, $54.90, NR) as the second carrier in China authorized to carry the iPhone. However, China Mobile (CHL, $55.08, NR) remains the largest carrier with 66% market share in the country and still does not officially offer the iPhone but we expect will over the next year,” the analyst wrote.

Finally, Apple is about to launch an entirely new product line that will immediately see the Cupertino, California-based company become a major player in a $100 billion market.

“In our view, the recent launch of the new 1080p Apple TV with a refined user interface is another step down the road toward Apple unveiling a full blown TV in the future,” White wrote. “Apple’s digital grid is tough to match and iCloud further strengthens this ecosystem, however, Apple is missing an important product and that is a full blown TV. We believe the pieces are in place for a launch over the next year, driving an entirely new $100 billion market opportunity, while further strengthening the Company’s digital grid and providing customers with a new TV experience.”

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