Apple has been tipped to sell over 100m iPhones and 48m tablets in 2011 as one equity analysis firm has branded the outfit the ‘best-positioned company in the tech sector'.
According to Brian Blair, an analyst at Wedge Partners, Apple's stock, which is already highly valued, can soar further and he has positioned it as a bull, based on his lofty sales predictions, The WSJ's Barron's reports.
He reportedly wrote in a research note: "We believe Apple remains the best-positioned company in the tech sector as we exit the year and look into 2011. With the iPhone and the iPad, the company continues to experience tremendous product momentum across two core areas that we believe are still in the early stages of growth: with global handset units at 1.1 billion per year and the tablet opportunity still nascent.
"We additionally see meaningful opportunity for Apple in its Mac line, particularly with the company's new $999 11 inch screen MacBook Air, which our checks show to be selling higher than expected units both online and in Apple Stores."
Blair reportedly arrived at his conclusions after scrutinising Apple's supply chain to get the anticipated sales for the iPad and believes a key driver for Apple will be the iPad 2, which he is said to predict will be thinner and made from a single piece of metal as well as touting a front-facing camera.
He also reportedly believes the 100m iPhone forecast is not too optimistic, based on 2010 performance where the firm will probably sell between 48-50m units by the close of 2010.
"While this number can change and adjust downward or upward based on demand, we believe it is incredibly bullish that Apple feels it is possible that they could see nearly 100% year over year growth for iPhone in 2011 as this would mean that exiting 2011, Apple would have approximately 10% share in the global handset market," he reportedly wrote.
He has also reportedly predicted that MacBook Air momentum will encourage Wall Street to raise its prediction for the number of Macs Apple can shift in Q4. He believes the 11 inch model in particular will do well being so portable and ‘unlike any other notebook in the market'.
"Our initial checks point to stronger than expected unit sales of the new MacBook Air with the 11 inch model being the driver. We understand that a number of Apple stores have experienced sellouts of the $999 model and that overall sales have been stronger than expected. We believe the 11 inch Air will be both provide solid incremental units to Apple's December quarter Mac units, but also add meaningful incremental revenues to the company over the next year," Blair reportedly added.