Thomas Weisel analyst Doug Reid raised his price target on AAPL Monday to US$210 per share, up from $180. Mr. Reid cited Apple's new deal with China Unicom to bring the iPhone to the world's largest cell phone market as one reason for the upgrade, but he also speculated that Apple would introduce an $800-$900 entry level MacBook in time for the holidays.
China Unicom announced on Friday that it would begin selling the iPhone on October 1st of this year, news that helped send shares in Apple higher than the $180 per share target Mr. Reid had previously maintained.
While he thinks Apple will eventually release a touch screen tablet in 2010, he was more interested in the shorter term prospects of a strong holiday season for the company's Mac line.
Barron's reported Mr. Reid wrote, "We instead focus on the prospects for Apple to launch lower price point ($800-900) MacBooks within the next 30-45 days. We believe there is a high likelihood Apple will fortify its entry into the holiday season and that such a move will be a positive for AAPL shares."
Apple has not yet announced such a product, of course, but the company did make room in its lineup earlier this year by moving the 13" aluminum MacBook into the MacBook Pro line of laptops, complete with a feature list more in keeping with the Pro monicker.
Since then, the sole MacBook being offered is the previous generation white plastic-cased MacBook, which the company sells for $999. A new model with a price reduction in the $800-$900 range could boost sales for the company during the holiday quarter.
Shares in AAPL traded higher Monday to close at $186.1519 per share, up $3.7819 (+2.07%) in moderately light volume of 12 million shares trading hands.
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.