Analyst: Expect Apple-Branded Phones

Apple Computer is most likely to introduce its own branded phones at next weekis media event, according to Banc of America analyst Keith Bachman. In a research note release Thursday and obtained by The Mac Observer, Mr. Bachman said, "We believe the likely product is the handset to be announced with [Motorola]."

Mr. Bachman added that such an announcement was expected, and already built into the price of Appleis stock. In reality, however, few have suggested that the long awaited iTunes phone will be an Apple-branded device.

Speculation on other possible products included a rumored a bigger iPod mini. "Less likely, though a possibility, is the 2G flash player with color screen, to help Apple regain some share in the flash market."

He also noted that a video iPod is in the pipeline at Apple, but that itis not expected until later this year, or early next year.

Heretofore, Apple has denied that there is a market for a video iPod. In response to questions about a video iPod at a shareholder meeting in 2004, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said "Itis about the music, stupid," in a paraphrase of former US President Bill Clintonis "Itis about the economy, stupid." campaign line.

The last item in Mr. Bachmanis research note is about a media hub. He said, "We believe a media hub is also a possibility in the next few Q?s, but have remaining questions on functionality and relationships with content providers."

Banc of America maintained a Buy rating on AAPL, with a 12-month price target of US$43. The stock closed lower today at 46.26, a loss of 0.63 (-1.34%), but still above Banc of Americais price target.

*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. ?

<!--#include virtual="/includes/newsite/series/stockwatch.shtml"-->