Analysts Upgrade AAPL and Jesse Turns Green With Envy

While yesterdayis slew of new product announcements by Steve Jobs at MACWORLD did little to impress those with a personal beef against Apple -- such as that demagogue Jesse Berst -- others more objectively view the turn of events at MACWORLD as a sign that Apple is "ready to take things to the next stage", as Steve Jobs told CNBC yesterday.

Mr. Berst admits heis ignorant, "I donit really understand what computing problem the G4 Cube is supposed to solve..." But that doesnit stop him from predicting that, "Apple is painting itself into a corner" and then recommending Apple emulate the hackneyed "beyond the box" paradigm the PC vendors are in hot pursuit of while their core business erodes.

Of course, itis clear to even a PC borg that Apple isnit emulating anyoneis business or hardware strategy, but is instead thinking differently, and thatis beyond Mr. Berstis limited imagination.

In spite of Mr. Berstis myopia many investors and analysts can see the forest behind the trees.

The G4 cube is an entirely new product family that could eventually add as much to Appleis bottom line as the iMac family does today. The new G4 dual processor pro machines have the best price-to-performance ratio in the industry and this will retain the Mac faithful shops while attracting converts from Win 2000 and Linux.

Appleis new products will clearly accelerate Appleis revenue and market share growth going forward.

Wall Street is impressed

Reuters quotes Bear Stearns analyst Andrew Neff:

"We went to the keynote (speech) somewhat jaded, figuring that we were expecting a surprise, so what could he do to impress us. Despite this attitude, we were impressed with the G4 Cube, an 8 inch cube that fills the gap between the consumer-oriented iMac and the professional-oriented PowerMac."

Mr. Neff has a price target of $80 for AAPL and raised his estimates of earnings per share to $1.84, up from $1.80.

SG Cowen analyst Richard Chu upgraded Apple to a "strong buy" from "buy". According to Reuters, Mr. Chu believes that Apple will ship 150,000 G4 Cubes this quarter and units shipped will trend higher from there.

For other stories regarding Appleis stock activity, visit our Apple Stock Watch Special Report.