Analyst: Apple Primed for Holiday Season

Apple introduced new iPods, an updated Apple TV, iTunes 10 and its Ping music-focused social networking service on September 1, and UBS analyst Maynard Um thinks the new product lineup positions the company for successful holiday season.

“We believe Apple’s broad portfolio should include some of the most highly sought after products in [the second half of the year] and, in particular, the holiday season, translating into continued growth momentum,” Mr. Um said.

Nearly every iPod model was updated at the media event. The changes leave only the hard drive-based iPod classic with a Click Wheel interface, and expand Apple’s FaceTime penetration into even more devices.

“Apple refreshed its line of iPods highlighted by a smaller touch-based nano and a re-designed iPod touch that includes front and rear facing cameras for Facetime, HD video recording and a retina display,” Mr. Um said. “The addition of Facetime expands the user base of the feature beyond the iPhone 4 and is likely to be brought to other versions of Apple’s mobile products.”

Mr. Um expects Apple will be able to sell some 9.5 million iPods in the September quarter thanks to the just announced product refreshes. The new iPods will be available next week, but shoppers can pre-order them now.

Mr. Um is maintaining his “Buy” rating and US$340 target price for Apple’s stock. Apple is currently trading in the pre-market at $252.54, up 2.21 (0.88%).