Analyst Calls Apple the “Ultimate Platform Adoption Story”

Apple Inc. is currently the “ultimate platform adoption story,” according to Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu. The analyst told clients Wednesday that although Apple has been stunningly successful in recently years, the company still only has 4%-5% of both the global PC and the smartphone markets, and he believes that Apple could double, or even triple its share in those markets.

“The beauty with the AAPL platform story,” the analyst wrote in a research note obtained by The Mac Observer, “is that the company doesn’t need to win everyone over to continue success. The company just needs to continue winning a fair share of its vast end markets as more users get the AAPL advantage of ‘it just works better.’”

He noted that if you count iPad as PC sales, Apple has 12%-13% of that market, but added that Greater China and other international markets are under-penetrated, and that Apple could see share growth in those markets.

Mr. Wu also told clients that he believes investing in Apple is “arguably the best” way to “play on three secular mega trends.” He identified these secular mega trends as the mobile Internet, cloud computing, and the consumerization of technology.

“Regardless of macroeconomic conditions,” he wrote, “we see these secular drivers continuing as the Internet extends to mobile and wireless, driving more uses for both our personal and professional lives.”

The analyst also told clients to expect a strong product cycle in the second half of 2011, and referenced his previous note where he said he believes the next iPhone refresh will be “bigger than expected.”

He reiterated his “Buy” rating on AAPL, as well as his US$500 price target for the stock.

Despite Mr. Wu’s research note, shares in Apple moved lower Wednesday as the rollercoaster correction of the broader markets continued to wreak its special brand of investor havoc. AAPL ended the day at $363.69, down $10.32 (-2.76%), on what has become moderately strong volume of 31.4 million shares trading hands.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.