Analyst: iPad 2 Changes “Phenomenal”

The changes Apple was able to bring to its iPad line are “nothing short of phenomenal,” according to analyst Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co. Mr. Marshall maintained his US$400 price target and “Buy” rating for Apple’s stock in place, and he didn’t change his iPad estimates for 2011, but he did say that he might change his mind on upgrading his own iPad.

“Heading into the event,” he wrote in a research note to clients obtained by The Mac Observer, “we had no intention of upgrading our [1st generation] iPads, but after testing the new device, we may have changed our minds. The technological improvements the AAPL design team made to the iPad 2 in just approximately 12 months is nothing short of phenomenal, in our view (e.g., 33% thinner, 15% lighter, 9x faster graphics, smart cover capability, etc.).”

He also noted that Apple Steve Jobs looked better than he did at his last appearance, and felt that Mr. Jobs’s appearance had one main purpose, and that was to tell the world that he wasn’t going anywhere just yet.

Mr. Marshall wrote, “We believe his message was loud and clear: ‘This is my company and I am not planning
on going anywhere anytime soon.’”

Calling his own iPad estimates “conservative,” Mr. Marshall currently predicts that Apple will sell 5.3 million iPads during the March quarter (Apple’s 2nd fiscal quarter), and 30 million during calendar 2011.

Shares in AAPL moved higher Thursday, closing at $359.56, up $7.44 (+2.11%), with moderate volume of 17.8 million shares trading hands.

AAPL Chart

Source: Yahoo! Finance

*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.