Goldman Sachs: iPad 2 an “Important Upgrade”

The iPad Crystal Ball
Analyst Bill Shope of Goldman Sachs expects Apple to update the iPad at the media event announced for Wednesday, March 2nd, and he believes it will represent an “important upgrade” for the platform. In a research note covered by, Mr. Shope also told investors that the upgraded tablet would also help stave off competing tablets that are expected throughout the first half of the year.

“Overall, we expect the device to provide an early line of defense against the wave of tablet competitors arriving in the coming months, and we expect the launch to represent a positive catalyst for Apple’s stock,” Mr. Shope wrote. “While the details on the upcoming iPad 2’s specifications are scarce, we expect the device to represent an important upgrade.”

Despite the “scarce” details, he said that he expects the device to be “far thinner,” and to have a faster processor and better graphics capabilities. He said it won’t support LTE, but backed up reports that the device would support both GSM and CDMA networks.

The analyst maintained a “Buy” rating on the stock and a US$450 price target. Shares in AAPL closed higher at $353.21, up $5.05 (+1.45%), on moderate volume of 14.4 million shares trading hands.

*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.