Strong iPad, MacBook Pro Demand Good News for Apple

Demand for Apple’s new iPad that is exceeding expectations, and strong interest in the company’s just updated MacBook Pro line, will likely lead to numbers for the June quarter that come in above estimates, according to UBS analyst Maynard Um.

“Apple has sold over 500,000 iPads during the first week and expects demand to exceed supply over the next several weeks. As a result of the domestic demand, Apple has delayed the international release until the end of May,” Mr. Um said. “Our recent anecdotal store checks indicate a stock out of iPads at some stores, and given the initial success we believe our 1.2 million iPad estimate for the June quarter is likely conservative depending on manufacturing constraints.”

The company introduced updated MacBook Pro models on Tuesday, and the 15 and 17-inch models use Intel’s Core i5 and i7 processors for better performance and longer battery life. Despite the fact that the updated 13-inch MacBook Pro still uses Intel’s Core 2 Duo chip, the smaller screen model seems to be selling especially well. “Demand for new MacBook Pros appears strong as anecdotal store checks indicate stock outs of the 13-inch model at some stores. Apple should benefit from the refresh as it positions it for share gains heading into the education spending and back to school season,” he said.

Mr. Um also expects Apple is working on a new service that makes it easier for customers to share files between their Macs and iPhone OS-based devices. This new service will tie together iTunes, MobileMe and social networking content, and will help drive more Apple product sales.

Mr. Um is maintaining his “Buy” rating and US$280 target price for Apple’s stock. Apple is currently trading at Us$245.56, up 2.69 (1.11%).