China Gives Apple a Post-Jobs Boost

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What makes investors forget about losing an iconic leader? How about traction in a market with four times more people than the United States that's now the largest computing market in the world? New research says that's exactly what's happening to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) .

On Friday, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White said in a research note that MacBook Air sales in Hong Kong have been brisk and, that based on his checks, the svelte laptop should perform equally well on the mainland, Fortune reports. Buyers are also taking to the iPad and iPhone, White said.

This may be why the news of Steve Jobs resigning was already priced in. Investors knew Apple was well-positioned globally; they just couldn't predict when, or how, Jobs would step down, or whether his leaving would hurt the company's chances of taking advantage.

Both those questions have now been answered. The Steve will continue as chairman, ensuring CEO Tim Cook won't pursue directional shifts without first receiving Jobs' blessing. And whatever lingering concerns there may be over his leaving, Jobs' departure has had zero impact on consumer sales in China.

Expect similar reports here in the U.S. Jobs will be missed, certainly, but I suspect you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who bought a Mac (or an iPad or iPhone) because of an affinity for The Great Turtlenecked One.

Instead, Apple is winning because of product design and competitive positioning so fierce it's driven Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) to withdraw from the consumer device business, just as Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) and Asian PC manufacturers drove IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) from the commodity computing business six years ago.

Do you agree? Disagree? Please weigh in using the comments box below. You can also add Apple to your watchlist for up-to-date analysis on the stock as soon as it's published.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Apple and IBM at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool owns shares of IBM and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Dell and Apple, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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  • Report this Comment On August 29, 2011, at 11:08 PM, markcastle919 wrote:

    Apple is doing so well simply because they build the BMW M3 of computers. I have had many Apple's. My first an Apple Macingtosh (showing my age) was 16 years ago. Mac are extremely stable and user friendly. I get a good 7-8 years or so out of my machines — that is using them everyday for my job as a graphic designer. The last two I had didn't even wear out I just wanted to go to the latest and greatest. If you are a Window user just try a Mac and see how simple life can be.

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