One More Reason Apple Will Rule This Holiday Season

It's no secret Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) been under some serious heat of late. After peaking at just over $700 a share this September, Apple's share price has seen more down days than up since then, fueled in part by a Q4 earnings miss, which alarmingly has become more the rule than the exception for the iEverything maker.

However, even with the clouds looming large over Cupertino, this pullback hasn't dampened the Apple bulls' enthusiasm. In fact, at the $560 that a share will set an investor back, it's probably only strengthened that conviction -- especially considering a recently released survey supporting the Apple "party line." It looks increasingly likely that Apple is poised for another monster holiday season.

The season to be jolly
Of course, one of the key consumers during the holiday season is children. What they want, what's "in" now, has a tremendous effect on which companies win and which lose in the all-important holiday fourth quarter. Thankfully for Apple, the annual adolescent survey from market researcher Nielsen (NYSE: NSLN  ) should give Apple investors some early holiday cheer. In its recently released annual survey of most prized holiday gifts among young consumers, Apple chalked up another strong performance, claiming three of the five most coveted spots among children ages 6-12.

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Holiday-Devices-K6-12.png

Apple's iGadgets fared slightly less well among adolescents ages 13 and up, but it still claimed the top spot in this age group.

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Holiday-Devices-P13+.png

These results are eerily similar to last year's survey results. In fact, aside from a challenge from Nintendo's recently launched Wii U platform, Apple's hand seems to have largely strengthened from last year.

At the same time, the dynamics of the tablet market that Apple has long dominated have never been more competitive. Both Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) and Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) now have viable options at relatively modest pricing points in their Nexus and Kindle Fire HD tablets. There's also the new entrant from the 800-pound gorilla in the space that is Mircosoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) . Although probably less likely to steal market share, especially among minors to whom marketing from Apple proves especially compelling, Microsoft does present the first legitimate threat to the effective mobile operating system duopoly that iOS and Android currently enjoy.

Deja vu all over again?
Remember, Apple also found itself in an equally precarious position headed into last holiday season, only to knock its quarterly earnings out of the park. Again, this entire argument is far from scientific, but it certainly serves as another feather in the cap for the Apple bull thesis.

Tomorrow is Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. It also very well could be the day that Apple once again flexes its muscles as the true king of consumer tech. Investors, take note.

There is absolutely no argument that Apple is at the center of technology's largest revolution ever, and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded with more than 1,000% gains. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and, more importantly, your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.


Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 22, 2012, at 10:02 PM, RayCicak wrote:

    Please, please, please don't waste my time by posting a worthless comment. The problem with the internet is that we have unlimited ways to communicate, but so few have anything worth saying. Take your hating comments elsewhere.

    Thanks for the article Andrew, good information to know.

  • Report this Comment On November 23, 2012, at 12:47 AM, deasystems wrote:

    The author stated that the decline in Apple's stock price was "...fueled in part by a Q4 earnings miss, which alarmingly has become more the rule than the exception for the iEverything maker."

    Sure, the 25% decline in the price per share was caused in part by Q4 earnings being 8/10ths of 1% lower than analysts' guess. It sounds like you think that makes sense...

  • Report this Comment On November 23, 2012, at 1:31 AM, lojikfool wrote:

    Hi Andrew, actually it's 4 out of 5 or indeed 5 out of 6 when you assume a bid chunk of "Computer" is a Mac :-p

  • Report this Comment On November 23, 2012, at 2:17 PM, sobani wrote:

    "...a Q4 earnings miss, which alarmingly has become more the rule than the exception for the iEverything maker."

    I don't understand this. Can you please explain how a single miss will make it a rule? Or did I miss some misses somewhere?

  • Report this Comment On November 23, 2012, at 3:07 PM, chilero wrote:

    How much influence over "expensive" gifts do the age groups have? I would think that the 13+ has a much greater influence than the 6-12 but that is only a guess.

    I find it surprising that Nintendo is appearing so high on both lists. Maybe they are not in such dire straits.

    Does the much lower number for iPad/iPhone in the 13+ mean that it is a "less cool" item for them than a 6-12 year old? If that were the case I'd be a little worried going forward.

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