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Weak Android, Windows competition keeps iPad on top, says analyst

The iPad will dominate because rivals have yet to offer a strong alternative, claims Deutsche Bank analyst.

Apple's new iPad will only face "benign" competition from Windows and Android products, a Deutsche Bank analyst said today in a research note.

In a preface to the note titled "Top 10 Reasons for Apple's rally other than the upcoming iPad announcement"--referring to Apple's rising stock price--analyst Chris Whitmore cited continued Apple tablet dominance "due to relatively benign competition from [Android] tablets and our concerns of a slow ramp of Windows tablets later this year."

Deutsche Bank rates Apple a "Buy" with a price target of $600.

The reference to a slow ramp of Windows 8 tablets (expected late this year or early next year) is a theme other analysts have latched onto. For instance, Piper Jaffray analyst Gus Richard believes that Windows 8 will be "late and buggy." All of this negativity continues despite Microsoft's successful release of the Consumer Preview last week.

Whitmore went on to say that "our analysis shows that on average iPad and iPhone product announcements in themselves don't have a meaningful, lasting impact on Apple's stock price." And listed reasons, other than the upcoming rollout of the new iPad, for Apple's strength.

Reasons for Apple's stock price rise, according Deutsche Bank, include:

  • No iPhone killer: A quiet Mobile World Congress; lack of a new 'iPhone killer'
  • Windows 8 tablets: Win8 tablets have "some inter-operability issues."
  • Hewlett-Packard weakness: Weak results from rival HP.
  • Corporate customers: iPhone and iPad momentum in the enterprise.
  • New MacBooks: new MacBook Pro and Air upgrades coming.
  • Apple TV: Apple's foray into the TV market.

Other reasons cited include "strong and growing iOS developer ecosystem," Whitmore said, adding that "500K+ apps in the App Store (140K apps are iPad specific) and 25B downloads (vs. ~340K Android and ~10B downloads)."