Apple's core challenge: Revenue growth Pt II

Apple are gearing up for a software-focused second half

Given that Apple's hardware house is in order and set for the latest updates, Bailey said the next six to nine months will highlight the company's software strategy.

"Apple has done an excellent job of launching one product at a time, but the next six months will be focused on software," said Bailey. "Software is the key message."

The long-awaited Mac OS X is scheduled for a January launch and will update the user interface and add key features.

Apple also has strong database, graphics and Web software products, analysts said. Bailey added that Web Objects and QuickTime are two promising products that distinguish Apple from the Wintel juggernaut.

Analysts said momentum in software sales would be a welcome shift because Apple's profit margins, and bottom line, will be better.

Aside from the three analysts that don't consider Apple a "buy", most analysts are confident Apple can rev up its revenue growth.

Bailey said Apple should be able to grow revenue 30 percent in the second calendar half (Apple's fiscal fourth and first quarters). According to Bailey, the September quarter should show strong growth because of an easy comparison to year-ago totals. Apple was hamstrung by component shortages last year. The December quarter has a tough comparison because Apple showed stellar results.

Bailey added that Apple should be able to maintain a strong growth clip with an overall PC market share of four percent to five percent, in line with its current standing.

If Apple manages to boost market share to hit the six percent to eight percent mark, the company would show dramatic growth.

"You don't have to incorporate huge market share gains to see the growth," said Bailey. "These numbers are pretty attainable".

Go back to Pt I/ Apple, the Growth Story

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