Market Overview

Apple to Announce New iPod?

iPod sales were big this week. So big, in fact, that rumors for the next-generation iPod are beginning to make waves.

Will it be a refresh/upgrade to the current iPod Touch? A redesign of the Nano? Or an entirely new iPod? No one knows. But James D. Ragan, a senior equity analyst at Crowell, Weedon & Co., told Benzinga that he expects to see the next iPod very soon.

"I think three to six months is likely that we'll see a refresh to the product line," said Ragan. "I think that that's something important that they continue to push the technology forward as well."

That said, Ragan is paying close attention to the fact that there are plenty of devices that are fully capable of replacing the iPod.

"People are accessing media, video, on their iPads and iPhones," said Ragan. "So there are lots of ways that people can access their iTunes data now. I think the iPod becomes less important to the company going forward."

Less Important, Still Profitable

While its overall importance might be waning, Ragan said that the iPod did better than expected in the second quarter. "That was a bit of a surprise," he said. "I think we'll still remain conservative on the iPod. When I look at the iPod, I look at it more on a year-over-year basis, [rather] than a sequential basis, because it's a little more mature. I think it will fall a little sequentially from the second quarter, based on just comparing it to the year-over-year."

Unfortunately, overall iPod sales will also be down year-over-year. "iPod is eroding as that medium is more saturated," said Ragan. "But you have to acknowledge that it was a strong quarter in the second quarter. You have to look at it with iTunes sales as well, 'cause that's been growing. I would expect that to grow sequentially to Q3 from Q2."

Overall, Ragan was impressed with Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) earnings.

"Obviously it was a very strong quarter," he said. "The iPhone was really the driving force. International sales [were] led by China."

On some level, Ragan said it was "all kind of expected."

"But they certainly exceeded expectations," he affirmed. "Given some of the volatility, it turned out to be a nice surprise."

Apple to Buy Twitter?

Finally, Ragan weighed in on the issue regarding Twitter and a possible acquisition by Apple or Google (NASDAQ: GOOG).

"I think Twitter is great," said Ragan. "Twitter is really an awesome platform. I think it has strong, long-term potential here. I think there would be people interested in buying it. I don't know why they would want to sell at this point though. If someone could buy it, I would say try to make a deal. But I would think the Twitter people would want to hold out and remain independent."

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Apple Crowell Weedon & Co.Analyst Color News Rumors Success Stories Analyst Ratings Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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