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Why I still like AAPL

I first recommended AAPL on this blog just over a year ago, when the stock was around $80-85. I've owned the stock since 2002 and have no plans to sell.

Apple unveiled its new iPad this morning, and I'm seeing some mixed reviews. I'll have to hold it in my own hands to say whether it's really "magical" as Steve Jobs claims. Some were disappointed that it doesn't have a camera, or multitasking. No hand-held videoconferencing ... but maybe that comes with the next version.

But the iPad does offer a lot more than anything else in the netbook or tablet category, and it leverages all of the software that drives the iPhone and iPod Touch, plus the market-dominating iTunes, the iTunes store, and the App Store. The killer feature, I think, is that you get all kinds of great stuff that we know works well with an entry-level price of only $499. Not many will be able to resist this. It does far more than a Kindle for only a little more $$. It's a new portable gaming platform that already has thousands of games ready to go on day one (iPhone games will run today on the iPad in reduced size, but it should be relatively easy for developers to tweak their apps to take full advantage of the bigger screen). You can use it to generate presentations that make Powerpoint slides look pedestrian, and you can plug it into any projector. It weighs only 1.5 lbs., so many people will undoubtedly want to travel with it. Read books, watch HD movies, play great games, surf the web, do email, etc. Once again Apple has blown away its competitors and created a new product with sex appeal.

The second chart above compares Apple's market cap to Microsoft's. It's the David vs. Goliath story of our time. Apple is still worth about $75 billion less than Microsoft, but Microsoft has almost 90% of the worldwide market for personal computers. That's a testament to how Apple has opened up new markets and innovated like no other company in recent memory. And Apple can still grow its share of the personal computer market by leaps and bounds, as it has been doing for the past 5-6 years. If you haven't tried a Mac computer, you don't know what you're missing.

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