Not everyone is looking down on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) lately. Though the company has received negative attention for its stock’s downward slide and the weakening image of its iOS in the shadow of Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, some analysts still find value in some of Apple’s particular assets.
Apple’s iPhones still have a strong presence in the U.S., but Android-powered smartphones quickly swept over the world to top iOS-powered devices as the most sold in 2012. It’s a trend similar to the one that helped Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows-based PCs stormed the market and pushed Macs out of the way several decades ago.
But, Apple may have a surprising bit of business that it can hang onto and use to continue making itself valuable: memory. Data storage isn’t a small business, and given that most computing devices require some amount of data storage space, Apple has had a chance to make money off of that need.
And it’s done quite a successful job of raking in money at a high margin on data storage. Since a 32GB iPad mini costs $100 more than one with 16GB of storage, despite the fact that every other feature remains exactly the same, Apple manages to make an extra $100 dollars on memory that could be worth less than $10…
Lazard Capital’s Edward Parker gave Apple a Buy rating and a $540 price target based on Apple’s strength in high margins on storage. Parker believed that Apple is “instrumental in driving data creation in ways its competitors are not” because it “actively encourages users to leverage local device storage such that users will be inclined to store more data locally,” which would leave uses desiring more data space on their devices and forking out more to get it.
In this regard, Apple could continue to perform even as products running on Android continue to flood the market and displace Apple, especially because Google may be overly focused on driving users to its search engine and not its data services, according to Parker.