William Blair Remains Confident on Apple Inc. (AAPL) Amid Alphabet Inc (GOOGL) Pixel Handset Launch; Sees No Threat to Shares

On Tuesday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) tech rival Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) announced its Android-based Pixel and Pixel XL phones launch, which will compete with the Apple iPhone 7 as well as the Samsung Galaxy S7, set to be released by the end of this month. The Pixel will come at an initial cost of $649, which mirrors that of the iPhone 7.

This will mark Google’s second attempt up at bat to enter the handset market, following its 2010 Google Nexus line of handsets and a recent unsuccessful attempt to take advantage of technology from its Motorola Mobility acquisition to launch Project Ara, a modular smartphone plan that was just terminated after three years in the works.

When considering GOOGL’s newest rival product launch announcement, William Blair analyst Anil Doradla sees “no competitive threat to Apple” and considers Alphabet’s latest foray just “another science project.” As such, the analyst remains bullish on the tech titan and reiterates an Outperform rating on shares of AAPL without listing a price target.

The analyst asserts, “We do not believe this move will have material implications for Apple, and to a large extent we view this product introduction as a nonevent. We are somewhat perplexed by the launch of the device, and we believe that the Pixel will not be viewed in a positive light by the Android ecosystem players, including Samsung, the largest producer of Android-based smartphones. While some may argue that Google’s reentry into the hardware space is an attempt to reinvigorate innovation within the Android ecosystem, specifically around AR and VR, we do not believe the benefits outweigh the strategic costs.”

“In sum, we believe this is another shooting star that is bound to fizzle and are confident in Apple’s leadership,” Doradla concludes.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, five-star analyst Anil Doradla is ranked #245 out of 4,190 analysts. Doradla has a 67% success rate and gains 16.1% in his annual returns. When recommending AAPL, Doradla earns 13.1% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics indicate AAPL as a Strong Buy. Based on 36 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 31 rate a Buy on AAPL, 4 maintain a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The 12-month price target stands at $128.52, marking a nearly 13% upside from where the shares last closed.

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