May 5, 2008 / 3:41 PM / in 10 years

UPDATE 1-RESEARCH ALERT-American Technology raises Apple to buy

(Changes source; adds details, share movement)

May 5 (Reuters) - American Technology Research upgraded Apple Inc (AAPL.O) to “buy” from “neutral,” and said it expects a very strong second-half for the iPod maker driven by new iPhones and portable Macs, despite a potential product “vacuum” in the June quarter.

Shares of the company were up $3.51 to $184.45 in morning trade on Nasdaq.

American Technology expects iPhone adoption to see an acceleration in the second half and beyond with 3G technology, a broadened product portfolio, additional carrier relationships, native Exchange support and more applications.

Apple is expected to meet its 10 million unit target for iPhones by the end of calendar year 2008, said American Technology, which set a price target of $210 on the stock.

    iPhone is a minor contributor today at only 2 to 3 percent of revenue, but it has the potential to become a very significant driver over the next 2 to 5 years, the brokerage said.

    “We envision iPhone one day becoming as large as the current Mac business,” American Technology added. (Reporting by Tenzin Pema in Bangalore; Editing by Amitha Rajan)

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