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5 Top Tech Calls From Ashok Kumar

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ashok Kumar, senior tech analyst at Rodman Renshaw, is a disarmingly peaceful man whose research work draws unusually passionate attacks.

In the latest example, Kumar noted Monday that Apple (AAPL) was preparing a follow up to the iPad early next year that would be smaller than the original and include front and back cameras.

Apple's iPad
Apple's iPad

The assertion predictably irked some bloggers like Ed Oswald at Technologizer who scorned Kumar and "the media" that "keeps giving this guy a platform." Over at Daring Fireball, John Gruber picked apart Kumar's track record on research calls. Some notable misses, he noted, include the prediction that a Verizon (VZ) iPhone would arrive by summer.

Gruber concludes that Kumar is probably right once every 720 tries, according to the math of his analogy. "Betting on a 7-inch iPad based on a Kumar 'research note' is pretty much like betting on the time of day based on a stopped clock," Gruber wrote.

Kumar, who lives on the West Coast and hospitably takes pre-dawn calls all-too-regularly from reporters on the East Coast, does not offer a defense of his record. "If I had all the answers, I'd probably be on a beach somewhere," said Kumar.

Kumar grew up in India and earned engineering degrees there and in the U.S. as well as an additional MBA from Wharton. He worked at Intel (INTC) before taking his talents to Wall Street more than a decade ago. His specialty has been chips, including the PC sector and, increasingly, the mobile Internet hardware arena.

Like many in his field, Kumar applies an investment viewpoint to the buzzing hive of activity among tech suppliers and manufacturers overseas and sorts out the important tidbits. But unlike many in his field, Kumar talks on the record with numerous reporters who are eager to hear his latest findings or get his take on an industry developments.

Kumar and his critics point out that his track record isn't perfect. But he's modest. And he's also been right early and often. Read on for the top five calls Kumar has made in the past two years.

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