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NEW YORK (
(AAPL - Get Report)
has firmly entrenched itself in the computing, music, smartphone and tablet markets and potentially the
as well. One analyst thinks Apple could venture even further away from its Mac roots: into robots.
UBS analyst Steven Milunovich, who initiated Apple coverage on Tuesday, rating shares "buy" with a $740 price target, suggested Apple could eventually move into the home robotics market. The analyst, however, noted this is probably more than a decade away.
Milunovich explained that "robots for the home would represent a new category, require substantial innovation, and leverage Apple's ease-of-use knowledge and brand." He believes that Siri could be key here, with the voice tool likely to play an increased role in future Apple products.
(IBM - Get Report)
recently said that a third generation of IT, known as cognitive computing, is being ushered in. The first two eras were tabulating machines and programmable computers.
UBS's Milunovich goes so far as to suggest that, as Siri learns more about the user, it could eventually become a digital assistant of sorts. "Over time, Siri could become your advisor across digital platforms, kind of like Jarvis is to Tony Stark in the
movies," Milunovich wrote in his report.
If Apple is going to get into the home robotics market, of course it needs a catchy name.
(IRBT - Get Report)
is already a company, so something else would be needed. iAssistant? iRosey? (after the Jetsons robot). No doubt the marketing mavens at Apple could come up with a name consumers would associate with the category.
The CEO of iRobot, Colin Angle, has already pointed out that robotics have made little headway regarding solving "high-value needs of businesses and consumers." The Roomba and Scooba cleaners are just the beginning.
Now imagine what Apple could do with robots if it wasn't so busy
selling iPhones and iPads.
Apple declined to comment on this story when contacted by
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Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York