NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With rumors swirling that Apple's (AAPL) iPad Mini could make its debut within the next few weeks, there's plenty of speculation about the component makers that may have won a coveted spot within the device.
Apple product launches always cast a spotlight on the chip makers that have clinched lucrative deals with the tech giant -- but there could be another, less obvious way, to tap into the iPhone and iPad maker's growth.
Robert Luna, CEO and chief investment officer of SureVest Capital Management, told TheStreet that, while banking on a chip maker's ongoing relationship with Apple can be risky, companies such as Disney (DIS) and even Priceline.com (PCLN) could be safer bets. "It's a huge opportunity for content providers and these online retailers," he said, pointing to the "larger halo effect" that helps drive revenue at Apple-related firms.
Apple devices offer companies with the right products and services a great launch pad for their wares, from Disney's popular Mickey Mouse Clubhouse app and Marvel's Captain America comics to mobile apps for clinching last-minute hotel deals.Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT Research, thinks content providers certainly have a chance to "capture some of the iPad's lightning." Disney's existing web of distribution and sales channels also offer a greater level of security in its dealings with Apple, he added, particularly compared to music companies struggling with the dominance of iTunes. The analyst even speculates that Apple could forge closer relationships with companies like Priceline and Internet giant IAC/Interactive (IACI), citing the fallout from the company's decision to turn its back on Google's (GOOG) maps app. "Apple may decide it's in its best interests to work with knowledgeable partners like Priceline and IACI, [rather] than to try to do everything on its own," he wrote, in an email to TheStreet. SureVest's Luna, who holds positions in Disney and Priceline, also likes the companies' current valuations. Apple, of course, is just one player in the mobile market. Disney and Priceline are also riding the wave of Android devices from the likes of Samsung, Amazon.com (AMZN) and Motorola. Nonetheless, here's why the content provider and the online retailer could be smart ways to tap into the Apple phenomenon, particularly with the iPad Mini rumored to be on deck:
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