The Apple Advantage

A possible phone is just one more reason to like this name.
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This column was originally published on RealMoney on Nov. 15 at 12:45 p.m. EST. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.

Could the long-awaited

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

phone finally be on its way?

It is being reported that Apple has placed orders for 12 million cell phones from contract electronics manufacturer

Hon Hai Precision

to be delivered in the first quarter of 2007.

Apple's biggest strength is that it is able to sell products with fewer features than competing models but for more money. It is very likely to do the same with a phone, which could potentially be hugely damaging to the phone makers like

Motorola

(MOT)

and

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

.

Another Apple advantage would be the likelihood of mobile-phone carriers lining up to stock the phone, which would pull valuable shelf space away from competitors. Even more deadly would be the fact that the Apple display would likely be bright white, becoming the focus in any store.

The possibility of a phone is just another in a long list of reasons to like Apple. The company has a tiny market share within the huge PC market and is the only major operator in the business with a highly differentiated product.

In addition, I believe

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

is making some strategic errors with its Vista launch, particularly its decision to offer so many different versions of the operating system. Apple, on the other hand, can just say that the Mac can do everything you want without having to worry if you have the right version.

I would also watch for Apple to make a more serious entry into the living room. I predict that the

iMac's screen size, which currently maxes out at 24 inches, will eventually get to 37 inches or greater. In other words, it will be big enough to hang on the wall and fit in with a home theater system. Just add a wireless keyboard and mouse, and the television industry will shake in its boots.

In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, Michael Comeau doesn't own or short individual stocks. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships.

Comeau is a research analyst at TheStreet.com. In this role he performs stock analysis for

TheStreet.com Breakout Stocks

, and is also a regular contributor to RealMoney.com. Prior to his arrival at TSC in June 2004, Comeau worked as a Consultant to Toyota Motor North America, performing in-depth research on automotive industry issues, primarily in the areas of alternative engine technologies, competitive analysis and macroeconomics. His primary market interests include consumer technology, specialty retail, and small-caps. Comeau received a bachelor's degree in Finance from Brooklyn College, and has completed Level 1 of the CFA program.. He appreciates your feedback;

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