Tapping Apple With 4 Cheaper Stocks

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Earlier this year, TheStreet identified four alternative tech stocks to Apple ( AAPL), picks that gave investors a somewhat cheaper way to tap demand for the yet-to-launch iPad and iPhone 4.

Post-debut, both products are blockbusters and Apple's stock has risen almost 13% since early March, when we ran the story. Despite the current dip in Apple's stock -- it's currently trading down almost 3% to $242.81 -- Apple is still popular with investors.

So what about the companies rumored to be involved with the tech giant's greatest offerings?

Read on for an updated look at Broadcom ( BRCM), AT&T ( T), OmniVision ( OVTI) and SanDisk ( SNDK).


Most recent closing price: $35.99

Broadcom has quite a history with Apple, providing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities for the iPhone 3GS, so there was plenty of chatter that Broadcom's chips would appear in the new iPhone 4.

Despite Broadcom's silence, teardowns of the iPhone 4 have duly confirmed the presence of a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip. The silicon specialist also provides a single-chip GPS receiver according to Itfixit.com, which recently took an iPhone 4 apart.

The same Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless chip appears in the Apple iPad, as well as a Broadcom I/O controller.

Despite some concerns about a slowdown in end-market demand, Broadcom's stock has been hitting new 52-week highs on higher-than-average daily volume.


Most recent closing price: $24.69

Despite the fact that the telecom giant remains Apple's exclusive iPhone partner, AT&T is the one name in our roundup that investors might want to take a second look at.

Recent signs point to the arrival of a Verizon iPhone in January 2011, and it looks increasingly likely that AT&T's days as Apple's exclusive buddy are numbered.

Verizon ( VZ) has also been wielding its network coverage as a cudgel, and AT&T's stock has fallen almost 11% this year. While phenomenal demand for the new iPhone 4 should give AT&T a boost, a major question mark hangs over the company's long-term performance.

AT&T reports its second-quarter results on Thursday. Analysts have recently cut AT&T earnings estimates by an average of 1.1%.


Most recent closing price: $22.12

Like Broadcom, OmniVision is tight-lipped on the subject of Apple, but a recent iSuppli teardown of the new iPhone confirmed OmniVision's image-sensor tech presence.

Cited as an attractive stock on the strength of its technology, OmniVision is enjoying healthy growth. The company's stock has climbed almost 53% this year -- and almost 97% over the last 12 months.

With Apple enjoying phenomenal iPhone demand, the future looks rosy for OmniVision, although there has been talk that Apple could choose an 8-megapixel camera from Sony ( SNE) for its 2011 iPhone.

OmniVision declined to comment on this possibility when contacted by the TheStreet. With a P/E ratio of 174.34, though, OmniVision spells upside for investors.


Most recent closing price: $41.93

There were musings that SanDisk would provide NAND Flash for the new iPhone 4, although teardowns from iSuppli and Itfixit.com revealed Samsung's technology lurking within.

However, as a major player in the Flash market, SanDisk is still benefitting from Apple. The latest iPhone 4 extravaganza is said to be driving up Flash prices. SanDisk shares surged earlier this week after the storage specialist received an upgrade from UBS. The investment bank also boosted its estimates for the storage maker, citing favorable pricing and mobile design wins.

One of TheStreet's top summer tech picks, SanDisk's shares have risen almost 204% over the last 12 months and almost 52% this year.

SanDisk reports its second-quarter results after market close Thursday. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect the company to post revenue of $1.15 billion and earnings of 89 cents a share, compared to sales of $731 million and earnings of 36 cents a share in the prior year's quarter.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

Follow James Rogers on Twitter.

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