Apple's iPad, iPhone, Stock Soar: Tech Weekly

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Another week goes by, and Apple ( AAPL) is again the talk of the town, with $1,000 price targets, new carriers and praise from Consumer Reports on the new iPad.

The news flow started to ramp up on Monday, when Consumer Reports put its stamp of approval on the new iPad. The organization said the tablet offers a "new benchmark in excellence, providing the best rendering of detail and color accuracy we've ever seen on a tablet display."

Consumer Reports was particularly positive about the iPad's screen, giving its highest score ever for color accuracy. "Colors are more saturated than on the iPad 2, making deeper shades more vibrant," it explained, in a statement. "The new iPad's screen lacks the slight bluish hue of the iPad 2's screen, and has a warmer and more natural 'color temperature' that becomes apparent when comparing white backgrounds displayed on the new and old iPads."

The new iPad's heat generation was also addressed. Consumer Reports noted that the "new iPad is warmer in its hottest spots than the iPad 2," but did not find that to be a cause for concern.

Apple was also the subject of several price target increases this week, with one analyst saying shares could reach $1,001 in the near future.

Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets initiated coverage on Apple with a buy rating, noting that "Apple fever is spreading like a wildfire around the world and we see no end in sight to this trend."

White noted Apple's continued expansion into higher-speed devices, such as the 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) iPad, and the eventual LTE iPhone, continued expansion in China, and the launch of an Apple-branded television set as the primary reasons for share price appreciation.

On Tuesday, analysts at Piper Jaffray and J.P. Morgan also raised their price targets, as Apple shares rode the wave of positive analyst sentiment.

Piper Jaffray raised its price target to $910 from $718, and said Apple will be the first company to have a $1 trillion market cap.

"We believe shares of Apple will reach $1,000 in CY14, which would imply a roughly 1 trillion dollar market cap, the first in history," wrote Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

J.P. Morgan hiked its Apple price target to $715 from $625 as a result of better-than-expected sales activity for the iPhone and iPad.

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As Apple seemingly tries to have everyone own an "iDevice," the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant added to its list of U.S. carriers this week.

Apple signed a deal with nTelos ( NTLS), a regional telecom provider based in Virginia.

With just 400,000 subscribers, nTelos will start selling the selling the iPhone on April 20 for $50 less than AT&T ( T) and Verizon ( VZ). The 16 GB version of the iPhone 4S will sell for $150, $250 for the 32 GB version, and $350 for the 64 GB version. NTelos will also sell an 8 GB version of the iPhone 4 for $50.

Apple shares closed the week up 6.31% to finish at $633.68.

Apple's suppliers were also in the news this week, with Qualcomm ( QCOM) announcing a dividend hike.

Qualcomm, which makes chips for the iPads and iPhones, as well as a host of other smartphones and tablets, announced on Tuesday that it will raise its quarterly dividend from 21.5 cents per share to 25 cents per share. The raise is effective June 20.

Shares of Qualcomm gained 0.76% during the week, to close at $67.19.

Yahoo! ( YHOO) slashed its workforce on Wednesday, cutting 2,000 jobs in an effort to improve profitability and focus on its core businesses.

In a press release, Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson said, "We are intensifying our efforts on our core businesses and redeploying resources to our most urgent priorities. Our goal is to get back to our core purpose -- putting our users and advertisers first -- and we are moving aggressively to achieve that goal."

Shares of Yahoo closed out the week lower, off 2.1% at $15.06.

Citing unnamed sources, CNBC reported on Thursday that Facebook will list on the Nasdaq exchange.

The social networking giant hopes to raise $5 billion from its IPO, and is expected to go public in mid-May in the largest-ever tech offering.

Interested in more on Yahoo!? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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