NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Apple Inc (AAPL) were lower by 0.38% to $128.16 in midday trading Monday, ahead of the technology giant's highly anticipated Worldwide Developers Conference which is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET today.
The company is expected to unveil its new music streaming service, as well as more details into third-party apps for the Apple Watch.
In addition, analysts at UBS issued a positive note on iPhone sales in China this morning.
The firm noted that the number of Google (GOOGL) searches for Apple's iPhone more than doubled through the end of May, gaining by 130%.
UBS said the data suggests that iPhone sales in China continue to be strong, estimating that Apple will sell 50 million iPhones this quarter.
The firm maintained its "buy" rating with a $50 price target on shares of Apple.
Apple designs, manufactures and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players, as well as a variety of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and applications.
The company is based in Cupertino, Calif.
Insight from TheStreet's Research Team:
Apple is a core holding of Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. During the most recent weekly roundup, this is what Jim Cramer, Portfolio Manager and Jack Mohr, Director of Research - Action Alerts PLUS had to say about the stock:
Apple (AAPL:Nasdaq; $128.65; 820 shares; 4.07%; Sector: Technology): Apple stock fell around 1.7% this week. On Monday night, The Wall Street Journalreported that Appler is preparing to launch a streaming music service that will directly compete with Spotify, Pandora (P) and other popular streaming services. While late in the game, Apple can aggressively cross-sell its hundreds of millions of iTunes customers - - most with credit cards already on file -- and make iTunes the largest full-service music retailer on the planet.
It is reportedly ready to promote the new subscription service aggressively, with a major advertising campaign. It may even offer a free trial period, and is expected to let record companies and artists make certain songs available for free. Apple will charge $10 a month for the service, and make only a handful of songs available for free listening.
While the move may cannibalize its download business, the subscription model offers the prospect of more revenue for both Apple and the biggest music labels. That being said, the downward trend this week in the stock indicates that the market may not be warm (yet) to the idea. However, we see that Apple continues to expand its ecosystem, find new ways to accommodate its customer base and generate incremental revenue.
We will look to the company's Developer Conference next week for more news on the streaming service and any additional updates on its move into the TV market. As always, we are confident in Apple's vision and execution, and maintain our target of $150.
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates APPLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate APPLE INC (AAPL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, robust revenue growth and notable return on equity. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAPL Ratings Report