While many analysts who are bullish on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) have tended to focus on the iPhone maker’s upcoming hardware releases, Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha turned the spotlight on the company’s many services in a recent note to investors. Apple’s “enviable portfolio of iServices” that works in conjunction with its multiple product offerings has given the company a strategic advantage over competitors like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), observed Garcha in a note obtained by Barron’s. Garcha raised his price target on Apple shares to $96 from $85.71.
“Apple has built a portfolio of services that range from the App Store, iMessage, iCloud, iBook store and now HomeKit and HealthKit. Additionally, these services are increasingly integrated across its major hardware portfolio of Mac, iPhone and iPad,” wrote Garcha in a note seen by Barron’s. “We believe that Apple’s vertically integrated structure across hardware, software and services, and across multiple products results in several strategic advantages versus its peers.”
As noted by Garcha, the seamless integration between Apple’s products and services has led the company to maintain a higher level of usage among its customers than what is seen on rival platforms such as Google’s Android and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows. “[W]hether looking at mobile browsing, mobile commerce, or data usage, iOS devices materially outperform their installed base of smartphone units by a factor of four,” wrote the Credit Suisse analyst according to Barron’s. Meanwhile, thanks to its varied products that encompass “all aspects of its consumer’s lives,” Apple also has a “Big Data advantage” that many of its competitors lack. With its wide-ranging knowledge about its customers’ usage habits and preferences, Apple is able to improve its products and services more effectively than many of its competitors.