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Apple promotion may signal new products: Analyst

Apple's c-suite shakeup

A C-suite promotion for one of Apple's most celebrated employees could be a powerful signal that a "slew of new products" are on the horizon for the world's largest company, according to Dan Ives, a managing director at FBR Capital.

Apple design mastermind Jonathan Ive, described by the company as the "driving force behind the look and feel of Apple's innovative products," was promoted this week to the newly created position of chief design officer. According to Ives, that's more than just good news for the 19-year Apple veteran; it's also a big plus for shareholders.

"The fact that he's been promoted to this seat at Apple, I think it indicates that we are on the horizon of a slew of new products over the next year or two," Ives said Tuesday on CNBC's "Fast Money."

Jonathan Ive
Getty Images

Ives, who has one of the highest price targets on Wall Street for Apple at $185 per share, said the news comes at a critical time for the company as the euphoria of the iPhone 6 and the buzz around the Apple Watch launch have started to wear off.

It also happened as some analysts were concerned Ive might leave Apple and return to his native England, the analyst added.

The promotion of a designer to just the third C-level position at the company speaks to a "change in Apple in terms of how they're looking at the future," and an indication that CEO Tim Cook "is thinking about new product designs," Ives said.

Those new products, Ives said, could range from augmented reality devices, to new wearables, to streaming services or even an Apple car. "The fact that Ive is now in this role, you can't put anything out of the realm" of possibility, he added.

Ives said the new title is also a sign that Apple management remains keenly focused on growth in China. "He is going to be key in terms of the retail stores and focused on China growth," he said.

Ive's promotion could also be a hint at Apple's long-term management strategy, the analyst added, calling the designer the "heir apparent" to Cook's CEO seat.