Who Benefits From the Apple Effect?

Apple’s already above $300 bucks a share, so maybe the more interesting question is, who gets helped most by the Apple effect?


It’s a tough question – not as simple as tearing open some Apple products and seeing whose parts are inside. Some companies in Apple’s ecosystem, like Intel , don’t see an outsized impact from Apple’s business. Others, like ARM, have already had nice runs lately.

So who potentially gets helped most from here? Here’s my unconventional short list of names to look out for:

Qualcomm: This chipmaker gets helped two ways. One, it will benefit if and when Apple eventually releases CDMA versions of the iPhone and iPad, since it has patents on the underlying wireless technology. Two, Apple’s competitors are turning to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips to compete with Apple’s homegrown A4.

Motorola: Co-CEO Sanjay Jha was the first to make a really big bet on Android, before it emerged as the clear iPhone competitor it is today. Moto’s consumer business is spinning out into a separate company early next year, and Jha tells me he’s got a plan to get TV content onto Motorola’s smartphones. Hollywood might back Motorola’s ambitions to keep Apple from getting too powerful.

AMD: Investors aren’t thrilled with the chipmaker’s stock lately, understandably so. Intel has soundly beaten them in the past. But here’s the thing: Its product strategy for 2011 happens to line up with Apple’s general direction.

By baking a graphics core into its main chip die in its upcoming Fusion microprocessors, it aims to help Apple competitors affordably compete with the Mac’s lean power. And AMD’s recent move to rebrand its ATI graphics chips as “AMD” graphics chips – which already appear in Apple computers, by the way – should give the overall AMD brand a boost in 2011.

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