Analyst Suggests Sony-Apple Partnership

AppleInsider takes a look at Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich's thoughts on an Apple/Sony partnership.

"Why did Steve Jobs say that Apple and Sony could possibly work together on computers and music? We think Apple could introduce products based on the IBM/Sony/Toshiba Cell processor," the analyst said.

Merrill Lynch believes that an Apple/Sony partnership could form around an iTunes-like iMovies store online using the H.264 codec and streaming Sony and Pixar content; a high-performance Apple workstation using Cell for video editing; or a network-centric TV with computing for handling the next-generation of entertainment feeds.

"Our thoughts represent logical conjecture and are not based on knowledge of Apple's development plans," the firm cautioned. "Such offerings, however, would put Apple at the heart of the HD and digital consumer revolution and provide grist for further earnings increases and stock price appreciation."

The news was also posted at CBS Marketwatch's daily email newsletter 'Before the Bell', citing that Merrill Lynch has raised its 12 month target price for AAPL to $102/share, up from the previous $85/share.

As of this posting, the current stock price is $88.50/share. Whether related to this news, or as part of the runup to the upcoming stock split at the end of February, Apple's stock price is at the highest level ever.