According to a new study as much as 40 percent of college students are planning on buying a Mac as their next computer system:
The basic argument here is that students who are used to Apple products grow up, get jobs, and make money. They will then buy more Macs, and will also make Apple products more "mainstream" and become more common in the workforce. Huberty offers Linux as an analog, suggesting that as Linux-savvy students got jobs and then Linux saw large market share gains. A single percentage point of market share translates into billions of dollars of revenue, so even a slight yearly increase in the US and world market shares will have positive effects on Apple's bottom line.
Apple may also have a strong fall quarter this September, thanks to students snapping up Macs (and perhaps the occasional iPhone or iPod) before they head back to classes. A recent survey mentioned by Huberty suggests that 40 percent of college students were planning on buying a Mac as their next machine, which is up quite a bit from Apple's current 15 percent market share. Based on this information and the hopes of a good fall quarter, Huberty is pricing Apple at between $185 and $225, depending on how large Mac sales growth is and how well the iPhone does.