The independent investment bank believes company filings consisting of an antenna apparatus within an laptop, a method of transmission using a portable device, and a new trademark on the phrase "Mobile Me" all hint at a major development in the mobile space.
In a research note sent to clients this week, analysts Steve Lidberg and David Niederman point out that applications and services highlighted in the company's Mobile Me trademark filing include telecommunication services, and retrieval of data, images, audio and video through global communication networks, including TV, cellular and satellite networks.
They say any move by Apple to become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) could strengthen the company's bond to its growing customer base that includes 32 million iPods and 4.7 million Mac systems sold in 2005.
"Projecting the timing of any type of initiative is extremely difficult," the analysts wrote. "However, proving consumers with ubiquitous access and a seamless experience could be very compelling and generate $4 billion in service and device sales alone, while opening doors to new products and services."
The investment bank sees Apple's momentum opening additional opportunities in entertainment content, products and services, positioning the company for superior growth in the next several years.
In a similar report published on TheStreet.com on Thursday, journalist Troy Wolverton also vouched his belief that Apple's recent filings with the United States Patent and Trademark Office could be a precursor to the company entering the mobile phone market.
However, Wolverton is quick to point out that Apple has been known in the past to pursue patent or trademark protection for products that never see the light of day.
Pacific Crest Securities currently holds an "Outperform" rating on shares of Apple Computer with a 12-month price target of $85.