Dell's Dead; Buy These 5 Stocks Instead
I have provided more color on these two companies in this article, but, in a nutshell, Intel and Microsoft have positioned themselves well to hang with Apple and provide meaningful returns to shareholders.
It's not just the iPad that will cannibalize sales of traditional computers. Expect ultrabooks and forthcoming Windows 8-powered tablets to take their fair share.
Granted, they'll never be as cool as an iPad, just like a Windows-run Nokia(NOK) Lumia smartphone will never achieve the social status of the iPhone.
But, the combination of Intel, Microsoft and its collection of partners, such as Nokia, will gobble up enough mobile and gadget market share to make a difference. As a traditional operating system, Windows continues to rank as the major player.
Moving away from the direct computing space, several companies, particularly new media outlets, have been right there with Apple -- thanks to Apple -- on the new mobile frontier.
For example, Pandora(P) openly credits its exploding success to the iPhone.
I discuss why that stock has become a screaming long-term buy in this article.
For similar reasons, I like Facebook(FB) over the long haul, particularly on weakness.
A world exists, however, beyond Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Pandora and Facebook (though that's quite a quintet). You can pick and choose from a handful of retail companies that enjoy similar competitive advantages to the ones synonymous with Apple.
At the top of the list: Lululemon Athletica(LULU) .
Lululemon reports earnings in early June. I tend to shy away from going long (or short) ahead of earnings, particularly on highflying stocks. Although it might be too risky for your blood, LULU remains an exception to this rule. I expect a blowout quarter.
Like Apple, Lululemon has momentum on its side. It also has a burgeoning cult following.
All too often, investors ignore geography. It matters in this space. When I visit my home in Niagara Falls, N.Y., I see absolutely nobody wearing Lululemon clothing.
When I am in Santa Monica or San Francisco, I cannot take more than 10 steps outside without seeing these clothes.
In Niagara Falls, I see fewer Macbooks and even fewer iPods and iPads than I do in relatively more affluent and tech-oriented places.