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Welcome to the Applesphere

“Some have posited a converged platform as Apple’s next big thing,” writes UBS’ Steven Milunovich in a note to clients Wednesday. “We see more of an ecosystem creep, connected but distributed tentacles that are increasingly present in consumers’ lives.”

Tim Cook has referred to Apple as a mega-ecosystem. Milunovich calls it the Applesphere.

“The interaction among products and services is becoming more real,” he writes. “Appleites soon will be able work on the Mac in the office; surf the Net on the iPad in the living room; play games or watch TV on Apple TV in the den; use CarPlay for automotive services; interact with iBeacon in stores; transact with a payment capability; rely on iWatch for health and athletic monitoring on a run; and use the iPhone everywhere as the digital hub. The introduction of Continuity at WWDC, allowing handoffs between products, makes the experience more seamless.

“Apple judges itself by product experience and customer satisfaction/loyalty. Those are important metrics for any business but especially so if trying to lay the foundation for future related products and services. Since technology provides choice—the days of lock-in largely are past—loyalty will be critical to maintaining a premium brand and margins. The upside to the story from here may be less as a tech company and more as a luxury consumer franchise or lifestyle brand.”

UBS last month raised its 12-month price target for Apple to $115 from $100. On Tuesday the stock hit an intraday high of $99.44.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.