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And there's always the chance -- albeit highly unlikely -- that Jobs will try to expand Apple's footprint by licensing the Macintosh operating system and additional technologies to other hardware makers. Jobs has always chosen to stick with a more closed approach to ensure that Apple's products work glitch-free. But the move to Intel chips makes the licensing option far easier than it would have been in the past.

The question is: Where is Apple going to find that $5 billion in extra sales, and will it need to plumb uncharted waters to find them? David Yoffie of the Harvard Business School thinks Apple will be able to keep hitting ambitious growth targets without straying too far from its current strategy. The stock trades at about 50 times per-share earnings, he notes.

"It means they have to grow revenues at very high rates for many years for their stock price to just be sustained, much less grow," Yoffie says. Still, he bases optimism on expectations that Apple will sell 35 million to 40 million MP3 players this year and on market projections that the MP3 market should grow to 150 million to 200 million units over the next five years.

"If they can maintain anything close to their current market share, they can maintain extraordinary growth for the next two to three years without having to broaden into new markets," says Yoffie.
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