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\"Apple\'s 2005 Challenge\"
In an article on eWeek, Andreas Pfeiffer says the success of the iPod is not enough to "pull Apple out" of its "niche innovator" role. Apple's 2005 challenge, Pfeiffer says, is to "to take its knack for making products desirable in a new direction" and "surpass the iPod." While some factors are pushing Windows users to the Mac platform, "it is also quite clear that the Macintosh platform on its own will not be able to grow significantly if it continues its course at the current rhythm of market penetration." Instead, Pfeiffer suggests Apple should focus on the "The Great Living-Room Conundrum": the convergence of digital media with lifestyle and entertainment. "Apple may have a better chance than others at cracking the way in which entertainment, the Internet and computing come together."
AAPL at $100
Piper Jaffray has reiterated an "outperform" rating and $100 target price on Apple, saying that the possible introduction of a $500 iMac would accelerate the "halo effect" of the iPod. The report notes that several Mac rumor sites, including AppleInsider, are reporting that Apple will introduce an iMac (without display) priced in the $500 range, but notes that "Apple has made no comments related to the speculation." However, the analyst says it believes that such a PC would appeal to many potential 'switchers' that would likely not make the move at Apple's current entry-level price point of $1,299: "Piper Jaffray said the move would accelerate the iPod halo effect (i.e., the notion that strong sales of iPods will spill over to sales of Macs), which is currently estimated at 13%. The research firm currently estimates 2005 and 2006 earnings per share for Apple of $1.52 and $2.17, respectively."
Developer exits Mac market
Bleu Rose Ltd. has said it will no longer develop products for the Macintosh. Citing a "shrinking Mac base" and an increased rate of piracy as its most significant factors, the company said on its website that Black & Bleu v10 will be the last version of its Mac OS error code analyzer for developers. The company also said that Apple's product quality and lack of developer support as other reasons behind its business decision: "...Apple's seeming lack of concern about compatibility across its product versions and the alarming problem with its software quality (over 100,000 new bugs reported during the months of October & November, 2004 alone) has combined to render Mac OS software development unprofitable for us." The company says it will continue to sell its Mac products for the next several months, but will focus its development and business on other markets.
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