updated 04:40 pm EST, Mon December 12, 2005
First Macs to Intel
One analyst says Apple is making "great progress" on the Intel version of Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger," and predicts the . American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said checks with sources indicate that the upcoming release of Mac OS X 10.4.4 for Intel runs well, with noticeable enhancements to the Rosetta PowerPC emulation environment that improve backward compatibility with AltiVec support. "We believe this will alleviate concerns that older software that hasn't been ported to Intel will run well without a recompile," Wu wrote.
The analyst also updated his predictions on the first Intel Macs, saying that the iBook, PowerBook, Xserve, and Mac mini will likely be the first models to move to Intel because they are "weaker members" of Apple's product line that "would benefit moving to Intel."
Wu said he doesn't foresee the iMac being one of the first Intel Macs because "its current PowerPC G5 configurations already offers industry-leading price-performance."
Wu believes that Apple could be ready to debut the first Intel Mac during the first quarter of 2006, with others following in subsequent quarters, according to a report from AppleInsider.
"While many believe that cost was primary reason for Apple moving to Intel, we believe power management and the oppertunity to enter new markets are bigger reasons--including the potential for a lightweight sub-notebook or palmtop similar to those offered by Sony, Lenovo, Dell and Sharp," Wu wrote. "We believe there is pent-up demand for an Apple subnotebook and that it would sell very well if priced competitively at $1499 or lower."
American Technology Research recently raised its December quarter forecast on Apple to include almost five billion in revenue, 54 cents earnings-per-share, and shipments of 9.7 million iPods. The firm maintains a "buy" rating on Apple shares with a target price of $77.