updated 10:55 am EDT, Wed August 9, 2006
Apple Keynote disappoints
Two more analysts agree that Apple's announcements during the company's keynote speech at the WWDC brought no big surprises, resulting in slight disappointment. "We believe the product announcements were in line to slightly less impactful versus market expectations," wrote Richard Farmer, a research analyst with Merrill Lynch in a research note obtained by MacNN. "New high end desktops with Intel processors were widely expected." American Technology Research senior analyst Shaw Wu agreed: "We believe there may be slight investor disappointment that Leopard will not ship until spring 2007 and that Apple did not make more announcements like speedbumps to Core 2 Duo processors on existing Intel Macs." Wu noted, however, that Apple's decision to delay Leopard's release may well be related to Microsoft's attempts to clone Mac OS X for its new Vista operating system. Shaw Wu maintained a "buy" rating and a $75 price target on Apple shares.
"We believe with Windows Vista likely further delayed due to stability issues with its latest Beta 2 version and its 'look and feel' and feature set essentially a 'clone' of Apple's currently shipping Mac OS X Tiger, Apple is choosing to spend more time adding features unique to Leopard," Wu said.
The analyst was not surprised to learn that no Apple announcements were made about its iPod portable media player or iTunes Music Store, but expects a separate event in late September-October.
Mac Pro seen as good value
Wu believes that the new Mac Pro is a fairly good value despite its high $2,499 price tag, offering competition to other high-end PCs and workstations priced between $3,000-6,000.
"We anticipate this product to sell fairly well in its key markets including professional (film and video, music and audio, science and technical computing, design and print, and photography) and high-end consumers, who have patiently waited for a high-end Intel Mac," the analyst said. "We estimate this lucrative segment makes up 15-20 percent of its Mac business."