updated 04:15 pm EST, Thu November 30, 2006
Apple 'switch' rates
Industry watchers may have underestimated the switch rates of Windows users who will purchase Apple systems after Apple unveils Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard with Boot Camp next spring. Research firm Needham & Co. today raised its price target on Apple shares to $115 from $90 to reflect a more 'realistic' reading of the switch rates as a result of the Mac's ability to run Microsoft Windows. "Subsequent events, most importantly stronger than anticipated growth in Mac shipments in June and September, indicate that our interpretation of the survey results that triggered our upgrade was conservative," said Needham & Co. analyst Charles Wolf. The change comes after the research firm conducted a survey in May to measure the possible impact of the Mac's forthcoming ability to run Windows apps on the switch rate of Windows users.
The poll revealed that among Windows users who did not own an iPod, the mean switch rate increased from 3.6-percent when the Mac could not run Windows to 11.1-percent when it could. "In doing so, we implicitly assumed that no Windows users would switch to a Mac unless it ran Windows," Wolf said. "In view of the increasing number of Windows users who are switching even before the Mac can run Windows, this was an unrealistic assumption."