updated 10:50 am EDT, Fri June 1, 2007
Analyst WWDC preview
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is scheduled to deliver his WWDC 2007 keynote speech in San Francisco on Monday, June 11th and will likely focus on Mac OS X Leopard's secret features alongside new Macs, according to American Technology Research senior analyst Shaw Wu. "We anticipate focus on Mac OS X Leopard, its next-generation operating system, and introduction of new Macs," Wu wrote in a research note obtained by MacNN. "We also believe the most anticipated announcement will revolve around its undocumented secret features in Mac OS X Leopard." American Technology Research maintains its "Buy" rating on Apple shares with a $145 price target.
The analyst believes that like himself, many in the user community are hoping Apple will unveil "virtual machine" technology that allows users to run multiple operating systems simultaneously to provide seamless operation of Mac and Windows without rebooting.
"We believe this would serve as a major catalyst for Mac sales," remarked Wu, referring to the possibility of virtual machine technology built into Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. "We continue to believe the key reason why Leopard was delayed until October is to give developers time to test secret features."
The analyst is eagerly awaiting the unveiling of Leopard's secret features, and sees several catalysts in the quarters ahead for the Cupertino-based company which include Mac OS X Leopard, new Macs, new iPods, new movie and carrier partners, and lower cost cellular phones.
Specifically, Wu expects Jobs to debut new MacBook Pros with LED-backlit displays as well as Intel's new Santa Rosa platform during his keynote speech in California to kick off the World Wide Developer's Conference. The new MacBook Pros will offer higher performance, enhanced graphics as well as video capability, superior displays, and better battery life than the more mainstream MacBook, according to Wu.
The analyst also believes a new subnotebook or "MacBook mini" is possible but less likely to surface at the event. The "fair likelihood" of a MacBook mini that utilizes NAND flash as primary storage could ship as soon as late 2007.
"We are told that timing will be dependent on NAND vendors' willingness to accelerate price declines, making NAND economically attractive for Apple to use in lieu of hard disk storage," Wu said.
In conclusion, American Technology Research looks to Parallels Desktop as a fallback if Apple elects to sidestep "virtual machine" technology. As the ability to run Windows is a major selling point for Mac OS X, the $80 purchase would enable Mac owners to run Windows alongside Mac OS X without rebooting despite a potential decision to avoid virtual machine integration.