updated 11:25 am EST, Wed January 16, 2008
Analyst: Rentals stand out
The keynote delivered by Apple CEO Steve Jobs yesterday was generally underwhelming, says American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu. Many of the announcements were anticipated and not especially dramatic, Wu notes, and among these he includes the MacBook Air, what was intended to be the highlight of the presentation. Despite its unusual design, Wu argues that its features overlap too far with current MacBooks, and may thus not push incremental sales in the same way as ASUS' Eee subnotebook.
The most important debut at the Macworld Expo is believed to be iTunes movie rentals, described as "a landmark event" and a "potential game-changer." Wu suggests that this will increasingly draw people to Apple platforms, and contribute to a "digital video cycle," similar to the increase in digital music sales as a result of the original iTunes Music Store. Apple could become a central destination for movies, and thus lead people to switch to online purchases over physical media.
Regarding Apple's financial situation, Wu proposes that despite a failing US economy near recession, Apple is in a better position to hold out due to "strong fundamentals." As a result, the stock target for the company is still being pegged at $210 within six to 12 months.