updated 09:30 am EDT, Wed September 10, 2008
Needham on Sept. 9th event
Despite its nominal focus on new iPods and iTunes 8, the two most important factors for investors in yesterday's Apple event were unrelated, writes Needham & Co. The research firm says that perhaps the most crucial moment was the appearance of a healthy Steve Jobs, defeating rumors that the Apple CEO might not speak, due to serious medical problems. Jobs' media prominence and involvement in the minute details of Apple has led analysts to think the company could suffer badly in his absence, whether as a result of death or having to resign.
The forthcoming iPhone 2.1 firmware is believed to be nearly as important, mainly as a result of public perception. A variety of owners have complained about issues such as crashes, dropped calls and low battery life, to the extent that this could be damaging sales. The patch should help forestall any serious impact, though Needham notes that it is not clear whether issues will be completely resolved.
Needham has set a price target of $240 for Apple stock.