updated 03:20 pm EDT, Mon September 22, 2008
Reps push MacBooks
JMP Securities analyst Samuel Wilson is reporting that Apple sale representatives are steering customers from MacBook Pros to MacBooks. Barron's Tech Trader Daily is reporting that Wilson's survey of 30 stores (20 Apple stores and 10 Best Buys) found most of the sales force steering customers to the MacBook, away from the more expensive MacBook Pro, calling the Pro a designer's laptop. Wilson said, "We were repeatedly told that that Pro is designed for the design community, with a high-end video card and large screen, and that we would be better with a MacBook for the cost."
Wilson also reported that Apple has cancelled orders for memory from Asian suppliers, possibly indicating that sales have not reached forecasted demand. He noted slowed growth across the computing business due to the recession like conditions most customers are facing.
Wilson believes that low-cost PC notebooks featuring small form-factor designs may create a strong challenge against Apple products retailing at higher prices. He said, "At this point, valuation is not compelling." He is still maintaining a Market Perform rating on Apple's stock.
Barron's also reported that Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster upped expectations for Apple's September quarter (maintaining a Buy rating and a $250 Apple stock price target), and American Technology Research's Shaw Wu is continuing a Buy rating, despite a "minor speedbump" for Apple, who had to recall its iPhone power adapter Friday. Wu said that the news is causing little or no disruption in iPhone shipments, as most users charge their phones via USB cables.