updated 12:30 pm EDT, Wed March 11, 2009
Kaufman on AAPL trends
A number of new developments are in progress behind the scenes at Apple, claims Kaufman analyst Shaw Wu. Sources currently say, for instance, that Mac OS X Snow Leopard will only be released this summer at the earliest, and possibly as late as the fall. This stands in contrast to predictions from Apple's own director of Unix engineering, who in November said that the OS would ship before the end of March. It is thought however that Snow Leopard may be laying the groundwork for future iMacs, equipped with quad-core Intel processors.
Supply chain checks, meanwhile, suggest that the company's plans may include two high-profile products, such as a smaller version of the MacBook Air. Wu describes the system as a "MacBook mini," effectively Apple's first attempt at a netbook. The company is separately said to be interested in producing larger versions of the iPod touch; it is uncertain when any of the devices might be released, but Apple is not thought to be in a hurry given a spate of recent product releases.
Mac production is in fact reported to be on the upswing, due to unexpectedly positive response to the introduction of new iMacs, Mac Pros and Mac minis. Wu notes that while Kaufman has been predicting 2.2 million in Mac shipments during the March quarter, that number may prove to be too conservative. The Mini in particular is said to be surprisingly popular, a possible "dark horse hit" for Apple.