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Analyst: Snow Leopard a reponse to Windows 7

updated 04:55 pm EDT, Mon August 24, 2009

Piper on Snow Leopard

This week's release of Snow Leopard is more intended to undermine Windows 7 than to advance Mac OS X, argues Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Snow Leopard is shipping less than two months before Windows 7, and Munster notes that the former is only a "minor upgrade," a revision of Mac OS X "without many significant new features." In marketing, Apple has highlighted multi-core enhancements and support for OpenCL processing.

The OS is also expected to provide only a minor bump to Apple's bottom line, as a result of a predicted ASP (average selling price) of just $22, taking into account the heavily-discounted $29 upgrade package and the $10 Up-to-Date program for recent MacBook Pro buyers. Assuming a 60 percent gross margin and 5 million units, Apple may earn just $66 million from September sales. The product may similarly generate a low 5 cents in extra EPS, something already accounted for in Street Q4 consensus.

In reality, Munster suggests, Snow Leopard should be seen as an attempt to keep Mac OS X current, offering a choice other than Windows 7 for owners of XP and Vista. The Mac OS is now being sold in terms offering "newer technology, more frequently, for less money," according to the analyst. Apple has traditionally updated Mac OS X more rapidly than Microsoft has updated Windows; between the releases of XP and Vista, Apple shipped three key upgrades.

by MacNN Staff



  1. sigzero

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't think it has anything to do with Windows 7 at all.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That's a Stretch

    I kinda find that difficult to believe. It's not like Apple just developed it overnight, it's been in the works for a while.

    Boy, is August a slow tech month or what. Saving up for September I guess.

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A windows sighted fool?

    "Assuming a 60 percent gross margin and 5 million units, Apple may earn just $66 million from September sales. "

    Anyone who only sees things in terms of cash... NOW... is missing what Apple is about. Sure they want to make money. But rather than JUST focusing on cash, Apple focuses on how to make "insanely great" products..... and people just rush to buy them.

    Sorry, another analysts that cannot see the forest cause all those trees are in the way.

    Just a thought.

  1. FastAMX79

    Joined: Dec 1969


    so is the one being...

    shipped 10A432?

    From what I've been reading it is still buggy. Makes you wonder if they are pushing this out the door, at the same time developing 10.6.1 to release shortly after...

  1. Arty50

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is the stupidest thing I've ever read. Snow Leopard has been in the works for a while now. In fact, one could argue it's been delayed a little. If I recall correctly, it was even announced before Windows 7.

    If anything Windows 7 was pushed up to try to compete with Snow Leopard.

    Also, claiming this is a minor update is just ignorant. There are some very major changes under the hood. Dropping PPC support is huge. Grand Central is another big under the hood enhancement.

    Gene should stick to making cheese.

  1. skipwiley

    Joined: Dec 1969


    the real genius of this..

    The point behind Snow Leopard is maintenance, Apple is basically selling a cleaned up version of Leopard, this is something we always hope for with software but rarely actually gets done. A complete revamping and cleanup of the codebase and I am sure some much needed prep for the future.

    Remember that if Apple had cheated and scrapped the CPU abstraction in favor of dedicating their efforts towards PowerPC, we wouldn't have iPhone and Intel Macs right now. Apple is constantly prepping themselves for any scenario, tv OS, phone OS, maybe even a strange OEM version for the generic PC market, who knows...but it seems that if Apple continues to keep their codebase clean and follows very strict abstraction practices, we will continue to see Apple dominate the OS and software markets.

  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Appears no more buggy than Leopard 10.5.8 is, so I wouldn't call it rushed.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    clean codebase?

    The virtue of a clean codebase for the os itself is limited given that what really matters is the quality of the applications that run within that environment. It is widely agreed amongst professionals that Final Cut Pro and particularly Compressor need a ground up rewrite which they amazingly haven't received in FCS 3.0. It is also of limited virtue to own an 8-Core machine when so many applications are so appalling poorly threaded and core-bound. iCal is arguably the worst written piece of Apple code as it genuinely feels like a bad port of a Windows application. It is clear from browsing Geekbench's results that Snow Leopard is seriously slick but I'd prefer to see some of the commercial applications given similar treatment. Perhaps the award for "most improved application" should go to Motion?

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What is wrong with iCal? Granted I think my favourite version is still the first or second versions (This silly getting rid of the info window or drawer in favour of that silly pop up thing.) Honestly I've always found iCal to be very helpful.

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No need to compete

    Mac OS X is so far ahead of that s*** called Windoze, I don't even know why people bother to compare and rate the two. Heck, I can probably write something better than those idiots at Microshit, and my speciality is cooking :-)

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