updated 12:10 pm EDT, Tue September 8, 2009
Denies some expected features
Apple is unlikely to turn the Apple TV into a DVR set-top, despite analyst suggestions and hints in patents, says research firm Caris & Company. Analysts from the firm are said to have met recently with Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, who immediately tried to dispel rumors. "While some have wondered whether Apple might ultimately try to integrate traditional cable set-top box (decoding) functionality into its Apple TV product," a Caris investor note reads, "Mr. Oppenheimer pretty much killed that concept and said that it just doesn't fit Apple's business."
Speculation in the past few months has held that in the long term, the Apple TV could eventually be adapted to record live TV, and integrate with cable providers. Short-term expectations have typically called for a refresh of basic features, such as new capacities. Some analysts have proposed that an updated Apple TV could be announced at Wednesday's music event in San Francisco.
Oppenheimer is meanwhile said to be implying the company will continue to drop prices on Macs, or offer new systems at cheaper prices. The executive is also pleased with the popularity of the iPhone 3GS, which the company has had trouble keeping in stock, and will soon go on sale in China. With the help of China, says Caris, Apple will likely sell 27 million iPhones by the end of 2009.
Oppenheimer does caution that component supply is currently "tight," and that prices are rising as a result. Another concern is that most cellphones in China are pre-paid, whereas that iPhone is normally post-paid; Oppenheimer dismisses both issues as surmountable. Caris is holding on to a "Buy" rating for Apple stock, with a price target of $200.