In its latest report on Apple, Merrill Lynch weighs in on today’s headlines regarding a possible iTunes video store and rumors that Apple might use Intel chips. Also in the report, as noted by MacNN, “Store managers told [Merrill Lynch Analyst Steven Milunovich] that PC users are reluctant to make the switch to Mac and are opting for low cost PCs, such as Gateway’s eMachines. Some store associates said they are at a disadvantage with Macs because Best Buys don’t carry software for Apple, according to the research report. However, the firm says that ‘Mac mini sales appear solid at Apple stores.’ Merrill Lynch reiterated a ‘Buy’ rating with a price target of $51 per share.”

Full article, including the analyst’s information regarding a possible video iPod and iTunes video store here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just imagine: Fred and Harriet traipse on over to the local Best Buy and come this close to having Mac OS X and instead schlep away a pile of Gateway eMachine running Windows. “Gee, Harriet, I don’t see any boxes of software for this Apple thingy. Let’s get another Gateway like the nice Best Buy Boy says. It’s in a bigger box.” It’s enough to make you laugh — or cry — depending on your point of view.

Note: Apple Mac mini units ship preloaded with Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger, widely regarded as the world’s best operating system on the market today including features like Spotlight, Dashboard, Automator, etc., along with Safari, Mail, iMovie, iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD, iCal, iSync, iChat, Address Book, AppleWorks, and more.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple Mac mini now available at 671 Best Buy retail stores – April 06, 2005
It’s official: Apple acknowledges Best Buy to carry Mac mini models – April 05, 2005
Analyst: Best Buy to stock Apple Mac mini, Tiger likely due by end of April – April 04, 2005
RUMOR: Best Buy to sell Mac mini in retail stores – March 29, 2005