Analysts: Apple’s new Tiger operating system could really impact Mac sales

“Apple’s long-awaited update of its operating system, dubbed Tiger, is coming out April 29. The company had previously said that it expected to release Tiger during the first half of 2005, but there had been speculation among Mac devotees that Apple would start selling Tiger this month,” Paul R. La Monica reports for CNN/Money. “Why is Tiger so important? For one, even though software sales only accounted for about 6 percent of revenues in the most recent quarter, this segment is more profitable than Apple’s hardware businesses, said Shannon Cross, an analyst with Cross Research-Soleil, an independent research firm. ‘Apple’s software side is underreported on Wall Street, but it’s a big positive in terms of margin contribution,’ Cross said.”

La Monica reports, “More important, however, could be the impact that Tiger will have on sales of Mac computers. Shaw Wu, an analyst with American Technology Research, said that Tiger will spur a wave of upgrades. Wu said that the operating system’s new features, such as a desktop search function called Spotlight and the latest version of the QuickTime media playing software, could attract the interest of both the Mac faithful as well as PC-owning iPod users, a much-discussed phenomenon dubbed the iPod ‘halo effect.'”

“‘Tiger could drive a new hardware cycle and that’s pretty significant,’ Wu said, pointing out that despite the dramatic growth of the iPod, sales of Macs still make up nearly half of Apple’s total revenues. And Macs are more profitable than iPods, the analyst said. So even though consensus earnings estimates for fiscal 2005, ending in September, have surged 45 percent in the past three months, projections could still be too low because analysts aren’t yet factoring in Tiger,” La Monica reports. “‘One of the things that has gotten our interest is the fact that Apple only has a couple percentage points of PC market share. Apple doesn’t need to do a lot to have meaningful gains,’ said Zach Shafran, manager of the Waddell & Reed Advisor Science and Technology fund. ‘The new operating system clearly ought to help them.'”

Full article here.

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Apple to ship Mac OS X ‘Tiger’ on Friday, April 29; pre-orders start today – April 12, 2005
Apple Announces Mac OS X Server ‘Tiger’ to ship Friday, April 29 with 64-bit application support – April 12, 2005

22 Comments

  1. “The company had previously said that it expected to release Tiger during the first half of 2005 but, there had been speculation among Mac devotees that Apple would start selling Tiger this month,”

    Ummm…doesn’t April count as the first half of 2005? So…they delivered it when they said they would. Strange vibe to this article.

  2. I think by “long-awaited” he is just saying that there has been increasing anticipation for this item, that people actually want and are looking forward to Tiger. Longhorn, by contrast, has not really caused much excitement and so no one’s really waiting for that.

  3. The only way Tiger could impact Mac sales is if suddenly the world were populated by discriminating rational people. Yeah, that’s gonna happen. Apple could ship an anti-gravity device with Tiger and their market share would not significantly change. MOST people have their heads stuck up their asses on almost every issue, and one issue that bores the crap out of most people is computers. They will never get it. Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Cougar, Leopard, whatever. It doesn’t matter. Those of us who appreciate, will continue to purchase Apple products and Apple will thrive. The rest of the world, well, 80% of Windows users exercised no choice in the matter, and that will continue.

  4. Comment:

    From: The unreal Steve Ballmer

    Apr 12, 05 – 10:27 am

    “Long-awaited” ????

    What does that make Longhorn?

    Steve, I’m right there with ya man, that’s why i love you.

  5. I think he means long awaited because when Panther was released in October 2003 (has it really been that long?), Apple still wasn’t on the radar screen to most analysts. Now it is and Tiger is the first upgrade since Apple has garnered recent publicity.

    I just ordered my copy. Tiger will be HUGE!

  6. The problem with Apple is they never do an advertising blitz to show off the new operating system to all the PC users out there. Most people won’t even know that Tiger has come out, or how much better it is than Windows. They should be telling everyone that you can have an OS that is better than Longhorn is ever going to be, right now.

  7. I believe Tiger will create some interest and a surge in sales due partially to the fact that some are waiting to purchase their Mac with Tiger preinstalled. Personally I know of several people in that category.

    Yet I have to agree with “theloniousMac” that Windows users are largely clueless about computers. Most of them think a computer is all about not getting viruses and chatting on MSN. Very few of them can apprectiate the power of a mac and what one can do with it.

  8. Apple has previously announced that the next OS X version will be a much longer wait than Tiger was. We’re looking at 2 years+. That’s better than Longhorn, but longer than we’re used to.

    It’s becoming harder to argue that MS is a major innovator.

    Apple has a problem though. People have been waiting for two things before upgrading this year: 1) Tiger, so that’s out of the way now, and 2) Hardware upgrades. Cupertino we have a problem.

    Apple needs to get updated iMacs and PowerMacs out and soon. PowerBooks were just updated, so don’t expect that. New iMacs with BTO video processor options would be a big improvement even if the processor speed doesn’t boost very much.

    I would also like to see Apple either lower the price of Airport cards or introduce a new wireless protocol and lead the industry again. Wireless video streaming from a Tiger desktop to a portable panel using Inkwell would be a killer app.

    Imagine a portable LCD with a fold-away keyboard and trackpad. You could pop out a little kickstand and the keyboard and attached track pad would fold to the front. The display would stand alone and you’d have a hidden computer somewhere in your house or office. The thin and light backlit keyboard/trackpad detaches and uses bluetooth.

    Or, another design would be a 12″ Powerbook-like form, but with no hard drive, or optical drive. The display processor would be light since the heavy-lifting would be on the main computer. It could also be made fairly rugged if no vents or ports are required. Just make it out of something other than powered aluminum!

    MW: indeed

  9. As for poor-old Longhorn: vaporware.

    Every significant piece of software developed is going into future XP updates. Even Aero or whatever they call their Aqua is going in XP. WinFS is going in XP too. These things may even be ready BEFORE Longhorn. Longhorn will be fully backward compatible with XP natively. What’s the point in rewriting XP?

    Longhorn is MS’s Copeland. If MS doesn’t cancel Longhorn, it’ll be because they don’t want the bad press and crushing disappointment, even if some other cattle is built better.

    MS should cancel the Longhorm program. Use the technology, but throw out the OS. They could use Darwin (for x86) as the core OS and run XP in a VM like Virtual PC and everyone would be happy. They could finish the WINE project even. Everyone would have come back to *nix and there would be World Peace.

    Then real innovtion could take place without the incompatibilities that MS imposes on the computer industry.

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