BofA maintains Apple ‘buy’ rating, share price could rise on x86 processor news

In a research note this morning, Analyst Keith Bachman of Banc of America Securities says Apple Computer’s share price is unlikely to appreciate due to any new iPod shuffle launches.

Bachman believes that Apple Computer’s share price would appreciate if there is a launch of a new iBook/eMac or comments regarding the ability of the x86 processors to significantly reduce the cost of Macs.

Bachman maintains his “buy” rating on Apple Computer with a target price of $44.

MacDailyNews Take: New product launches would be good for Apple? Yes. Apple commenting on the ability of x86 processors to significantly reduce the cost of Macs?

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Apple really talking to Intel about WiMAX, not PowerPC to Intel processor switch – June 02, 2005
Analysts: No ‘Intel Inside’ stickers on Apple Macs anytime soon – May 24, 2005
Did Apple plant ‘Intel Mac’ rumor to send IBM a message? – May 23, 2005
Analyst: Apple-Intel rumor ‘hogwash’ (today marks 11th month that Jobs’ promised 3GHz G5 is late) – May 23, 2005
Enderle: ‘If Intel gets Apple, it could make Intel look brilliant after the fact’ – May 23, 2005
Stocks extend rally on Apple-Intel report; Dow closes up 52 to 10,524; Nasdaq climbs 10 to 2,057 – May 23, 2005
Apple said to be considering switch to Intel chips for Macs according to Wall Street Journal – May 23, 2005
Apple shares rise on Intel Mac rumors – May 23, 2005


  1. I thought this whole Intel thing was over. BofA is slow and not too bright. How in the world changing would changing a processor significantly reduce costs? Apple would have to spend time porting its existing software to the x86 platform, support dual platforms, clear its inventory of existing Macs, blah-blah-blah. Just doesn’t make sense.

  2. What? I did not know Intel would be ready to provide x86 at no cost to Apple and support all transformation costs in addition of an hefty check. That’s the only way a Mac could cost less just because of using an Intel x86 chip.

    For what then? Everybody and their neighbors are ditching the x86 dinosaur.

  3. I think we all know that this isn’t going to happen, but hey, if they want to run up the price on Apple stock, I suspect the shareholders won’t mind. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Switching to x86 will *NOT* lower the cost of Macs.

    Firstly, the difference in cost between a processor from Intel vs. a comparable processor from Motorola or IBM is minimal. We’re probably talking something like $10 each. OK lets be generous and say $30.

    OK lets be super generous and say $50 per processor. Lets assume all other machine costs are identical. Apple can charge $50 less per unit for each machine.

    Wow. $50. That’s gonna make me buy a Mac instead of a PC!

    No. It’s not. That’s at most 10% (Mac mini) of the total cost of the machine. Not gonna make a difference. Not to a significant amount of buyers.

    Now, consider the development related costs. Apple has to port OS X. And all of their applications. iLife, iWork, Final Cut suite. And so on. That costs a lot. Development, troubleshooting, support, distribution. And that’s just for Apple – not including all the developers. Now developers have to do the same work – so their costs go up – so their prices go up.

    So tell me again how switching to x86 is going to make Macs less expensive and magically convert billions of PC users?

    Yeah… that’s what I thought…

    Apple’s gonna stick with PowerPC until one of two things happen
    – PowerPC falls way way way behind and totally sucks
    – Cost of switching to x86 becomes meaningless

    I don’t see either happening in the near future.

    So why haven’t any of these analysts though this through?

    Lets all switch to the metric system, drive cars that run on biodiesel, switch to solar powered energy, and create world peace while we’re at it. Great ideas there, but not gonna happen quickly or easily!

  5. Price drops help, yes. One of my points, I forgot to include in my really long message above.

    If Apple’s cost on Product X dropped by $50 because they switched to Intel, and they kept the price the same (aka making $50 more on each), that savings would be nothing compared to the cost of switching.

    Switching to x86 might maybe make the cost of components to build a box a little lower. It will, however, make Apple’s (and everyone else’s) cost of doing business and creating the product go UP (at least for the first couple years). And I don’t think there’s a big enough advantage to switching to x86 to make this worthwhile. (Personally, I think PowerPC is a better processor, but that’s a whole other argument)

  6. TydalForce….Using x86 could mean serious money in savings for Apple. You assume the costs would be passed on in cheaper prices for consumers but that is not what would happen. The difference would be pocketed by Apple as profit. So, if the difference is 10, 30, or 50 dollars per computer multiply that how many macs Apple sells a year….. Are you doing the math?

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