“Steve Jobs’s announcement on Tuesday that Apple Computer would begin shipping its first computers containing Intel chips six months earlier than expected won predictable applause from adoring Apple fans,” Kevin Allison writes for The Financial Times. “Among some industry watchers, however, there is a sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop… To justify its rich valuation, analysts say Apple will need to come up with several blockbuster products this year. And although the move to Intel chips will give a badly needed boost to Apple’s core computer line, it is, at heart, a catching-up exercise, not the coup needed to sustain the company’s strong sales growth.”
“Intel processors may put Apple on an equal technical footing with its PC rivals but the company faces other challenges as it seeks sell its computers to a broader audience,” Allison writes. “For one thing, Apple computers tend to be more expensive. Low-end models of its new dual-core MacBook laptop will retail for $1,999. ‘The price points are higher than Windows [PC-based] people are used to,’ says Mr O’Donnell. ‘Not that many people buy $2,000 notebooks.’”
“Although Mr Jobs disappointed those at Macworld hoping for a new consumer device, he did treat the audience to a tantalising glimpse of what the software that sits on such a machine might look like. Midway through his keynote speech, Mr Jobs sat down at a computer and demonstrated Apple’s updated version of iLife, a software suite that allows users to create, sort and display movies, photos and music… ‘The way it fits together so nicely,’ Mr O’Donnell said, ‘they’re putting the fundamentals in place so when it is time, you could transfer everything very cleanly and quickly [to a home media device].’ No doubt investors will be keeping a close eye on Mr Jobs as they await news of Apple’s next big thing.”
Full article here.
Would it kill the IDC analyst to click on over to Apple.com and note that the Apple iBook portable starts at US$999? Obviously, he’s avoiding doing so for some reason. Of course, it’s partly Apple’s fault for not having an Intel-based $999 MacBook ready yesterday. Depending on analysts and writers to read beyond a press release (if they even bother go that far) is asking too much in some cases. Also, isn’t it time that The Financial Times updates the Apple logo they use to illustrate their Apple articles? Apple retired that rainbow logo six years ago; it’s almost as old as much of your publication’s thinking. Almost.
“Rich valuation?” Ha! That’s a good one! Not even 10% market penetration for the Apple iPod in the U.S., yet boys. Apple has hundreds of millions of iPods left to sell over the next decade or so. No Apple “blockbusters” are even necessary, although we’re sure they’ll come anyway. In fact, Apple already has a blockbuster called “the Mac platform” that, for some inexplicable reason, they insist on keeping top secret from the general public. This analyst certainly knows nothing about it (it’s the Mac OS and the Mac-only software, stupid). Even with their woeful Mac promotion, no company currently trading may be as undervalued as Apple is today.
• MacBook Pro. The first Mac notebook built upon Intel Core Duo with iLife ’06, Front Row and built-in iSight. Starting at $1999. Free shipping.
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• iMac and MacBook Pro owners: Apple USB Modem. Easily connect to the Internet using dial-up service. $49.00.
• iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
• iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
• Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.
American Technology Research boosts Apple target price to $101 – January 11, 2006
First Albany increases Apple Computer price target to $92 – January 11, 2006
Soleil analysts hike Apple price target to $95 – January 11, 2006
Banc of America raises Apple price target to $87 – January 11, 2006
CSFB ups Apple target price to $90 – January 11, 2006
UBS hikes Apple Computer share price target to $100 – January 11, 2006
Cramer’s Mad Money: Apple going to $100, two thumbs up, way up! – January 10, 2006