Longtime Apple watchers say Wall Street’s “disappointment” with Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ Macworld Expo won’t last. Jobs on Tuesday introduced iTunes Movie rentals with all major Hollywood studios, a significant free upgrade to Apple TV software, iPhone and iPod touch updates, Time Capsule, the new MacBook Air, and more.
Peter Burrows reports for BusinessWeek, “Ultimately the new lineup will help Apple take fuller advantage of the demand it’s already created among both Mac fans and the swelling ranks of consumers weighing a jump from PCs to the Mac. ‘Even in a year where there were no tsunamis coming out of Macworld, the company showed that it can still make waves,’ says Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg.”
“More than ever, Apple is offering a complete slate of products that share Apple’s aesthetics and ease of use; there’s even a new Time Machine gizmo that can back up all of your Macs or PCs. ‘One of the digs on Apple at past Macworlds was that they were preaching to the choir,’ says Gartenberg. ‘But they’ve broken out of that mold. They’re creating products that hard-core fans and new customers can love, too,'” Burrows reports.
“Case in point: the svelte MacBook Air… Analysts including Jupiter’s Gartenberg say the new computer will bring people into stores. ‘Even if they don’t buy one, they may leave with a MacBook instead,'” Burrows reports.
“What’s more, the new products will reinforce an already widely held perception that Apple stands for products that are tied together by the iTunes store and its ever-widening selection of entertainment content. ‘They are building an entertainment ecosystem, and that’s going to be a major driver of the stock,” predicts Piper Jaffray’s Munster,'” Burrows reports.
“For that ecosystem to flourish, Apple has needed to extend its influence to the TV, by far the most-used screen in most homes for entertainment. The company went a long way toward that goal with the improved Apple TV and movie rental service unveiled at Macworld… ‘When Steve came to us with this idea, it was a no-brainer,’ says Jim Gianopolus, CEO of News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox. While he admits there are many other ways to get movies, he thinks Apple can cut through the clutter. ‘I think this will be a transformative version of the rental model,'” Burrows reports.
Burrows reports, “Yet, Apple doesn’t have to dominate the digital living room to benefit from Apple TV. The real win is if more customers—existing and potential—decide that Apple can meet the range of their digital entertainment needs. Once people make the shift to Apple’s universe, they’ll be tough to win back.”
Much more in the full article here.