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Apple estimates raised at ThinkEquity ahead of Leopard launch

post #1 of 110
Thread Starter 
ThinkEquity Partners LCC on Monday joined a chorus of Wall Street firms predicting that Apple Inc. will be ready to deliver its next-generation Leopard operating system to market "in the next few weeks."

"With the Leopard launch (Mac OS X v 10.5) just around the corner, we have revisited our Apple revenue and earnings power estimates in light of the ever-larger Mac OS X user base," analyst Jonathan Hoopes wrote in a note to clients.

Hoopes, who believes the software will "hit the market sometime in the next few weeks," raised his fiscal 2007 estimates on the Cupertino-based company as a result. He's now forecasting the Mac maker to earn $3.24 per share on sales of 24.4 billion (up from $3.06 and $23.6 billion), representing 43 percent earnings growth and 26.3 percent sales growth year-over-year.

"We like how Vista has established a 'hardware upgrade mindset' among PC users, and we expect Apple CPU unit shipments to benefit from Vista tailwinds, the release of Leopard, and a CS3 pro catalyst," the analyst told clients. "Meanwhile, Apple's strong retail store presence; all the buzz around the iPhone, the hugely successful iPod/iTunes combo; and Apple's popular Mac ad campaign are likely to combine into a 'maybe I should buy a Mac' decision."

Like other analysts who've weighed in on the subject in recent weeks, Hoopes said it's his belief that Adobe's Creative Suite 3.0 software suites will hit the market around the same time as Leopard. He estimates Apple's creative professional user base to be approximately 4 to 5 million strong, many of which may be awaiting the software roll-out before upgrading their Mac hardware systems.

"We believe many creative professionals prefer waiting to waitlisting when it comes to upgrading their business-critical systems," the analyst wrote. "Moreover, the release of CS3 should help unlock pent-up demand among this user group."

Shares of Apple were trading up $0.05 to $88.02 in early morning trading on the Nasdaq stock market.
post #2 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

ThinkEquity Partners LCC on Monday joined a chorus of Wall Street firms predicting that Apple Inc. will be ready to deliver its next-generation Leopard operating system to market "in the next few weeks."



Obviously they've not visited this forum.
post #3 of 110
just personally, i hope for a somewhat early release. my computer fund is finally grown enough to warrent a purchase and i would be happy to spend it in june or so. but, i would not want a leapard that is just out in june or may. if we could get it out early and to many people, the bugs that are inevitable will be more quickly ironed-out. these sort of words have me encouraged, but... i am sure that my high spirits are unwarranted in the highest...
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post #4 of 110
My own feelings about Apple's 2007's sales is that they will be higher than that. I can't see less than $26 billion. If Apple comes out with new machines in the not too distant future, with iPods selling at almost 50% higher levels than last year, with the ATv about to appear, decent sales of the iPhone, and good sales of hopefully upgraded software, we might see sales at even higher levels.

I've seen estimates of up to, and even exceeding, $30 billion, though that would be extreme.
post #5 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

just personally, i hope for a somewhat early release. my computer fund is finally grown enough to warrent a purchase and i would be happy to spend it in june or so. but, i would not want a leapard that is just out in june or may. if we could get it out early and to many people, the bugs that are inevitable will be more quickly ironed-out. these sort of words have me encouraged, but... i am sure that my high spirits are unwarranted in the highest...

I'm not looking forward to an early release.

This release is too important to Apple. With the lack of progress so far that we are seeing, an early release will have to be buggy.

If this release is buggy, a lot of negative publicity will follow, because of its juxtaposition to Vista, that it hasn't gotten before.

Apple must attempt to release 10.5 in as pristine a fashion as possible. I would much rather wait until the Dev Conf.

I don't understand the eagerness. What's a couple of months going to do to someone's life? Whoever buys this will have it for two more years.
post #6 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple Insider

"We like how Vista has established a 'hardware upgrade mindset' among PC users, and we expect Apple CPU unit shipments to benefit from Vista tailwinds, the release of Leopard, and a CS3 pro catalyst," the analyst told clients. "Meanwhile, Apple's strong retail store presence; all the buzz around the iPhone, the hugely successful iPod/iTunes combo; and Apple's popular Mac ad campaign are likely to combine into a 'maybe I should buy a Mac' decision."

Wow! An analyst who actually sees the big picture.
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post #7 of 110
Quote:
We like how Vista has established a 'hardware upgrade mindset' among PC users

more like

Quote:
We like how Vista has established a 'hardware upgrade requirement' among PC users
post #8 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

With the lack of progress so far that we are seeing, an early release will have to be buggy.

We, the general public and such rumor sites, I believe don't have the full picture of what Apple is up to. My thought is Apple will deliver when it is ready, not when analysts think or want it to be ready. I'm still sticking with WWDC as being the date, though I wouldn't put it past Apple to have an event prior to WWDC (mid/late-April) debuting Leopard.
post #9 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

more like

But only for some. Though, even with the Mac, many people wait to upgrade their machines. When a new OS version comes out, then they do it.
post #10 of 110
There is another possibility... What if the builds released to outside developers are buggy because Apple is removing these secret features and handing out only the core functionality to outside developers to ensure their code doesn't break? It's unstable not because it is not yet ready. It's unstable because Apple is hacking it for public developers' consumption, and the final build wasn't reallly meant to be distibuted that way
post #11 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

We, the general public and such rumor sites, I believe don't have the full picture of what Apple is up to. My thought is Apple will deliver when it is ready, not when analysts think or want it to be ready. I'm still sticking with WWDC as being the date, though I wouldn't put it past Apple to have an event prior to WWDC (mid/late-April) debuting Leopard.

Sometimes I wonder if Apple has the big picture!

I also think that the release will be during, or at most, just a bit before, the conference.

Unless Apple is suddenly making amazing progress, I think that an April date is out, unless it's at the very end of the month, and that's optimistic, if that's the word.

It takes over a week, and as much as two to get from a golden master to a shipping product, plus time to get it to the retailers. That can be three weeks.

If Apple releases it at the end of April, it will have to be finished by the first week of the month. That gives Apple no more than three and a half weeks. I don't see how they can do it without dropping features, as MS has done, and as they did with 10.4. Unless those features are completely modular, and as long as other features that must be released don't depend upon them, it can be done. But, otherwise, no.

With all the bugs we are seeing, and without all of the features operational, I just don't see how Apple can get it out the door so fast.

Some here have "suggested" that Apple has external and internal tracks for the OS, with the internal one having all of the features working, and most of the bugs quashed, but that's hardly credible.

Developers are under NDA, and even if a bit of info slips out, they have to see what to expect in advance of its release. At least the larger ones do. I wouldn't be surprised if the MS MBU has the same releases that Apple has.
post #12 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by havok View Post

There is another possibility... What if the builds released to outside developers are buggy because Apple is removing these secret features and handing out only the core functionality to outside developers to ensure their code doesn't break? It's unstable not because it is not yet ready. It's unstable because Apple is hacking it for public developers' consumption, and the final build wasn't reallly meant to be distibuted that way

Oh, please!
post #13 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Meanwhile, Apple's strong retail store presence; all the buzz around the iPhone, the hugely successful iPod/iTunes combo; and Apple's popular Mac ad campaign are likely to combine into a 'maybe I should buy a Mac' decision."

Several of my friends have made the switch in the past few months - another one this past weekend, actually. 8)

Also saw Vista for the first time last week. Looks and feels a lot more like XP than I expected. I'm amazed at how MS thinks they can wow the general public with the slightest improvements that are years behind OS X.
post #14 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Oh, please!

Out of curiosity, why would this not be possible? Apple seems overly paranoid about this release and its features.
post #15 of 110
I don't buy the 'external', 'internal' builds arguement either. Vista is out and isn't going to change for some time if ever. Why would Apple need to have two builds?
post #16 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

My own feelings about Apple's 2007's sales is that they will be higher than that. I can't see less than $26 billion. If Apple comes out with new machines in the not too distant future, with iPods selling at almost 50% higher levels than last year, with the ATv about to appear, decent sales of the iPhone, and good sales of hopefully upgraded software, we might see sales at even higher levels.

I've been pondering a switch (back) to Mac for about two years. Apple already lost me on the desktop but I'd still love a MacBook. I'll also get the iPhone not because I need a new cell phone or iPod, but because it's the sexiest gadget ever. So count me as one PC user willing to spend ~ US$2000 on Apple hardware this year.
post #17 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I don't buy the 'external', 'internal' builds arguement either. Vista is out and isn't going to change for some time if ever. Why would Apple need to have two builds?

Let me retort with this then... What could be holding back development for so long? OS X is robust and mature and has been for years. What could they be doing to the OS that would cause it to be so unstable? Are the time machine plus the graphic engine changes so complex that they have destabilzed the OS for much longer than expected? Did Apple change course midway through development like MS did? Something fishy is going on here
post #18 of 110
Leopard out in the next few weeks? Wow. Where is 10.4.9 then? Due out in a few hours?

There is one person on this board that knows the approx. date for the Leopard release and he is the same cat that foretold the Intel swap many months before the release of Intel Macs on this very board.

As far as I know, that guy has been quite so Leopard coming out by the end of April would be a welcomed surprise for me because I like new. But I doubt it will happen.

So, does .9 come out with Leopard?
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post #19 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by havok View Post

There is another possibility... What if the builds released to outside developers are buggy because Apple is removing these secret features and handing out only the core functionality to outside developers to ensure their code doesn't break? It's unstable not because it is not yet ready. It's unstable because Apple is hacking it for public developers' consumption, and the final build wasn't reallly meant to be distibuted that way

I think they probably have this much figured out. If they decided to keep something out of the build, they would make sure that doing so was not breaking anything else. The bugs that are being reported are within the released feature set and not of the type "Error component not found".

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post #20 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by havok View Post

Out of curiosity, why would this not be possible? Apple seems overly paranoid about this release and its features.


It is in Apple's best interest to delay Leopard than it is to release crap software. There is no valid reason for them to do and every reason for them not to do it.
  • Vista is already released so there is no threat of MS stealing super secret Leopard features.
  • Leopard is already the longest delay between OS X releases so delaying it even longer by creating complex internal external builds that are both poorly debugged.
  • As previously mentioned, the recent release of Vista puts Apple under a much higher level of OS comparison.
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post #21 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by havok View Post

. What could be holding back development for so long?

Features we don't know about. Bugs. Software features that are dependent on new hardware features that may not be ready or need additional testing (see hmurchison thread). There are plenty of things that can be holding up the release. Remeber how long Vista took to get to market with the vast resources at MS's disposal?
post #22 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Leopard out in the next few weeks? Wow. Where is 10.4.9 then? Due out in a few hours?

So, does .9 come out with Leopard?

The unprecedented 6 month time frame currently between 10.4.8 and 10.4.9 screams to me that Apple has no plans to release Leopard anytime soon. I expect Leopard to be release no sooner than 5 to 8 weeks after the 10.4.9 update in released.
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post #23 of 110
i don't know much about shaires and the like but if these guys are saying sooner rather than later then wouln't they look really silly if they were wrong and stock buyers lose all faith in them ?????

so surly they get a little insider knowledge .

whan ever it comes i think it will be amazing.
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post #24 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by havok View Post

Let me retort with this then... What could be holding back development for so long? OS X is robust and mature and has been for years. What could they be doing to the OS that would cause it to be so unstable? Are the time machine plus the graphic engine changes so complex that they have destabilzed the OS for much longer than expected? Did Apple change course midway through development like MS did? Something fishy is going on here

Core Animation and resolution independence seem like pretty big steps to take.
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post #25 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by havok View Post

Out of curiosity, why would this not be possible? Apple seems overly paranoid about this release and its features.

Do you know how many people here have already suggested this? Do you know how many times it's been refuted?

Apple has to work with its developers. Apple depends on them to get working versions of their software out as quickly, and as cleanly, as they can.

While a developer can't finish their package, if it's a complex piece of software, until the OS is released, because of the possibility of last minute changes, it takes them months to work out their new releases.

If Apple hides major features, and gives them packages with now non-extent bugs, just how do you expect them to work on their software, and to give Apple the proper feedback?

They can't.

You have obviously never beta tested a product.

These "secret sauce" comments are from those who want to see this software out *right now*, and are trying to find excuses as to how it can happen, in the face of evidence that it isn't nearly ready.

As I already said, if major features can be, and are dropped, it might happenit happened with 10.4.

But, you don't want to see that again, do you?
post #26 of 110
I'm still sticking to my guns that Apple is going fake everyone out and release Leopard in the next few weeks.
post #27 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I'm still sticking to my guns that Apple is going fake everyone out and release Leopard in the next few weeks.

Guns are forbidden where I live, but I also expect a release before may
post #28 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by havok View Post

Let me retort with this then... What could be holding back development for so long? OS X is robust and mature and has been for years. What could they be doing to the OS that would cause it to be so unstable? Are the time machine plus the graphic engine changes so complex that they have destabilzed the OS for much longer than expected? Did Apple change course midway through development like MS did? Something fishy is going on here

The only thing fishy here is this idea you, and some others, have.

Apple promised that we would have the new version of Quartz for 10.4. We didn't.

Then we speculated that as Apple promised it for the release, it would come in a later update. Unless it comes at the last minute, in 10.4.9, Apple will have missed it by two years.

Why is it so hard to believe that major changes, and additions, to an OS are difficult to massage?

Often adding, or changing one area, will result in bugs, or unexpected results in other, seemingly unrelated, areas.

I had that same problem in electronics I designed. Change one component, and something else would have to be changed. Sometimes the changes would cascade throughout the entire design. When you got to the end, you would then find that your original change had to be changed again, and so on, until you had reworked the entire project.

Software can exhibit the same behavior.
post #29 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I don't buy the 'external', 'internal' builds arguement either. Vista is out and isn't going to change for some time if ever. Why would Apple need to have two builds?

It's not about keeping it a secret from Microsoft.
It's about keeping it a secret from you and me.
Steve Jobs is a master showman and marketer.
He knows that secrecy creates buzz, speculation, rumors and interest.
post #30 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Some here have "suggested" that Apple has external and internal tracks for the OS, with the internal one having all of the features working, and most of the bugs quashed, but that's hardly credible.

Well I could see having a separate internal build with "secret features" and an external with them stripped out. That is feasible to a degree and also the "slight" possibility with the removal adding to bugs. Releasing a stripped version to developers that has bugs not in an internal version doesn't make sense at all. Why have developers report on bugs that are already fixed/not present in internal builds? So in the end, I see 2 builds, one internal with Steve's super secrets, one external with those stripped out, and at the same point in the build both have the same bugs as reported by developers.
post #31 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

It's not about keeping it a secret from Microsoft.
It's about keeping it a secret from you and me.
Steve Jobs is a master showman and marketer.
He knows that secrecy creates buzz, speculation, rumors and interest.

There is no purpose served by Apple keeping it secret it this time. If the NDA doesn't work, well, it's almost showtime anyway.

After all, rez independence got out, and the world didn't end. Do you think the general public even knows about it?
post #32 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

Well I could see having a separate internal build with "secret features" and an external with them stripped out. That is feasible to a degree and also the "slight" possibility with the removal adding to bugs. Releasing a stripped version to developers that has bugs not in an internal version doesn't make sense at all. Why have developers report on bugs that are already fixed/not present in internal builds? So in the end, I see 2 builds, one internal with Steve's super secrets, one external with those stripped out, and at the same point in the build both have the same bugs as reported by developers.

What purpose would be served by Apple having two teams working on the release? One with the *secret features*, and one for developers without it? Do you think Apple needs the expense, and inevitable confusion within their own organization from that?

And what purpose would be served by keeping developers in the dark so that they can't take advantage of these new features that Apple thinks are so important that they are willing to hide them?

So, now developers will have to wait until the OS is released to even see these features? What about new programs that are coming out in time for the release? What about major developers such as MS and Adobe who have major programs scheduled for release about the same time as the OS?

They can't take advantage of these new features that Apple will be saying they have to modify their programs to use.

What is the point of that? So, we will have to wait 6 months to a year to see these new "killer" features working in major programs? We will have rez independence with no programs able to take advantage of it?

Other features as well?

How embarrassing! And how angry these developers will be. And rightly so!
post #33 of 110
Ok, enough of all this speculation, let me drop my turd into the pile:

OS X Leopard will have the features you see in the builds. Exactly that and not much more other than some Finder updates.

THE BIG NEWS will be that iLife will have several new apps which 'overlay' Leopard and require Leopard to run. This is where the 'cool' new functionality will exist.

Chew on that turd for awhile and get back to me.
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post #34 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm not looking forward to an early release.

This release is too important to Apple. With the lack of progress so far that we are seeing, an early release will have to be buggy.

If this release is buggy, a lot of negative publicity will follow, because of its juxtaposition to Vista, that it hasn't gotten before.

Apple must attempt to release 10.5 in as pristine a fashion as possible. I would much rather wait until the Dev Conf.

I don't understand the eagerness. What's a couple of months going to do to someone's life? Whoever buys this will have it for two more years.

Hear Hear,
Apple can not afford it to be too buggy, it needs to rub Vista's nose in the mud, the OS is more likely to be avialable around June than earlier.
post #35 of 110
I just hope that Apple does not do like M$ and remove important features to make a date. I rather wait and get the full effect.
post #36 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

My own feelings about Apple's 2007's sales is that they will be higher than that. I can't see less than $26 billion. If Apple comes out with new machines in the not too distant future, with iPods selling at almost 50% higher levels than last year, with the ATv about to appear, decent sales of the iPhone, and good sales of hopefully upgraded software, we might see sales at even higher levels.

I've seen estimates of up to, and even exceeding, $30 billion, though that would be extreme.

That would be HUGE on the stock's upside, if that happens. Did a quick check of some recently released FY2007 forecasts by a few analysts:

Pacific Crest (3/1/07): $24 billion
Bear Stearns (3/5/07): $24 billion
Prudential (3/5/07): $24.6 billion
Piper Jaffray (3/5/07): $25.4 bilion

Average = $24.5 billion. (Looks like the ThinkEquity guy is right at the average).

If the data come in as hoped for, they'll all be in a drip-drip-drip mode of upward revisions, and that makes for a potentially nice year for the stock!
post #37 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

Ok, enough of all this speculation, let me drop my turd into the pile:

OS X Leopard will have the features you see in the builds. Exactly that and not much more other than some Finder updates.

THE BIG NEWS will be that iLife will have several new apps which 'overlay' Leopard and require Leopard to run. This is where the 'cool' new functionality will exist.

Chew on that turd for awhile and get back to me.

Dude, I really hope you are wrong about that. That's one hell of a turd. How do you "know" this turd to be fact? iLife should NOT be considered "features" of an OS. iLife is a group of applications. Great apps, but not something that should be called "Top Secret" features of Leopard. Top Secret features would be more along the lines of ZFS/bootcamp/virtualization/new UI/multitouch/etc.
post #38 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

That would be HUGE on the stock's upside, if that happens. Did a quick check of some recently released FY2007 forecasts by a few analysts:

Pacific Crest (3/1/07): $24 billion
Bear Stearns (3/5/07): $24 billion
Prudential (3/5/07): $24.6 billion
Piper Jaffray (3/5/07): $25.4 bilion

Average = $24.5 billion. (Looks like the ThinkEquity guy is right at the average).

If the data come in as hoped for, they'll all be in a drip-drip-drip mode of upward revisions, and that makes for a potentially nice year for the stock!

These guys forcast from what they know now. That's what they have to do. If things change, so do their forcasts.

They are responsable to their clients, and to the SEC as well.

I am not. I can speculate from what I THINK will happen, based on somewhat more tenuous information going forward. They have to wait until it gets here.
post #39 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

It's not about keeping it a secret from Microsoft.
It's about keeping it a secret from you and me.
Steve Jobs is a master showman and marketer.
He knows that secrecy creates buzz, speculation, rumors and interest.

Apple's strongest play right now would be to reveal Leopard's secrets and splash them all over the place. Why? To interrupt the PC churn cycle to Vista.

Apple should be running an ad campaign that says:

"Hey, Microsoft is making you buy a new PC just to get a new pretty look. Why not buy a new Mac and get more? And when our new OSX is ready, no new Mac just a $129 upgrade and you're there. Wanna see what we're talking about?"

Then run some Leopard features by them.

That would be the strongest marketing position for creating switchers.

The only plausible for reason for not having revealed more of Leopard's spots is that they are not ready.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

There is no purpose served by Apple keeping it secret it this time. If the NDA doesn't work, well, it's almost showtime anyway.

Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

What is the point of that? So, we will have to wait 6 months to a year to see these new "killer" features working in major programs? We will have rez independence with no programs able to take advantage of it?

Other features as well?

How embarrassing! And how angry these developers will be. And rightly so!

Again, yes.

Keep it simple. No grand conspiracies. No double blind builds that screw software developers.

It's just not ready yet.

No matter how much we want it.
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post #40 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlito2 View Post

i don't know much about shaires and the like but if these guys are saying sooner rather than later then wouln't they look really silly if they were wrong and stock buyers lose all faith in them ?????

so surly they get a little insider knowledge .

whan ever it comes i think it will be amazing.

LOL, well I hope they don't have "insider trading info".
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