UBS raises Apple estimates, says Intel Macs may come early

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
UBS Investment Research said this week that it is raising its Apple estimates due to strength in the company's current product offerings and expectations of an early launch of Intel-based Macintosh computers.



"After surveying several stores, we are more enthusiastic about prospects for upside in iPods given excitement around nanos and [video iPods]," analyst Ben Reitzes wrote in a research note released to clients on Monday. "Also, we believe iMac sales could have some upside into calendar 2006 based on our additional survey work that shows the new iMac G5 has been well received by customers."



Reitzes said momentum for iPods is picking up leading into the holidays, with checks indicating that both nanos and "especially new video iPods" are selling "very well." Meanwhile, the analyst said wait times for the new iMac have been increasing on Apple?s website and are now at 3-5 days for the 17-inch and 7-10 days for the 20-inch.



Looking ahead, Reitzes believes it is likely Apple will announce new products and content at its January 10, 2006 Macworld expo, with a possible introduction of the first Intel-based Macs. "We note that Intel will be introducing its dual-core ?Yonah? processor in January (shipping now to vendors in pre-launch)," the analyst said.



After discussions with his firm's Semiconductor Research Team, Reitzes believes the Yonah processor may be a good fit for an Intel-based Mac Mini, which the firm says could make its debut as early as the Macworld Expo. "We also believe it is possible for the Yonah chipset to be included in an iBook, but we believe this option may be less likely for Apple right away since it could cause some performance disparities between the iBook and the PowerBook."



Reitzes added, "We continue to believe that both the PowerMac and PowerBook will be introduced at a later date (late 2006 or early 2007) ? with the possible use of the Intel?s Merom processor for the PowerBook and Conroe processor for the PowerMac."



Also a possibility for the upcoming Macworld expo is an expansion of Apple's ?digital hub? offerings, the analyst said. "We believe Apple could eventually discuss more innovations around media hubs (and related services) that act as storage units for music, movies, photos and/or other types of home entertainment."



Reitzes notes that Intel will be introducing its ?Viiv? technology in early 2006, which promises to explore additional consumer entertainment opportunities within the PC. "We believe that Apple is positioned to play a significant role in the home digital entertainment arena and this offering from Intel could catch Apple?s eye eventually," he said.



Given Apple's recent strength, UBS is raising its December quarter earnings per share (EPS) estimates from 50 cents to 53 cents based on 43-percent revenue growth. The firm is also raising its iPod sales estimates for the quarter from 10.3 million units to 11.3 million.



For the 2006 and 2007 fiscal years, UBS its EPS estimates from $1.78 to $1.85 based on revenue growth of 30-percent and from $2.08 to $2.18 based on and 28-percent revenue growth, respectively.



The firm continues to rate Apple a "Buy," raising its price target on the company from $64 to $74.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,002member
    There is certainly a dicotomy between the investment houses.



    Two lowering their recommendations to hold because they think Aplle is fully priced, and two raising their estimates substantially.



    Since I'm hoping my stock will continue to rise, I'm betting on the latter two.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    There's no reason to wait for Merom. A dual core Yonah will excite sales and when Merom is shipping in volume you move to that chip in the high end.



    Mac watchers need to get rid of the past. Apple no longer has the luxury to ship computers on a slow schedule. They now have the same processor and chipset as the typical PC. This means they have to be nimble an eschew waiting 8 months for updates like they are fond of today.



    I expect to see speed bumps every 3-4 months now on Intel based Macs.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Mac watchers need to get rid of the past. Apple no longer has the luxury to ship computers on a slow schedule. They now have the same processor and chipset as the typical PC. This means they have to be nimble an eschew waiting 8 months for updates like they are fond of today.



    I expect to see speed bumps every 3-4 months now on Intel based Macs.




    Yeah, I'll believe that when I see it. its not the mac watchers, its Apple. And Apple is known to be cheap and cautious on putting out new tech. (Of course, then when they do, they screw their customers by just getting rid of the old tech. Take PCI-Express, for example. Takes them forever to support it, then they release a tower with it in there, and they then throw out all the PCI slots. WTF is apple thinking? Not even PC makers are stupid enough to do that, since they're only using PCI-Express for video at the moment.)
  • Reply 4 of 40
    With the recent stories indicating that the PowerPC and Intel builds of Tiger 10.4.3 are esentially identical, I would have reason to believe the story.



    A release of an Intel based Mac mini at Macworld 2006 would be a great headline story to kick and jump start the event.
  • Reply 5 of 40
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    "We also believe it is possible for the Yonah chipset to be included in an iBook, but we believe this option may be less likely for Apple right away since it could cause some performance disparities between the iBook and the PowerBook."



    Are Yonah dual cores supposed to be that much better than G4's to make a the iBooks faster than Powerbooks?
  • Reply 6 of 40
    Well, one of Intel's concerns with the new generation of chips for 2006 was boosting the Pentium's pedestrian floating point performance. If they can do that, you'd then be looking at a 32-bit dual core 1.67GHz Pentium-M (Yonah) that lacks Altivec and otherwise runs at 80 percent of PPC speed per core in Rosetta and has advantages in high bandwidth applications, and a single core 1.67GHz G4 that has Altivec and an established track record on floating point performance but is hobbled by its single core-ness and FSB.



    You work it out, but to my eyes, it's a wash, with a significant advantage to the G4 on anything Altivec and a significant advantage to the 32-bit dual core Pentium-M on multiple application use with Office in particular and integer in general; or for that matter anything that is dual processor aware but not Altivec aware.



    That says to me UBS's analysis makes some sense; not only from Apple's point of view but also end users. A Mac mini is a general purpose machine; people buying Powerbooks expect them not to suck on graphics.



    But I leave it to people who know more about software development and microelectronics than I do to work out the details. Besides, that 80 percent number is something I seem to recall from a while ago; no doubt things are steadily improving for the Intel. But the developer kit did simply get mashed by the G4 on floating point and Altivec. Yonah solves one, but not the other.
  • Reply 7 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Louzer

    Yeah, I'll believe that when I see it. its not the mac watchers, its Apple. And Apple is known to be cheap and cautious on putting out new tech. (Of course, then when they do, they screw their customers by just getting rid of the old tech. Take PCI-Express, for example. Takes them forever to support it, then they release a tower with it in there, and they then throw out all the PCI slots. WTF is apple thinking? Not even PC makers are stupid enough to do that, since they're only using PCI-Express for video at the moment.)



    Agreed and this notion that they will put new machines out every 3-4 months would insult the base. Apple sells more expensive systems designed to maximize long-term use for the consumer and high margins for Apple. They are not about diluting the market every 3-4 months with a bump upgrade.



    Apple dumping PCI is akin to Apple dropping the Floppy. They pick a specific part of the system to be out in front and then they remain conservative in other sections of the system.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,002member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by photoeditor

    Well, one of Intel's concerns with the new generation of chips for 2006 was boosting the Pentium's pedestrian floating point performance. If they can do that, you'd then be looking at a 32-bit dual core 1.67GHz Pentium-M (Yonah) that lacks Altivec and otherwise runs at 80 percent of PPC speed per core in Rosetta and has advantages in high bandwidth applications, and a single core 1.67GHz G4 that has Altivec and an established track record on floating point performance but is hobbled by its single core-ness and FSB.



    You work it out, but to my eyes, it's a wash, with a significant advantage to the G4 on anything Altivec and a significant advantage to the 32-bit dual core Pentium-M on multiple application use with Office in particular and integer in general; or for that matter anything that is dual processor aware but not Altivec aware.



    That says to me UBS's analysis makes some sense; not only from Apple's point of view but also end users. A Mac mini is a general purpose machine; people buying Powerbooks expect them not to suck on graphics.



    But I leave it to people who know more about software development and microelectronics than I do to work out the details. Besides, that 80 percent number is something I seem to recall from a while ago; no doubt things are steadily improving for the Intel. But the developer kit did simply get mashed by the G4 on floating point and Altivec. Yonah solves one, but not the other.




    The truth is that SSE 3 is every bit as good as Altivec. If you see the comparisons you will note that there are even areas of improvement and agreement with standards that Altivec doesn't have.



    Dual core Yonahs will trample a single core G4. Whether Apple would use a dual core chip in an early iBook is a question though.
  • Reply 9 of 40
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,002member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mdriftmeyer

    Agreed and this notion that they will put new machines out every 3-4 months would insult the base. Apple sells more expensive systems designed to maximize long-term use for the consumer and high margins for Apple. They are not about diluting the market every 3-4 months with a bump upgrade.



    Apple dumping PCI is akin to Apple dropping the Floppy. They pick a specific part of the system to be out in front and then they remain conservative in other sections of the system.




    What people are forgetting here is that Apple DID update their machines every quarter or so.



    We used to see a new machine in January. A speed bump in March. Another new machine (in a different line) in July, with another speedbump, video card and HD upgrades for the first machine(s).



    September would be another round of speed bumps.



    January would be new machines, speedbumps, video cards, HD's etc.



    And around again in March with more speedbumps.



    This stopped not because Apple wanted it to, but because the cpu speeds stopped coming every 3 months or so. Apple had little to offer. You might remember that this started in 2000, when the faster G4's didn't materialize.



    Ever since then the cpu upgrades have come further and further apart.



    One would think that Apple intended to put the 7448 in this newest PB. It's a drop-in replacement with a firmware update.



    Does anyone here really doubt that Apple would rather have what they have now instead of dual core 5GHz G5's in the PM's, and dual core 3GHz low power G5's in the PB's?



    Slow or nonexistant updates to the chips is the reason why they are moving to x86 after all.



    The point is to keep up, and not to have to worry about cpu's.



    Dropping PCI is not like dropping the floppy, it is like dropping the NuBus.
  • Reply 10 of 40
    Quote:

    Agreed and this notion that they will put new machines out every 3-4 months would insult the base. Apple sells more expensive systems designed to maximize long-term use for the consumer and high margins for Apple. They are not about diluting the market every 3-4 months with a bump upgrade.



    I disagree. The base design stays the same but the processor and components are changed as fast as Intel etc...upgrades them. I would say that a change every quarter (3 or so months) is fair. The problem is Moto and IBM could not deliver this! Jobs said it himself. They could do really cool things if they could get the latest tech. Now the will, so I expect many more product lines in the future.



    I bet you also said they'd never go to Intel.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:

    Dual core Yonahs will trample a single core G4. Whether Apple would use a dual core chip in an early iBook is a question though



    That's an understatement. I'd LOVE a dual core Yonah in a PB. People tend to forget that Intel's Yonah will start from way down at 1.5Ghz and work its way up. Apple has a lot of flexibility with this lineup.



    Quote:

    I disagree. The base design stays the same but the processor and components are changed as fast as Intel etc...upgrades them.



    Riversky nice to see you pop on over here! Welcome and glad to have you. Thanks for "understanding". A processor bump is simple and I have no doubt that Apple will indeed bump the procs every 3-4 months. Plus now Apple is a part of the Quarterly price reductions. Bump the proc and squeeze that last bit of margin from the previous units with price protection. They have to be lickin' their chops at the potential.
  • Reply 12 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    The point is to keep up, and not to have to worry about cpu's.



    Nailed it.



    But another big factor that held back Apple from quickly adopting new technologies: they had to engineer their own logic boards, system controllers, etc.



    If they use stock Intel mobos or just follow their reference designs or whatever, that will save Apple huge amounts of engineering time and money and allow them to be much more nimble about getting new tech into their systems as quickly as possible.
  • Reply 13 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    [B]The truth is that SSE 3 is every bit as good as Altivec. If you see the comparisons you will note that there are even areas of improvement and agreement with standards that Altivec doesn't have.



    I'm not so sure of it. I've read several times that altivec outperfoms SSE3 by a clear margin.

    Here's a like I just found with google : http://www.win2osx.net/forum/archive...hp/t-1071.html
  • Reply 14 of 40
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,002member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Silencio

    Nailed it.



    But another big factor that held back Apple from quickly adopting new technologies: they had to engineer their own logic boards, system controllers, etc.



    If they use stock Intel mobos or just follow their reference designs or whatever, that will save Apple huge amounts of engineering time and money and allow them to be much more nimble about getting new tech into their systems as quickly as possible.




    The question is; Will they do that?
  • Reply 15 of 40
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,002member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by french macuser

    I'm not so sure of it. I've read several times that altivec outperfoms SSE3 by a clear margin.

    Here's a like I just found with google : http://www.win2osx.net/forum/archive...hp/t-1071.html




    Well, that's just a forum. Like this one.



    Go to the page below. It's Apple's developer site. I'n not going to link to a page because it's best if you go there directly. There are several pieces to read about SSE. you'll see what I'm saying, minus the hype. Go to the bottom where the subhead says Optimization.



    http://developer.apple.com/transition/index.html?ht
  • Reply 16 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    Dual core Yonahs will trample a single core G4. Whether Apple would use a dual core chip in an early iBook is a question though.



    To put some distance between the iBook (consumer) and PowerBook (professional) lines, Apple will put the single core Yonah in the iBooks and dual core in the PowerBooks. To keep the distance, the iBooks will get the dual core Yonah after the PowerBooks get the Merom. Hopefully, Apple will continue to have dedicated VRAM and not stick us with shared VRAM.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    Deleted
  • Reply 18 of 40
    Knowing squat about programming, what I see as a layman is that the way Apple has handled Xcode and vector instructions, a properly written (or is it compiled?) universal binary should do quite well with both PPC Altivec and Intel SSE given the alleged "60 to 70 percent" commonality between the two; so the only remaining difference will be the obvious one that two cores (Yonah) beat one (G4). But for people with PPC software who haven't yet migrated to universal binary, Intel means they lose their vector acceleration, so I stand by my expectation that it will be a slowish switch for anyone who has an application on PPC Altivec and with no dual processor awareness until they get the universal binary upgrade for their particular application.



    Very interesting that SSE2 supports double-precision floating point. That is a huge gain for vector processing in scientific applications. The lack of accuracy of Altivec (single-precision) floating point has always been a reason Stata has used not to make their statistics software Altivec-optimized, on the grounds that the software runs in double-precision. So Intel-optimized Mac OS X Stata on dual core is going to fly at light speed.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,002member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by troberts

    To put some distance between the iBook (consumer) and PowerBook (professional) lines, Apple will put the single core Yonah in the iBooks and dual core in the PowerBooks. To keep the distance, the iBooks will get the dual core Yonah after the PowerBooks get the Merom. Hopefully, Apple will continue to have dedicated VRAM and not stick us with shared VRAM.



    I think that it might be done that way, unless Apple decides to wait for Merom.



    Industry opinion on this is mixed. Some think Apple will jump into Yonah on the PB's first half of 2006. Some think Apple will wait until the later part of the 2nd half of 2006 and use Merom straight off.



    We can guess here, but we really know nothing. Our logic is not necessarily Apple's logic. They see what we do not.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 922member
    Most folks have been speculating that the Intel chips will go in the laptops first. But also point out the difficulty Apple will have in

    a) putting Intel in the iBooks and making the PBooks look very bad

    b) putting Intel in the PBooks making the iBooks look very bad

    c) putting Intel in both which seems like too many changes all at once



    And many folks seem to think Apple will wait for the new Merom chips for the PBooks.



    BUT, what if they put Intel in the mini first?



    Yes, the laptops would look sad. But they'd be equally sad, so there's no imbalance. A mini probably has less cooling/power consumption issues than a laptop so engineering-wise it may be an easier first machine.



    The mini serves a different market than the laptops, and if it holds the $500 price point, people won't be as upset when there is a (much?) better version available in the summer when the laptops FINALLY get Intel.



    The mini would make a great v1.0 machine. Pro folks might pick one up to play with. Small time developers could pick one up to work on porting to Intel. The Windows crowd would gobble them up once the l33t hackers get Windows running on it. The "masses" wouldn't know the difference, anyway.



    How's this sound?:

    mini first - in January;

    iBook & PBook in the Spring along with a mini speed bump;

    iMac goes Intel by Fall of '06, speed bumps in all the other machines



    You may now shoot holes in my speculation.



    - Jasen.
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