Apple may host Leopard event, intro ultra-portables, bring iPhone to Best Buy

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Apple Inc. is likely to hold a media event to launch its upcoming Leopard operating system in the coming months, and may also introduce ultra portables and expand its iPhone distribution to other retailers shortly thereafter, UBS Investment Research said this week.



"We believe Apple is likely to hold another event by April or May to launch Leopard and/or other new Mac products (models with larger displays at least)," analyst Ben Reitzes wrote in a note to clients this week. "We continue to believe Leopard may include several key features not previously previewed revolving around the digital home and telephony, driving demand for new products such as Apple TV and the iPhone."



The analyst said recent retail checks and surveys continue to show solid demand for Apple's Macs, driven primarily by momentum from its compelling notebooks offerings, which should bode well for sales during the three-month period ending March.



"At the Apple store we visited, representatives were wearing T-shirts with the 'Go Beyond Vista' slogan from Apple?s new marketing campaign which we believe highlights how Apple is actively looking to combat the new features of Vista and continue to drive switchers to the Mac platform," the analyst told clients. "Our checks suggest that Mac sales may not be as bad as some feared going into 2Q as demand appears to be holding up into the launch of Leopard."



Reitzes is forecasting for solid demand to continue for Macs through Apple's 2007 fiscal year, stimulated by Adobe's next version of Creative suite, and Leopard, both expected this spring. For the current quarter, he expects year-over-year Mac unit growth of 34 percent (-7 percent quarter-to-quart) to 1.5 million units. His estimates also call for Mac unit growth of 27 percent to 6.7 million units for all of fiscal 2007 and unit growth of 25 percent to 8.4 million units in fiscal 2008.



Looking slightly longer term, the UBS analyst believes Apple may push iPhone technology into other products, including Macs next year and more 'ultra-portable' devices that can bridge the gap between media playing, basic wireless computing needs and even eventually some type of gaming and GPS capabilities.



"We would not be surprised to see a new device this calendar year, featuring touch screen functionality," he wrote. "While the PC market is rather mature with growth expected to be 12 percent in 2007 (driven by growth in emerging markets), the portable segment continues to show strong growth with 28 percent growth expected."



Furthermore, Reitzes said, certain segments such as ultraportable PCs are likely to become a bigger piece of the portable market -- given reduced costs by PC OEMs and new market entrants such as Apple. According to data from market research firm IDC, the ultraportable PC market accounted for less than 8 percent of overall notebook shipments in 2005 (about 5 million units worldwide), and remain at about 8 percent of notebook shipments in 2006 (about 6.4 million units), but is expected to spawn more than 20 percent growth over the next few years.



"We believe Apple could expand this market significantly if it chose to enter it over the next 2 years," the analyst explained. "We believe Apple could see much better growth and drive this category if it stripped down features, optimized the device for media playing and web surfing and used its engineering and scale to drive prices down toward the $500-$600 level."



Meanwhile, Reitzes said checks with Apple and non-Apple stores continue to indicate that the new iPod line-up is experiencing stable but seasonal demand led by the new colored iPod shuffles.



"Since it began shipping on November 3, checks for the iPod shuffle have been extremely positive, with Apple (and non-Apple) store representatives stating demand has been very solid," he wrote. "While we are not expecting any upside to our iPod estimates in fiscal 2Q07, we believe the company will continue to benefit from sales of recently introduced products -- albeit with significant seasonality."



On a final note, the UBS hardware analyst suggested that Apple may eventually expanded its distribution of the iPhone beyond Apple and Cingular stores to include other retailers over time.



"While retail store representatives did not confirm or deny expanded relationships, it is important to point out that Best Buy is a major Cingular reseller," he wrote. "We believe that relationship could eventually provide a window for the iPhone to be available through Best Buy at some point."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    What took so long?
  • Reply 2 of 53
    "We believe Apple could see much better growth and drive this category if it stripped down features, optimized the device for media playing and web surfing and used its engineering and scale to drive prices down toward the $500-$600 level."



    yeah, Apple is always underselling the other guys... that's why i have a $3k macbook pro and am going to drop $600 on a phone w/ a 2 year ocntract.
  • Reply 3 of 53
    "Apple Inc. is likely to hold a media event to launch its upcoming Leopard operating system in the coming months"



    No. Sh!t. Sherlock.



  • Reply 4 of 53
    I really have to get one of these analyst gigs. You just can't go wrong.
  • Reply 5 of 53
    Unless 10.5's secret features turn out to be Multi Touch then Multi Touch isn't going to be introduced to any other product line this year. 10.6 or 10.7 maybe or maybe just Mac OS 11







    Quote:

    "We believe Apple could see much better growth and drive this category if it stripped down features, optimized the device for media playing and web surfing and used its engineering and scale to drive prices down toward the $500-$600 level."



    Someone putting something other than caffeine in your coffee? This will happen the day Lexus offers a $15,000 model to compete with Honda Accord.





    The only plausible ideas in this article are that Apple will hold a special even to release leopard and that iPhone may find it's way to Best Buy stores in time.
  • Reply 6 of 53
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by boss1 View Post


    Unless 10.5's secret features turn out to be Multi Touch then Multi Touch isn't going to be introduced to any other product line this year. 10.6 or 10.7 maybe or maybe just Mac OS 11











    Someone putting something other than caffeine in your coffee? This will happen the day Lexus offers a $15,000 model to compete with Honda Accord.





    The only plausible ideas in this article are that Apple will hold a special even to release leopard and that iPhone may find it's way to Best Buy stores in time.



    Touch screen iMacs would be cool, but I don't see them happening. They would add $300-$500 to already expensive machines.
  • Reply 7 of 53
    What features do people want in a ultra-portable? Can anyone give an example of an ultra-portable on the PC side? Do they sell well.
  • Reply 8 of 53
    Ugh. Can't AppleInsider set up a "page 2" section like MacRumors does, just for "analyst" comments? The headline is misleading, making you think that AI actually has insider info about any of this.



    Remember the analyst who said, months after the Intel switch was announced, that a G5 Mac mini was imminent? I don't comprehend why a rumors site with as good a track record as AI continues to post this crap alongside genuine insider info.
  • Reply 9 of 53
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple Insider


    On a final note, ... Apple may ... expand ... distribution ... over time.



    Apple to expand distribution over time? Insane! Crazy! I don't believe it!
  • Reply 10 of 53
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    What's Best buy?

    What's Cingular?

    What's an Apple store?

    Where's Leopard?

    Where's iPhone junior?

    Where's Mac tablet?

    Where's my Apple television?
  • Reply 11 of 53
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by desarc View Post


    yeah, Apple is always underselling the other guys... that's why i have a $3k macbook pro and am going to drop $600 on a phone w/ a 2 year ocntract.



    ROTFLMAO!!!
  • Reply 12 of 53
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by desarc View Post


    yeah, Apple is always underselling the other guys... that's why i have a $3k macbook pro and am going to drop $600 on a phone w/ a 2 year ocntract.



    i second that :P
  • Reply 13 of 53
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gee4orce View Post


    "Apple Inc. is likely to hold a media event to launch its upcoming Leopard operating system in the coming months"



    No. Sh!t. Sherlock.







    Ha! Yea, that's Halarious!... Do reporters really get paid to tell us stuff we already know?



    This just in... "The sun is likely to move across the sky in the coming hours"



  • Reply 14 of 53
    which, incidentally was the code name for the powerbook duo...



    I'd like to have my iBook g4 1.33 performance in something the size of our toshiba portege 2000.



    I'd excuse the lack of optical drive. I don't watch DVDs on my laptop, and what doesn't install from a file on the web anymore? OK - the OS - but they'd figure that one out if they did this.
  • Reply 15 of 53
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by desarc View Post


    "We believe Apple could see much better growth and drive this category if it stripped down features, optimized the device for media playing and web surfing and used its engineering and scale to drive prices down toward the $500-$600 level."



    yeah, Apple is always underselling the other guys... that's why i have a $3k macbook pro and am going to drop $600 on a phone w/ a 2 year ocntract.



    Too bad, though. Because what the analyst is saying is spot on. There's a much greater market for the iPhone if it weren't for the fact its tied to Cingular and has that whole cell phone part in it. Take out the phone and sell it standalone for the same price. It would sell like hotcakes.



    But, you're right. Apple doesn't want to sell to the masses as much as being known as a high-priced maker of consumer electornics and computers.



    BTW, I've been trying to buy a $2500 MBP, but it keeps getting stolen off the truck, amazingly before it even leaves the distribution center for delivery. See, that's the benefit of buying the 6-ton mac towers. There's no way anyone can take them without a forklift.
  • Reply 16 of 53
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Macvault View Post


    Ha! Yea, that's Halarious!... Do reporters really get paid to tell us stuff we already know?



    This just in... "The sun is likely to move across the sky in the coming hours"







    You're not saying it right...



    "We have a real CHANGEWave newsflash... it's our understanding that the SUN, barring unforseen apocalypses or supernovas, will CONTINUE to MOVE ACROSS THE SKY! That's RIGHT folks! So think about how you could use this CHANGEWave insider data to drive your investment portfolio to EVEN... HIGHER... RETURNS!!!"



    Man, piling the BS higher and deeper must be a gas of a gig.
  • Reply 17 of 53
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gee4orce View Post


    "Apple Inc. is likely to hold a media event to launch its upcoming Leopard operating system in the coming months"



    No. Sh!t. Sherlock.







    I think he means a media event to announce Leopard rather than waiting until WWDC. 'Tard.
  • Reply 18 of 53
    Quote:

    "While retail store representatives did not confirm or deny expanded relationships"



    it's my impression local store reps--even managers--know very, very little about future announcements. Maybe a day or two before anew product arrives they're told something's arriving, so they can make space; maybe, shortly before a new arrival, they're told to rearrange the furniture to accommodate it. But as to WHAT it is, or how it will function/be priced/sized etc., i don't think they know jack, and i say that with no offense meant to the local store people: i think they're exceedingly good at what they do.



    but you only have to read the wall street journal's recent article about secrecy surrounding the iPhone prior to the announcement--few people even at the highest levels of management had even seen it--to know things are kept under a tight wrap. For this analyst to visit one store, and to talk about what representatives there wouldn't say or couldn't say, makes the attribution for this story exceedingly thin.



    peace out
  • Reply 19 of 53
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    [B]"We have a real CHANGEWave newsflash...



    Heh... Changewave... I just wet my diaper and now I need a changewave.
  • Reply 20 of 53
    So basically I just read "Blah blah possibly blah". I deleted my MacRumors bookmark. Do I need to delete Appleinsider too?
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