Apple testing full multi-touch Macs - report

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Mac maker Apple Inc. is in the early developmental stages of a personal computer system that will rely exclusively on its revolutionary multi-touch technology rather than traditional input devices, investment bank Piper Jaffray said Tuesday.



"Looking into 2010, we expect Apple to advance its touchscreen technology, known as multi-touch, from simple trackpad features to a complete MacBook touch with touchscreen keypad features," analyst Gene Munster told investors. "Discussions we have had with component suppliers indicate that Apple is already testing full multi-touch Macs, but the software requirements will likely lead to a launch timeframe of 2010."



The analyst's comments were included in the second installment of a three part series covering Apple's "3 Cylinder Engine." Like the first report on the Cupertino-based firm's iPhone business published Monday, the new segment presents his views on the future direction of the Mac business, how to think about PC market share, upcoming Macs, and the latest on the Apple ecosystem.



In the more immediate future, Munster advised clients to look out for likely upgrades to the iMac and Mac mini sometime in the next 90 days, and upgraded MacBook and MacBook Pros in time for the educational buying season (which typically heats up in the July timeframe.)



For the just-ended March quarter, he's forecasting Apple to report sales of between 2.0 million and 2.1 million Mac systems, above Wall Street consensus estimates of 1.95 million units, representing approximately 40 percent yearly growth.



Among the important drivers fueling sales of the company's personal computer line are iPhone & iPod halo effects, the analyst said. He believes that by tightly integrating the elements of its ecosystem -- the iPod, iPhone and Mac -- the electronics maker is driving demand for its other two product categories with the sale of each third category product.



"In 2004, the iPod's third full year of sales, Apple sold more than twice as many iPods as it did Macs. And in the December 2007 quarter, Apple sold more iPhones than it did Macs," he wrote. "Clearly, these devices have enabled Apple to significantly expand its user base, which we believe will drive demand for Macs."



Munster noted that Apple has already managed to outpace the industry in terms of PC unit sales growth for the past three years, simultaneously raising the average selling price (ASP) of its systems amidst an industry pattern that has seen prices from rival PC makers trend downwards.



Nevertheless, the analyst said he's taking a conservative approach this year and modeling for Mac market share to remain relatively flat, or inline with the 2.9 percent worldwide share recently estimated by market research firm IDC. However, should Mac share rise just 60 basis points, it would added $0.89 or 17 percent to his calendar year 2008 per share earnings, he said.



At the same time, Munster advised clients that taking market share percentages from market research firms like IDC at face value may somewhat overstate Apple's opportunity, as those figures include sales to enterprises where Apple is not aggressively competing. At the same time, however, the company's opportunity in the sector remains vast.



"In the US, IDC indicates that Apple sold 4.2 million of the 67 million total PCs [in 2007]," he explained. "Again, if we assume 70 percent of those were Enterprise sales, then Apple's market share in the US was still just 21 percent."



In one final point presented in his Mac report Tuesday, the Piper Jaffray analyst also insinuated that Apple could also see incremental share gains should consumers begin to erode the notion that Macs cost 20 to 30 percent more than comparable Windows-based PCs.







"We took a closer look at some specific examples of buying comparably appointed Macs and PCs and found that on average, PC desktops are priced 16 percent lower than Macs, while PC laptops are priced 9 percent lower. This compares to similar checks we conducted almost 2 years ago in which we found PC desktops were 13 percent cheaper than Macs and PC laptops were 10 percent cheaper than Macs," he wrote. "We believe computer shoppers are willing to pay a premium (10 percent to 15 percent) for a Mac, and Mac sales would benefit if consumers realized that the actual premium is in fact 10 percent to 15 percent, as opposed to the perception that Macs are 20 percent to 30 percent more expensive."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 73
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Null.
  • Reply 2 of 73
    solarsolar Posts: 84member
    Wow I didn't realize that Lenovo Made Giant Laptops
  • Reply 3 of 73
    ajayajay Posts: 117member
    Perfect example of something that would invoke mixed emotions... news of multi-touch macs on the 1st of April
  • Reply 4 of 73
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Null.
  • Reply 5 of 73
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    The technology is so slow...

    I can't wait for 2010. I want MacBook Touch now! This year!

    Probably not gonna happen too. Bummer.
  • Reply 6 of 73
    ajayajay Posts: 117member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis View Post


    Oh well, when we're all using Avian/IP instead of TCP/IP none of this will matter.



    that's it folks... we, as humans, are officially obsolete!
  • Reply 7 of 73
    danukdanuk Posts: 31member
    Gotta love the Munster!



    He does just what we do (idly speculate) only he get paid for it, people listen, and stock price changes.



    Crazy world.



    ps If this multi-touch Mac doesn't have 4 FW800 ports, forget it.
  • Reply 8 of 73
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Solar View Post


    Wow I didn't realize that Lenovo Made Giant Laptops



    It's what you need to make the real presentations.
  • Reply 9 of 73
    tailpipetailpipe Posts: 345member
    This story tells us nothing that we didn't know already.



    That doesn't mean it isn't exciting stuff, it sure is.



    But we need to look behind Piper Jaffray's hype to what is really going on. After forcing many Apple investors to take a bath when the stock tanked in February, Gene Munster is now trying to bid up the price by his second pronouncement in two days about future products. The truth is he knows Jack S**t, just like the rest of us. If Apple suppliers start releasing details on future products they won't remain suppliers for very long, so are unlikely to be sources of new product info.



    When it comes to Apple's share price, the one story that no analyst wants to get out is Steve Job's recent illness due to cancer and what this means in terms of succession and Apple's future prospects. Can you imagine what it what do to Apple's share price if we suddenly found out that Apple's visionary leader was living on borrowed time? I for one, sincerely hope that this is not the case. Jobs has been one of the most visionary business leaders for many generations and his loss would be felt globally. But there is no denying that he looks thin and gaunt at recent press interviews. Has he beaten cancer? Until we know for sure, Apple's shares remain a hold, not a buy.



    In the meantime, for goodness sake, Piper Jaffray, get a grip on your analysts before your reputation loses any remiaining vestige of credibility.
  • Reply 10 of 73
    irelandireland Posts: 17,620member
    Mac touch, not MacBook touch (damn you Gizmodo)
  • Reply 11 of 73
    I had a good feeling that somehow they would make a touchscreen computer. They could possibly make iMac Touches or even make their displays compatible with multitouch. This would totally eliminate the need for a mouse (except if you had big fingers). However, I think they need to make a touchscreen keyboard, too, as I would miss the traditional keyboard input device rather than an iPhone-style keyboard that would pop-up for everything. They also need to make these things stylus compatible as well. Wacom already has several solutions for this, but nothing beats their Cintiq models, which enable you to draw on a screen, but wouldn't drawing on an actual computer screen as painter would paint on canvas be better than a USB input device anyway?
  • Reply 12 of 73
    irelandireland Posts: 17,620member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Crtaylor View Post


    I had a good feeling that somehow they would make a touchscreen computer. They could possibly make iMac Touches or even make their displays compatible with multitouch. This would totally eliminate the need for a mouse (except if you had big fingers). However, I think they need to make a touchscreen keyboard, too, as I would miss the traditional keyboard input device rather than an iPhone-style keyboard that would pop-up for everything.



    Wow, you're a genius



  • Reply 13 of 73
    zorinlynxzorinlynx Posts: 169member
    Yes, Mac prices are comparable to PC prices for similar machines, BUT...



    - There are no budget laptops in the Apple line. The starting Macbook is at around a grand. You can get PC laptops for around $400. Sure, the specs aren't very good, but most people will jump on that and be happy with a slower system than to spend $1000 on a better laptop.



    - There is no economical minitower solution. This has been argued and re-argued so I'll leave it at that.





    These two issues are keeping many people, who aren't as financially endowed, from buying Macs.
  • Reply 14 of 73
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Null.
  • Reply 15 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post


    Yes, Mac prices are comparable to PC prices for similar machines, BUT...



    - There are no budget laptops in the Apple line. The starting Macbook is at around a grand. You can get PC laptops for around $400. Sure, the specs aren't very good, but most people will jump on that and be happy with a slower system than to spend $1000 on a better laptop.



    - There is no economical minitower solution. This has been argued and re-argued so I'll leave it at that.





    These two issues are keeping many people, who aren't as financially endowed, from buying Macs.



    If they are not financially endowed, it means that they may also be to incompetent to use a computer anyway.

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/image...ies/1devil.gif
  • Reply 16 of 73
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis View Post


    Hopefully that "in place of traditional input methods" really means "in addition to" traditional input methods.



    Might as well be instead of because Apple doesn't make a keyboard or mouse that is usable in my opinion. I just tossed an Apple wireless mouse and keyboard set in the trash last week. It's inexcusable really because those are probably the easiest pieces of computer equipment to manufacture and they have never been able to get it right.
  • Reply 17 of 73
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Might as well be instead of because Apple doesn't make a keyboard or mouse that is usable in my opinion. I just tossed an Apple wireless mouse and keyboard set in the trash last week. It's inexcusable really because those are probably the easiest pieces of computer equipment to manufacture and they have never been able to get it right.



    Never been able to, or never wanted to? I think the problem is that they've been going for style over substance. Sometimes style is nice, I did buy the wireless keyboard for my HTPC to replace a Logitech boogieboard-sized unit, but I don't think it's that nice to type a lot on, thankfully, it's not necessary on the HTPC. I wouldn't use it at my desktop.
  • Reply 18 of 73
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Null.
  • Reply 19 of 73
    eldernormeldernorm Posts: 232member
    I take this cost comparison as shady. as an example, Apples come with cameras and stearo built in. That adds cost but is not shown in the compares.



    Just a thought.
  • Reply 20 of 73
    I never used an iPod or iPod Touch so I can't say that a virtual keyboard isn't any good. I grew up using typewriters (IBM Selectrics) and then graduated to computer keyboards. I was able to type at close to 100 WPM in my prime. I am comfortable with using a real keyboard. I like key travel and resistance feedback.



    I'm not to sure I want to give up a real keyboard for a virtual one. Perhaps if Apple starts to use voice input or something that is very accurate, I might concede, but I don't think this is likely. As long as I'm given the option to use a real keyboard, then I won't complain. A few sentences shouldn't be a problem, but typing reports and books on a screen keyboard really doesn't seem that good a substitute for a real full-size keyboard.



    Maybe I'm just out of touch. The computing world is changing, so maybe I should just try to adjust to whatever the future has waiting for me. \
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