With Adobe's latest Creative Suite ready for lift-off March 27 the prognosticators are trying to figure out what it means for Apple.
Apple's enterprise customers (read creative pros) have been holding off on upgrading to new Intel-based Macs until Adobe's new products get rolling. Given the timeline given by Adobe it's likely Apple will get some boost in its June quarter.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says Adobe's CS3 is likely to ship three weeks after the announcement date. By the time it's in the sales channel it'll be April 21 or so.
"Our September 2006 survey of 50 Apple pro users suggested 50 percent of pro users would upgrade to an Intel-based pro-level Mac within six months of the CS3 launch. Since CS3 will be optimized for Intel Macs for the first time, many pro users have been waiting for this launch to upgrade from their PowerPC-based systems. We estimate there are 3 million Adobe professional users."
Munster adds that that 50 percent rate is most likely too optimistic. Applying a conservative 15 percent upgrade rate to a Mac Pro or MacBook Pro would add another 450,000 additional Mac units.
Meanwhile, there's a lot of chatter about Apple's new Leopard OS driving Mac sales. Prudential analyst Jesse Tortora said Monday that he expected a late March launch of Leopard. If Tortora is right Leopard would combine with CS3 to drive sales.
Shannon Cross, an analyst at Soleil Securities, doubts Leopard is coming that early.
"We note that Apple management has consistently held to a Spring 2007 launch time frame. Based on prior releases, we believe it takes three to four weeks at least for an OS release to go from golden master to public availability. Compounding this, the "top secret" features of Leopard have not yet been announced or made available to the beta testing Apple developer community. We think existing known bugs, plus the time required to beta test the "top secret" features make it very unlikely Leopard will benefit F2Q07 results and instead look for an April or May release with benefit in F3Q07."
Couple Leopard with CS3 and the iPhone and AppleTV launches and the Apple will have multiple product cycles driving it to the end of calendar 2007.