Wall Street analysts are making the rounds with Apple's management and gushing in research notes. Here's what's interesting about this love-in: While analysts can't shut up about the iPhone or Apple TV they also have big expectations for that old stalwart--the Mac.
A research note by UBS analyst Ben Reitzes tells the tale.
Reitzes reckons that Adobe Creative Suite 3 and the Leopard launch will drive Mac purchases. He also speculates that Apple is working on "some kind of ultra portable PC." Meanwhile, Apple is being aggressive with its television ads that look to woo Windows converts.
One interesting Mac nugget. Apple is ramping up its distribution. Reitzes said Macs will be available in 8,000 purchase points, up from 5,800. That statistic includes 200 Best Buys by year end, up from 58 today. If this expansion is successful Mac market share could increase.
But none of these items hit you over the head until you see the estimates Reitzes lays out. In fiscal 2007, UBS is projecting Apple to ship 6,720,000 total Macintosh units, up from 5,302 in 2006. In 2008, Apple is projected to ship 8,437,000 units. That's a huge difference from the 3,290,000 Macs shipped in 2004.
Among other odds and ends as Apple execs make the post earnings rounds:
Apple TV as the next DVD player: Reitzes noted:
"We believe that the Apple TV could eventually become a challenger in the 420 million unit DVD player market as more content becomes available on iTunes—which seems inevitable. Also, iTunes can start to become a bigger player in the 1.6 billion unit DVD market (at least a $20B market size). As a result, we believe that Apple TV could be a $1 billion ecosystem for Apple within a few years."