What next for Apple?

What next for Apple?

Summary: PiperJaffray, the middle market investment bank and institutional securities firm, issued a company note on Apple Computers, Inc. on December 5th which paints a very positive outlook for the company.

TOPICS: iPhone

PiperJaffray, the middle market investment bank and institutional securities firm, issued a company note on Apple Computers, Inc. on December 5th which paints a very positive outlook for the company. 

It expects Apple shares to outperform the broader market over the next 12 months.  The reports rates the only risks to Apple being related to the fact that the company is highly dependent on spending trends in the education, consumer, and creative markets.

The report also goes on to speculate which products rumored to be in the Apple pipeline are likely over the next 2 to 6 months, 6 to 12 months and 12 to 18 months.  It looks at a number of product rumors and ranks them according to certainty.  It makes interesting reading.

Almost certain (in the next 2 - 6 months):

  • iPhone (certainty: 10/10)
  • iTV (certainty: 10/10)

Likely (in the next 6 - 12 months):

  • Candy bar form factor iPhone (certainty: 9/10)
  • Widescreen iPod (certainty: 7/10)
  • iPhone with integrated keyboard (certainty: 7/10)
  • iSight camera (certainty: 6/10)
  • 4GB/8GB storage on iPhone (certainty: 6/10)
  • Multiple carrier iPhone (certainty: 6/10)

A stretch (possible in the next 12 - 18 months)

  • Ultra portable 12" MacBook Pro (certainty: 4/10)
  • Radio-transparent material for iPhone (certainty: 3/10)
  • iChat Mobile video/IM (certainty: 2/10)
  • OSX 10.5 Leopard release at Macworld (certainty: 3/10)

So, what's your take on this?  What's likely and what's not so likely?  What's going to be hot and what's not?  My prediction is that the report isn't all that far off, but I think that the iPhone will be multi-carrier straight away and that the ultra-portable 12" MacBook Pro is more likely than the 4/10 which the report predicts.  I also think that now Toshiba have announced a new 100GB 1.8inch drive that there will be 100GB iPods soon too.

[poll id=47]

Topic: iPhone

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  • Mac Desktop

    I still don't understand why Apple doesn't offer a non-dual socket, non-FBDIMM, non-Xeon, desktop form factor computer. By using a single socket dual/quad core Core2 and standard memory, they should be able to chop about $1000 off the price of the MacPro and offer a computer that people are very interested in buying.

    I don't think many home users would actually use the second socket or over 4GB of RAM that FBDIMMS allow. On the other hand, I really want to use a discrete graphics card, I want the 4 hard drive bays, and I want a non-integrated monitor.

    This should be a no-brainer for Apple. It gives them a mid-range desktop for non-graphics professionals who don't need 4/8 cores and over 4GB of RAM, while still offering the other benefits of a desktop form factor. I don't get it. I haven't even heard rumors of such an offering.
    • One other thing

      I forgot that hardware RAID 0,1,0+1,5 would be a great addition to the Mac Pro. What the point of 4 drive bays otherwise? And because of the way the drive bays are setup, an add in hardware RAID card is out of the question. The only option is software RAID, which sucks in general.
      • I have to correct you...

        ...yes, the raid offered natively is software, but you can easily add a hardware raid
        card. This is the one that Apple recommends:

        • Really?

          How do the drives plug into the card? I thought the drive bays are cable free so the drive snaps directly into the bay.

          Also, the link you sent seems to indicate that you can't boot into OS X from the array. So does that mean that you can't just setup a RAID 1 with 2 drives?
    • Streamed Product Lines

      Steve Jobs made a decision way back when he took the helm of Apple back to streamline the number of Products that Apple offered. They were reduced to the following:

      Professional Desktop
      Mac Pro (Because the consumer is likely to spend money on addons)
      Entry Level Desktop
      iMac (Because the consumer doesn't really care about add ons)
      Professional Laptop
      MacBook Pro
      Entry Level Laptop

      Each of these systems were configured to a specific Mac user in mind. And creating flexability to the product line up creates additional support issues. So to create an efficient company, Apple decided that it would limit the number of products it had to save on support costs.
      • Forgot the mini

        They already also have the Mac mini in the small form factor segment. But I don't think it would kill them from a support perspective to offer a standard desktop also. Especially if it used standard RAM and 1 socket. I would think that type of setup would require less support than the custom RAM with heat spreaders and the dual socket board they went with.