The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Apple-Designed PowerBook Trackpad Spells Concern for Parts Supplier

TMO Reports - Apple-Designed PowerBook Trackpad Spells Concern for Parts Supplier

by , 1:40 PM EST, February 7th, 2005

In a research note sent to clients Monday, Bear, Stearns & Co. cautioned that Apple's relationship with trackpad manufacturer Synaptics, Inc. is possibly in question following last week's introduction of updated PowerBooks. Apple's new PowerBook line-up features a new trackpad that supports scrolling functionality, akin to the scroll wheel found on mouse and trackball devices.

According to Bear Stearns, the new trackpad is not being manufactured by Synaptics, which has historically been Apple's sole supplier of such devices. Synaptics trackpads have been featured in iBooks, PowerBooks, and iPods.

"There are a lot of unknowns but what we do know is that TrackPad is not Synapticss' solution, nor is it Alps Electric's, Synaptics main competitor," Bear Stearns analyst Andrew J. Neff said in the note, obtained by The Mac Observer. "Rather, it is a multi-ASIC solution that appears to have been developed by AAPL internally. However, keep in mind that we do not know 1) if there a change in AAPL's strategy and 2) whether this will lead to a change in strategy for iPod."

While Mr. Neff noted that PowerBook orders comprise only 2% of Synaptics' notebook trackpad revenue, the firm lowered its current year price target from $53 to $49 to reflect the possible changes in Apple's sourcing strategy. In Apple's most recent quarter, the company shipped 152,000 PowerBooks, 271,000 iBooks, and 4,580,000 iPods. Should Apple move its iBook and iPod lines to its custom trackpads, the effect on Synaptics bottom line could be significant.

Neither Apple nor Synaptics commented to Bear Stearns. Shares of Synaptics are trading down about 12% today, to $34.70.

Recent TMO Headlines - Updated June 23rd

Tue, 3:19 PM
7,000 Crypto Mining Computers Seized in Iran
Tue, 3:03 PM
Amazon and Apple Most Valuable Brands, but Chinese Firms Closing in
Tue, 2:49 PM
Apple Unveils Today at Apple Creative Studios for Young Creatives in Los Angeles and Beijing
Tue, 2:37 PM
NetNewsWire Update Supports iCloud Sync, Twitter Feeds
Tue, 2:17 PM
Cryptee's Cloud Document Editor Gets Mobile Interface
Tue, 2:13 PM
Apple Confirms Tower Stores Opening Thursday in Downtown Los Angeles
Tue, 2:09 PM
TV Tuesday: Apple TV+ Upcoming and Released – TMO Daily Observations 2021-06-22
Tue, 1:54 PM
Brave's Privacy Search Engine Launches in Beta Today
Tue, 1:01 PM
WaterField’s Latest Bag is a Packable Duffel
Tue, 12:15 PM
There's Finally Official 'Ted Lasso' Merch
Tue, 10:23 AM
WWDC21 Shows How Apple is Building the Metaverse
Tue, 9:47 AM
Users Not Excited by iOS 15, iPadOS 15 Features
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Daily Observations
  • TMO on Twitter!