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 July 4th

Sat, 2:03 PM
Kuo Doubtful About Report of Apple Cutting iPhone 14 Order
Fri, 5:13 PM
TikTok Claims Strong Data Security, Still Planning to Improve It Further
Fri, 4:35 PM
Apple to Cut iPhone 14 Orders By 10% Despite High Demand, Sources Indicate
Fri, 4:12 PM
Celebrating the Anniversary of the iPhone: Looking at the Time Apple was Exclusive to AT&T
Fri, 3:16 PM
Steve Jobs to Posthumously Receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Fri, 2:43 PM
Former Apple Securities Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Six Counts of Insider Trading
Fri, 2:27 PM
Apple Has Interviewees Think Outside of the Box, Other Tips for Landing a Job with the Company
Fri, 2:21 PM
Apple Suppliers Are Already Working on Second-Generation OLED iPad
Fri, 2:11 PM
Apple Promotes the Apple Watch Series 7 as A Durable Device in the New 'Hard Knocks' Video Ad
Fri, 1:34 PM
My Penultimate Column
Thu, 4:12 PM
Apple TV+ Unveils Trailer for New Family Comedy 'Best Foot Forward' Premiering in July
Thu, 3:34 PM
Apple's Issue With In-House 5G Chip May Be a Legal, Not Technical Problem
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Daily Observations
  • TMO on Twitter!