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Am Tech Research: 'New Products Underwhelming, But Big Picture is Clearer'

TMO Reports - Am Tech Research: 'New Products Underwhelming, But Big Picture is Clearer'

by , 12:35 PM EST, March 1st, 2006

American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu on Wednesday issued a research report headlined: "New Products Appear Underwhelming, But the Bigger Picture is Becoming Clearer." While Apple's Tuesday product announcements didn't meet his expectations, Mr. Wu wrote that Apple "is making less apparent progress in building a broader digital entertainment portfolio with both its Mac and iPod + iTunes franchises."

Addressing the former, he noted that the new Mac mini is "a competitive compact digital entertainment center ... To us, it screams 'connect me to a TV' with the inclusion of a remote control, GigE, WiFi, Bluetooth, a DVD burner, enhanced Front Row software with Bonjour file sharing and streaming, and more robust display options."

He added: "However, we find its price point at US$799 a little steep. In addition, we would like to see Apple add more features in the future, including PVR recording and TV tuner capabilities, which would arguable make it the most powerful digital entertainment center in the market." Regarding the price point, Mr. Wu later noted: "In our checks, comparable Windows PCs cost around $900-$1,400."

About the iPod HiFi, the analyst wrote: "Apple is entering the iPod speaker space, a product category that's proven to be a hit with customers. To minimize disruption, AAPL is entering the midrange segment with a $349 price point vs. $99 at the low-end and $1,000 at the high-end. The difference with AAPL's product is that it is more integrated and focused on delivering quality and bass in a single package."

While Mr. Wu retained his "Buy" rating on Apple's stock, he noted that "negative investor sentiment and its weak technicals may indicate further share price downside. Absent of technicals, for longer term fundamental investors, we would take advantage of the pull-back to build and/or add to AAPL positions."

At 12:37 PM EST on Wednesday, Apple's stock was selling for $69.23, up 1.08% for the day. Yesterday, the company's shares rose early in trading before dropping after CEO Steve Jobs made his presentation, presumably as a result of lukewarm reactions to the new products that were released.

If you are interested in Apple's stock, join our forum members in the Apple Finance Boards, a moderated forum for Apple Investors and people who are interested in Apple's financial dealings. For other stories regarding Apple's stock activity, visit our updated Apple Stock Watch Special Report.

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