Wall Street may have been disappointed that Apple CEO Steve Jobs did unveil a surprise new product during his WWDC keynote on Monday, but Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster felt Mr. Jobs delivered exactly what he expected. The lack of a surprise product announcement underscored Appleis focus on highlighting features in the upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 release.
Mr. Munster commented "Apple is first and foremost a software company, and the common element of the companyis most successful products is superior software."
Investor disappointment with Mr. Jobsis keynote reflected in the companyis stock. After opening at US$126 this morning, Apple stock closed down for the day at $120.19.
Mr. Munster, however, is looking towards the impact Leopardis October release will have on the Mac and iPod maker. The late-year release will likely act as a catalyst for market share gains starting in the December 2007 quarter.
He also noted that the total number of iTunes users is substantially higher than previously thought since Mr. Jobs noted that Windows users have downloaded the software more than 500 million times. "This suggests that there are more iTunes users than we had previously thought," he said. "We did believe there were about 130 million iTunes users and now believe that number is closer t200 million."
Integrating Boot Camp into Mac OS X 10.5 is also a critical feature. Leopard users wonit have to deal with a separate download and installation of the PC emulation software, making it easier to use that the public beta that is available today.
Mr. Munster added "Now, prospective Mac buyers do not have to answer the question "Mac or PC?" because Macs with Leopard will be the only computers that make it simple to run both OSX and Windows."
Mr. Munster is maintaining his "Outperform" rating and $160 target price for Apple stock. Apple is currently trading after hours at $120.25, up 0.06 (0.05%).