Appleis "secret feature" revelations during the Steve Jobs keynote at the World Wide Developers Conference on Monday left American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu underwhelmed. Even with his less than enthusiastic response, he found a few important key points for Apple as the company moves forward.
Including Boot Camp as a standard feature in Mac OS X 10.5 will be a plus because it offers a way for PC users to transition from using Windows all the time to using the Mac OS. Investors and some users, however, were hoping that Apple would turn Boot Camp into a virtual machine environment like Parallels and VMWare.
Releasing a Windows version of the Safari Web browser is a smart move on Appleis part. "We view this as a strategic and smart move in giving Windows users a closer taste of the Mac experience in addition to iPod+iTunes and iPhone," he said. "We believe this will ultimately attract more switchers to the Apple franchise."
Mr. Wu saw the move to offer a more unified interface for the operating system and applications a smart choice as well. Windows switchers that are already familiar with the iTunes interface, and soon the Safari interface, will feel more comfortable using the Leopard interface since they will all be so similar.
The announcement that Electronic Arts is bringing Madden NFL i08, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR i08, Need for Speed Carbon, Command and Conquer 3, Battlefield 2142, and Harry Potter to the Mac is big news, too. Mr. Wu commented "We find this development significant as the worldis largest game developer is once again committing to the Mac platform. We believe other game developers could follow."
While some developers see Appleis announcement that third-party applications for the iPhone must be written as Web 2.0 applications that run inside Safari as a poor attempt to appease them, Mr. Wu had a different point of view stating "This is short of a full SDK (software developers kit), and we view this as a compromise allowing easy development and deployment that lets AAPL keep iPhone a relatively closed and proprietary architecture, similar to iPod."
Mr. Wu is maintaining his "Buy" rating and US$145 for Appleis stock. Apple is currently trading at $121.25, up 10.6 (0.88%).