Munster Sees 'Long-Term Positive' in Intel Relationship

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has issued his latest research report, which calls Appleis decision to use Intel processors in its computers a "long-term positive" one. "In the near term," he writes, "there are clearly risks to transitioning to a different processor with the most visible being the possible push-back by the developer community, as the move will require programmers to rewrite some applications."

Mr. Munster sees three reasons "why Apple will benefit" from the switch: a consistent supply of processors, better pricing and a potentially larger developer community.

Appleis announcement that two million copies of Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger" will have been delivered by Friday prompted Mr. Munster to add a penny to the companyis bottom line in the current quarter. "Apple should beat our software estimates for the June quarter," he writes.

While Apple CEO Steve Jobs did not announce any new products during his keynote speech on Monday, Mr. Munster notes that he "continue[s] to believe that new products will be announced in time for the upcoming school rush and that, given our belief in the ihaloi effect, Apple will benefit from the significant year-over-year increase in its installed base of iPods (26 million in 2005 vs. 5 million in 2004)."