Analyst: New MacBook Pros Timed Right for Education

Apple unveiled new MacBook Pro models on Tuesday, and UBS analyst Maynard Um thinks the timing is just right for educational and back to school purchases.

“The MacBook Pro refresh positions Apple well heading into the education and back to school spending seasons,” Mr. Um said. “Macs remain a critical part of Apple’s growth and we believe share gains from new product introductions, innovation, geo expansion, etc. are factors that may make consensus expectations prove conservative.”

The updated models sport Intel’s Core i5 and i7 processors, improved graphics, 4GB RAM, improved battery life, and are priced starting at US$1,199. The refresh to the MacBook Pro lineup comes only days after Apple previewed iPhone OS 4, and a little over a week after the iPad shipped.

Looking forward, Mr. Um expects Apple is building up to the rollout of a new service for managing content across all of its devices. “Longer term, we maintain our view that Apple is working on building a foundation for a service to provide seamless access and mobility of content across its products,” he said. “We envision a service that allows access to media-focused content of iTunes, user-generated content of MobileMe and social networking integration from any Apple product.”

He added that this new service will be a catalyst for additional sales.

Mr. Um is maintaining his “Buy” rating and $280 target price for Apple’s stock. Apple is currently trading at $241.51, down 0.78 (0.32%).