UBS Analyst Sees New Macs with Nehalem Processors & Mac OS 10.5.7 Soon

iStock TickerUBS analyst Maynard Um believes Apple will be updating its Mac product line with Intel's new Nehalem processors in the near-term. To support the new processors, he believes Apple will update Mac OS X "Leopard" to version 10.5.7, possibly as early as this month (March), ahead of the Mac refresh.

In a research note to clients obtained by The Mac Observer, Mr. Um wrote, "Our checks suggest AAPL is set to launch new desktops supporting Nehalem processors in the coming months and an update to Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.7) with Nehalem support as early as this month."

The report cited an online rumor of March 24th, 2009 for an Apple media event, but Mr. Um specified that he had not been able to confirm if such an event is taking place. Apple has not yet issued media invitations for any new events this year.

Mr. Um also iterated his expectation that the iPhone line would be refreshed this year, putting his estimate of a, "mid-year event, coinciding with the anniversary of prior product launches."

Mr. Um is maintaining a "Neutral" rating on the stock with a US$105 price target.

"We believe AAPL's net cash (~$31/share) and positive cashflow may mitigate material downside risk," he wrote. "Although we remain concerned with the impact of the broader weakening economy, new product launches could help sentiment near-term."

As of this writing, Apple was trading lower at $88.42 per share, down $0.89 (-1.00%), on moderate volume.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.