Analysts: Macworld 2009 a “Modest” and/or “Neutral” Event
With Phil Schiller, Apple’s (AAPL) senior VP of worldwide product marketing, delivering the Macworld keynote today, analyst expectations for big product announcements are running very, very low.
Over at Kaufman Bros., analyst Shaw Wu is betting on new iMacs as well as a sneak preview of Mac OS X 10.6 Leopard. “Our sense is that investor expectations [for Macworld] are fairly modest since it was announced that CEO Steve Jobs wouldn’t be the keynote speaker,” he wrote in a recent research note. “Nonetheless, we view new Macs as a positive catalyst as Apple’s desktop business (iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro) needs a refresh to re-ignite sales.”
“There will not be any revolutionary products at this year’s event,” writes Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who anticipates the announcement of an updated iMac, possibly a redesigned Mac mini and little else.
Analyst Ben Reitzes of Barclays Capital expects a new iMac to the big announcement in an otherwise “neutral event.”
Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi has similarly low expectations. “We expect MacWorld to be relatively unexciting, with the major highlights likely to be (1) a demonstration of Mac OSX 10.6 “SnowLeopard,” (2) new Mac desktops (iMac, MacMini) incorporating the same Nvidia chipset in the new MacBooks, and (3) a modest update to the AppleTV,” he writes. “A new iPhone is unlikely, in our view, though we do expect Apple to introduce a lower-end iPhone model within the first half of the year. Apple announced three weeks ago that this will be its last appearance at MacWorld, and that CEO Steve Jobs will not deliver the keynote this year. Given this, and a relative lack of new product rumors, we do not expect any big surprise announcements at MacWorld.”