Friday, March 23, 2007

Apple TV Could Take Living Room by Storm

With 110 million iTunes users, Apple TV already has a foot in the living room door. Apple has also taken care to stay in line with its emphasis on simplicity in designing the device. This could add up to a big start for the soon-to-be-released set-top player, of which the company is expected to sell 4 million in 2008.

Apple TV hasn't shipped yet, but Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster thinks the home theater box is already poised to steamroll over Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Media Center. He commented, "We believe iTunes is a Trojan horse media center, which will give Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) a significant early lead in the digital living room."

Munster estimates there are about 110 million iTunes users -- the key market for Apple TV. In comparison, there are only about 12 million Windows Media Center users, even though the software is pre-installed on about 23 million PCs. Based on those figures, Apple already has a 10x head start over Microsoft in gaining control over digital home entertainment.

"With a wireless media streaming device, simplicity is key, and Apple carried its focus on simplicity to this product," he said. "During our tests of Apple TV at Macworld we found it very easy to use with a simple remote and intuitive navigation."

That ease of use will likely translate into sales for Apple. Wall Street is estimating Apple will sell 4 million Apple TV units in calendar 2008, generating about US$1.2 billion in revenue.

Munster is rating Apple as "Outperform" with a target price at $124. Apple is currently trading in the pre-market at $89.40, down 0.17 cents (0.19 percent).

Apple TV Technology News by technewsworld

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