The Wall Street Transcript
published an interview
with David C. Bailey as part of a 47-page Computer Hardware issue. Bailey is vice president and research analyst with Gerard Klauer Mattison and Co., and he’s offered his outlook on the tech sector. In his analysis, he lauds Apple’s recent initiatives while noting that the rest of the PC industry isn’t doing very much at all.
Bailey suggested that 2002 should be a fairly slow year for PC manufacturers, as a result of continued weak demand for their products. There are a few bright spots in the industry, though — including Apple.
“Apple continues to lead the PC industry in innovation, in our opinion. The company completely revamped its portable product line in 2001, and we expect Apple to make significant enhancements to its desktop offerings in 2002,” said Bailey.
Bailey noted the enhancements have already begun with the new revamped iMac. Apple’s software stable shouldn’t be overlooked either, Bailey asserted.
“Apple has rolled out an entire suite of software products that enable consumers to capture, edit and distribute digital audio and video using very powerful but easy to use applications,” he said.
In the WinTel PC market, Bailey said that “innovation has almost ground to a halt.” There are a few things here and there that may spark some interest, like tablet PCs and wireless mobile solutions, but Bailey said his firm sees that as “more evolutionary than revolutionary” and unlikely to garner fervent enthusiasm right off the bat either from consumers or corporations.
Handheld devices are an exception, said Bailey, and as an example he cited Apple’s iPod digital music player/FireWire storage device. He acknowledged that the iPod’s been very successful since its launch last fall and is “fundamentally different” from other MP3 products.
In fact, when queried about companies that are likely to drive growth in the new year, Bailey cited Apple. He said that between the company’s new desktop products, Mac OS X, its own stable of iApps, and continued adoption of the new platform by new third-party application developers should all help to “drive an upgrade cycle” among Apple’s installed base of users. He also expects to see new hardware and software, too — a point underscored by Apple CFO Fred Anderson during a recent conference call with analysts.
This issue is lost on many PC companies, Bailey posited. There has been “a dearth of new applications” that excite and stimulate PC users into upgrading their systems.