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The Apple TV has arrived: The word on the street is that the Apple TV is (finally) shipping. (We're doing our best to score one today, so check in later to learn if we've succeeded and to view unboxing photos.) According to Michael Gartenberg of Jupiter Research, there are five major reasons why the Apple TV will "stand out among the other players on the market." Over at rival analyst firm Piper Jaffery, however, Gene Munster is taking a wait-and-see stance, opining that Apple TV sales will slow down considerably after an initial surge from Mac lifers. Our take: It'll be a while before the Apple TV will have anywhere near the impact of the iPod. Consumers fully understood the concept of portable music, so the iPod was merely an answer to an already-asked question. The concept of streaming video across your home network to your TV is still a relatively new phenomenon, and it'll take time for broad swaths of consumers to grasp that idea and welcome the Apple TV into their homes.
New iMac rumored: AppleInsider published an intriguing piece this morning about a new "slimmer and sleeker" iMac, to be available in 20- and 24-inch versions - although AppleInsider also floats the idea that a budget-priced 17-inch model could be offered to the education sector. We hope so, as the "get 'em while they're young" marketing argument is a strong one. Interestingly, a 24-inch iMac could function quite well as a secondary video-viewer (you'll use your Apple TV for your primary big-screen TV). In a further blurring of the line between TVs and home computers, Hitachi has announced a line of new HDTVs with a hard drives: 250GB internal drives and 80GB or 160GB removable drives - or, as they call the removables, "information versatile disks for removable usage."
Apple's business remains strong: One analyst concludes that "the Mac business is growing as expected," while another quotes a reseller who says that "Usually the month of February is dead for Macs, but this year we have not had a measurable slowdown from the holiday (December) quarter." The aforementioned research firm Piper Jaffery currently has a target Apple stock price of a cool $124 per share. In related news, Apple's share of the notebook market was 4.1 percent in 2006 - which may not sound like much, but it's a 56-percent increase over the previous year.
In other news: After installing Mac OS 10.4.9, did you notice that there's now a slight delay when you press the optical-disc eject key? That's not a bug, it's a feature. Your tax dollars at work: Check out these security "best practices" from the NSA for Mac OS 10.4. Macinstruct has published a nifty collection of "Stupid Apple Remote Tricks." Blogs are turning ten years old, but there's still a dispute as to who's their daddy - and, speaking of disputes, one analyst says that Apple should acquire Adobe, while another thinks that'd be a bad idea. (We agree with the latter opinion; to quote Gold Five in the first Star Wars movie, "Stay on target!") Palm may be headed for an acquisition as early as this week - Nokia is among the suitors. Apple has published the conference schedule for its mid-June Worldwide Developers Conference (loads-o-Leopard, natch). And finally, Leander Kahney over at Wired News is reveling in the fact that once-negative pundits are changing their tune about the Mac.