Sales of Apples professional line of Macintosh desktops and notebooks could get a boost after Adobe releases the full version of its new Photoshop CS3 digital imaging software later in 2007, according to one analyst.
In a Jan. 24 report to investors, Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis, wrote that the feedback from users of CS3s beta has been overwhelmingly positive, and that could prove a boon for the Mac.
Adobe, which is based in San Jose, Calif., rolled out the beta of CS3 Photoshop on Dec. 14, and Munster writes that the full version could be available by late April or May.
In addition, Piper Jaffray analyzed the results of an online poll of more than 80 beta users conducted by Macrumors.com, which found that about 70 percent were "very satisfied" with the software, while 17 percent claimed they were "satisfied." About 12 percent of beta users had no opinion, while not one user had any negative comments.
This strong response from creative professionals that use Adobe products could give Apple, especially the Mac Book and the MacBook Pro, a shot in the arm later in 2007.
According to Munsters analysis, about 15 percent of Mac users are professionals that work with Adobes software. This could mean that a significant block of Mac users are waiting for the full release before buying the newer Intel-based computers that the company introduced in January 2006, according to Munster.
"We believe that the success of the Intel-optimized CS3 will drive sales of Apples pro-level computers, as Adobe creative pros are waiting to buy Intel machines until CS3 is released," Munster wrote in the report.
When Apple, which is based in Cupertino, Calif., announced its latest quarterly result on Jan. 17, some analysts were surprised that the company did sell as many computers as Wall Street had anticipated.
However, research by IDC and Gartner shows that Mac shipments increased by about 30 percent in United States in 2006. In the worldwide market, Munster writes that a successful launch of CS3, coupled with other factors, could increase Apples share of the PC market by 1 percent in 2007.
Currently, Piper Jaffray estimates that Mac represents about 2.5 percent of the worldwide PC market. A successful launch of the CS3 plus a buying spree by those professional Mac users who have not upgraded to Intel machines could mean that Apple might capture 3.5 percent of the market by the end of 2007.
"Apples addressable market for Intel Macs will expand to include this pro market," Munster writes.