Analyst: Apple Likely to Sell 5 Million Copies of Snow Leopard This Quarter

In a note to clients released this morning, Piper Jaffray research analyst Gene Munster estimated that Apple will sell approximately 5 million copies of OS X Snow Leopard during the remainder of this quarter. Apple announced earlier this morning that the new version of the company's operating system will go on sale this Friday, August 28th.

Munster calculates an average selling price for Snow Leopard of $22, considering the product mix of Leopard upgrades ($29) and "Up-to-Date" purchases for those who have purchased a new Mac since June 8th ($9.95), yielding approximately $110 million in gross revenue for the quarter and about $66 million in net profit based on an estimated 60% profit margin. That result would add approximately $0.05 per share to Apple's earnings for the quarter, although Munster believes that that contribution is already factored into analyst's estimates for the quarter, as pricing and the estimated release date have been known for some time now.

Munster also sees OS X Snow Leopard as relatively minor upgrade, but one which that will allow Apple to position it as a value-priced upgrade for existing users and cutting-edge technology for new users against the "antiquated technology" of Windows users stuck on XP and Vista who are beginning to think about the upgrade path for Windows 7.

Apple sold two million copies of Mac OS X Leopard during its launch weekend in October 2007.

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