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Merrill Lynch: Apple building consumer electronics franchise

In a research note to clients on Wednesday, Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich weighed in on Apple’s new Mac mini and iPod shuffle, saying that Apple is quickly becoming a consumer electronics king. “Apple continues to show strategic flexibility with its lowest priced Mac ever and an iPod at US$99 with more capacity than we expected. We continue to think Apple is building a sustainable consumer electronics franchise rather than just lucky with hot products,” Milunovich wrote. “We believe the Mac mini will sell well to both PC switchers and Mac lovers wanting to put iTunes, iPhoto, and iVideo into entertainment room. The lower price point could entice PC owners to consider the Mac, particularly those with iPods.”

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