Analyst: Steve Jobs is still in charge


Philip Elmer-DeWitt is a senior editor at Fortune.

Boring is good, says Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster in a report from Macworld 2009.

"Today's Macworld keynote was underwhelming as expected," Munster wrote in a note to clients, a development he interprets as "a sign that Steve Jobs remains primary spokesman and active leader."

The biggest news at the show, he says, was the updated 17" MacBook Pro and two software updates: iLife and iWork. (See Live from Apple's last Macworld)

That's a far cry from the kind of product Steve Jobs regularly introduced at Macworlds past, including the iBook, iTunes and the iPhone.

Always the optimist, Munster believes that the lack of any big news Tuesday actually adds clarity to the confusion surrounding Jobs' decision to skip the show.

"If Phil Schiller had made a significant announcement, we would have seen that as a sign of a changing-of-the-guard, but that was not the case. In other words, Steve Jobs remains the primary spokesperson for the company and we expect him to continue to appear at special events for all major product announcements. More importantly, this is another sign that Steve Jobs remains the active  leader of the company, in our opinion."

Munster retains a Buy rating on Apple (aapl) with a price target of $235 a share.

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