from December 2010, News
It may be the last day of calendar year 2010, but it's Apple, Inc's fiscal Q1 2011, and it looks to be a pretty hot one Jobs and company. The December quarter may very well be a record for many of Apple's devices:
- 20+ million iPhones estimated to be sold
- 4+ million Macs (a first for the company)
- A record number of iPod touch's sold
- iPads breaching the 6 million mark
What calendar year 2011 may hold?
Here's a shocker - Apple's on a tear lately. iPhone's, iPad's, even Mac's, their sales are exploding. Apple has had the uncanny ability to push their financial figures north, defying the growth rules which mandate Apple must flatten out the larger they become. Will Apple succumb to these laws? Perhaps, but it's not likely to occur in 2011 based on recent estimates. According to DigiTimes, Apple's on pace to ship more than 20 million iPhones in 2011, along with new iPads shipping in the quarter. Throw in a newly rumored 65 million iPads for the new year and 2011 is covered.
Apple will defy Wall Street in 2011, but what will Jobs magically produce to keep the numbers piling up for 2012?
In an October 2008 Financial conference call, Steve Jobs said this about Apple TV, “Well, again, I think the whole category is still a hobby now—nobody has succeeded at it.”
The sad thing is that at the close of 2010 despite successful sales numbers, the second generation Apple TV still behaves like a “hobby”. The Apple Discussion Forum is now littered with over a hundred posts of people struggling to get the Apple TV to see their computers via Home Sharing.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has become the trade show for new computing products to the latest in remote control vacuum cleaners. To summarize, CES is an absolute circus, but it's a must-attend show for any business serious about the the markets in which they play — unless that business is Apple, Inc.
Since Apple exited MacWorld Expo in 2009 it has shunned industry trade shows and opted to conduct their own media events. Why share the stage when a spotlight can be had? Last year Apple waited for CES to blow by — with all the half-baked tablet announcements. Then on January 18, Apple issued invitations to their special event: "Come see our latest creation". This special event took place on January 27, where Apple amazed all with the iPad. This year proves to be no different. Apple will not be holding a special event prior to CES.
Could Apple switch to AMD processors as they move the Graphics Processors Unit (GPU) into the Central Processor Unit (CPU)? Historically, GPUs have always been on a card at the end of a bus inside your computer. That may start to change as both AMD and Intel are bringing their GPUs into the Central Processor Unit (CPU). AMD could have the edge in this new battle with the expertise they received from the purchase of ATI.
Intel introduced the iSeries processors this year that are based on the Nehalem microarchitecture. These i3, i5, and i7 processors are big, fast and expensive, which is both a positive and a negative. Intel has gone after the high market with these chips, but they have left an opening for AMD in the middle and low segments. This kept AMD in the game even though Intel still commands an 80% global market-share. Intel chips are faster, but AMD offers a better value for the price.
According to the Wall Street Journal, it looks like Big Brother, disguised as the Federal Communications Commission, is going to start regulating the internet.
Although Congress has not given the FCC this authority and a recent case in a Federal D.C. court also said the FCC does not have this type of regulatory authority, it appears the FCC is going to just take this role because it wants to.
Apple's upcoming Mac App Store will open for business the first week of January 2010. This new Mac OS X feature was announced by Steve Jobs on October 20th and was said to be released within 90 days. Apple is keeping its promise.
"The Mac OS X App Store will be a huge boon for smaller developers," says Steve Barham — CEO of Urban Anomaly. "The Mac OS X App Store makes it so we can now port our applications to the Mac and not have to worry about costly, physical distribution. We can continue to focus on making great apps," added Barham.
Not too long ago Apple started building a new sales model. Apple made a shift when selling a new iPhone, as they continued to offer the dated version of the iPhone, but at a lower price point. The forthcoming iPad 2 launch is believed to be no different.
Apple first started this sales model with the release of the iPhone 3GS at $199, while the iPhone 3G stayed in the lineup, dropping to $99. Apple repeated this product positioning with their iPhone 4 launch, slotting the iPhone 3GS to $99. How successful has this sales model been? Apple never reveals a breakdown of iPhone sales by model, delivering only a total number of iPhone sales per quarter, but iPhone 3GS is AT&T's third best selling smart phone (coming in behind a Samsung Android and the number one selling iPhone 4).
|Never Designed for Touch|
|The Windows interface does not work with a pen let alone a finger... Steve Ballmer may like his strategy, but the consumer does not.|
Trying to fit a desktop operating system in the tablet will never work. These tablets require a new operating system built around its touch display and power sipping processors. Microsoft has been trying to fit Windows into a tablet since 2001. Each time they have tried and failed. The last Windows tablet was the HP Slate, which topped out at 9,000 units sold. These HP Slates could not compete with the iPad three months ago, why does Microsoft think that these new ones will? It may still be up for debate whether Windows belongs on a desktop, but we know that it does not belong on a tablet.
The New York Times is reporting that Microsoft will be coming out with new tablets next month at CES. Before the iPad was released, Microsoft had almost no competition and they still failed. Now these new tablets will have to compete against the iPad. Apple has sold more tablets than anyone else combined. When these new tablets are released, the failures of Windows on the tablet will be obvious when compared to the iPad.
|But Apple changed the game with iPod, offering a vertically integrated solution which married hardware, software and content into one seamless ecosystem.|
It's no secret people move in packs. Whether populations migrate to new continents or flocking to malls on Black Friday, it makes no difference, the masses will follow each other over cliffs if the herd moves that way.
Technologies that win the day are not lost on human behavior either. VHS vs Betamax, Windows versus Mac OS or the air-popper vs the superior oven roasted Whirly-pop popcorn, the masses consistently find themselves settling for the lowest common denominator as "good enough" often defeats better or best.