Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
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:
What calendar year 2011 may hold?
Many analysts and inside-the-beltway tech journalists believe Android is going to be the new Windows that dominates and controls the world as we know it - Don't count on it.
Android is exploding on eBook readers, tablets, phones, HDTV's and probably quite soon, refrigerators and hairdryers. So long as the buzz word "Android" is on a device, that's all that'll matters and Google seems more than fine with that approach. But will that make Android a winner? And what is a so-called "activation" anyway?...
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.
One thing not found at One Infinite Loop is mediocrity. Since Steve Jobs returned to Apple their success has been built upon designing and executing excellence. Excellence is found in the iOS — an OS designed just for touch systems. Excellence is found in the Mac Book Air with its super thin sleek design, long-lasting battery life and solid state drive. No matter what Apple product you consider, that product has excellence built-in.
Another way to state this is that Apple does not manufacture commodities. A commodity is an item that can't be distinguished from a competitor's product except for by price, delivery or something that has little to do with the product itself. For example, the Windows PC quickly became a commodity. Speeds and price were the only real differentiators, but in essence, one Windows PC was just like the next one. This commoditization significantly reduced the value of the PC Manufacturer while it raised the value of the Operating System. Apple was able to avoid being seen as "just another PC" by making its products different — better and special — through hardware innovation, design and software integration.
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.