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Apple Prepares For the Coming iPod Slump

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the mighty-shall-fall dept.

Media (Apple) 340

Hugh Pickens writes "Companies like AOL have stagnated along with the products that made them successful as a mature market and downward pressure on prices led to a nasty death spiral, but Saul Hansell writes in the NY Times that Apple has used its amazing six-year run with the iPod to nurture other business lines. Even though the number of iPods sold this quarter grew only 1 percent from the same quarter a year ago, Apple should be able to sustain itself with three business lines that will help it withstand a collapse in the MP3-player market: a continuing revenue stream from the iPods that have already been sold because of the iTunes Store, product upgrades to the iPhone and iPod Touch that are so different that they may well appeal to a significant number of iPod users, and perhaps most significantly, sales of the Macintosh which showed an increase of 51 percent by units and 54 percent by dollars."

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spam headers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23185480)

spam headers

A slump? (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185490)

As economic prosperity spreads to certain parts of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, I'd think there should be a steady stream of new buyers. Of course, in non-Japan and Korea Asia people seem happy with the fake iPods (complete with "iPod" written large on the front to soothe your designer-look lust) and I can imagine competing there is difficult.

Re:A slump? (1, Redundant)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186020)

*cough* China *cough* 1.5 Billion (said with Dr. Evil inflection) potential customers.

Re:A slump? (5, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186344)

1.5 billion people who are happy with fakes. Have you been to China and seen their middle class buying habits? Many of them don't even know there is a real difference between the Apple product and the fake.

Re:A slump? (1, Troll)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186464)

And as long as the prices for the real thing stay and absurdly high levels that trend will actually spread. I can't afford the prices so I buy less expensive brands. My 8gig player was much cheaper that Apple's 4gig and the interface is fine. I'm not even confined to one vendor for application and use.

Re:A slump? (3, Interesting)

gobbo (567674) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186376)

1.5 Billion ... potential customers.

More like 200 million, at most 15%, are middle class and buying luxuries. Note that middle class there is less voracious than in USA. It's debatable, but not much larger for a few years. [/stultifying pedantry].

batteries (4, Insightful)

berashith (222128) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185500)

Battery replacement to existing units is a great new line of revenue for any customers who aren't willing to just replace the original when it stops holding a charge.

Re:batteries (0, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185676)

Do you bitch about the battery on your motherboard to?

Re:batteries (5, Informative)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185740)

> Do you bitch about the battery on your motherboard to?

No, because that one is user-replaceable...

Re:batteries (3, Informative)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186186)

Lucky you. The mommyboard battery on the older Compaq Deskpro I have at home is spot-welded in place. :-(

Re:batteries (5, Informative)

Fahrvergnuugen (700293) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186252)

I've replaced the battery in my 1st gen mini twice by myself. the company i ordered the battery from ($9 btw) even included the tools to open the mini's case without damaging it.

Re:batteries (0)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186366)

Umm? What? The battery on my 286 motherboard is hard-soldered in. Off my lawn!

Re:batteries (1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186736)

Since it is soldered in place in most motherboards, I wouldn't call it user replaceable.

Re:batteries (-1, Flamebait)

dazza76 (1278872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186800)

Yeah, and like you'd get your mother to replace her battery when it runs down. Then again, you likely live at home so would do it for her.

Re:batteries (3, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185742)

You mean the 1.50$ battery that I can replace without even using any tools? How is that relevant compared to a sealed consumer device that needs to be sent back to the manufacturer to have its battery replaced?

Re:batteries (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186108)

My dad has replaced the batteries in four 3g iPods and two Nanos (I don't remember what gen they are, they're the black ones from before the widening of the form factor). He charged me the cost of batteries, which were about $5-10 each. He's good with mechanical things and managed to replace all the batteries without leaving any clue that they'd been opened. I think I'll give him a call tonight and ask him what he did.

Re:batteries (0, Redundant)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186754)

Most are soldered on.
You don't have to send the iPod to replace the battery.

Re:batteries (5, Informative)

astrosmash (3561) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185966)

The 3rd-party iPod battery market has been over-saturated for years. You can get a new battery for any iPod model, including the tools needed to perform the replacement, for under $30 dollars.

Re:batteries (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23186392)

I am intrigued by your $ dollars currency. Which country are you from?

Jobs is a genius (-1, Offtopic)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185508)

There....I said it.

cant wait for those 64gb iPod Touch's... (1)

Kildjean (871084) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185564)

Is it me or almost everyone that has an ipod 60G 5th Gen, is waiting for the touches to go up to 64Gb before dumping a wad of cash on one of them. My Gf is so sure I will do that, that she is already expecting it and promised me not to complain If I go ahead and do it. How else is in this same boat?

Re:cant wait for those 64gb iPod Touch's... (4, Funny)

sjf (3790) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186044)

My Gf is so sure I will do that, that she is already expecting it and promised me not to complain If I go ahead and do it. How else is in this same boat?

Yup, your Gf is unlikely to complain if I buy one also



Re:cant wait for those 64gb iPod Touch's... (3, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186228)

Interesting point: apple updates their products so fast and brings out new products so fast that a lot of people wait to buy something. When I was considering getting an iphone, everyone that already had one was advising that I wait another 6 months to get one since they're bound to come out with something better.

Overall I think it works for them just fine, since they time things well and their products are always a good value. But part of me wonders if they wouldn't make more money if they would just wait a little longer before bringing out new generations/products.

Re:cant wait for those 64gb iPod Touch's... (5, Insightful)

DECS (891519) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187064)

Apple could likely make just as much money with a slower rate of new products coming out. However, that would make it far easier for competitors to catch up.

Microsoft's second generation Zune, had it arrived a year earlier, would have been competitive hardware wise with the then current iPods. As it was, Apple's rapid upgrading left it looking like nothing special.

The old Apple of the late 80s basically stopped the frantic pace of upgrades, and that's exactly what allowed Microsoft to catch up over a ten year period from 1985-1995. The bumper sticker that said "Windows 95 = Mac 89" was funny, but the sad part was that Mac 89 wasn't so far behind Mac 95.

Now the tables are turned, and Microsoft is the one coasting along on past performance, allowing Apple to catch up and surpass it.

Windows Vista, 7, and Singularity: The New Copland, Gershwin, Taligent [roughlydrafted.com]

Re:cant wait for those 64gb iPod Touch's... (1)

r_benchley (658776) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186542)

I'm in the exact same position. I want an iPod Touch, but 16GB is way too small. Until they increase the storage capacity, my 60GB 5th Gen iPod will have to suffice.

Re:cant wait for those 64gb iPod Touch's... (4, Informative)

Admiral Ag (829695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187040)

And there you have the answer. The smaller iPods will remain, but the real money is in the new convergence wireless touch devices. Once those hit $250-300 in decent sizes (and that will probably happen in the next iteration - the 8 gig is already $300), and the SDK means that there will be games and apps and allsorts, who wouldn't want one? There have been promises of such devices from companies like Nokia, and the PSP is probably the closest, but the iPod Touch and iPhone look like the first real winners.

(FD: I bought a 16 gig, but gave it to my wife so I had an excuse to buy a 32gig - it's enough for the essentials. I'll have to find someone else that needs a gift when the 64gig comes out)

Here's one way they can prepare (0, Flamebait)

krog (25663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185566)

Make a 12" or 13" MacBook Pro. If that happens, then I will buy a new Mac. Otherwise, they can see how many suckers they can sell a $2500 manila of hot air to...

Re:Here's one way they can prepare (3, Interesting)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186866)

I'm not sure how this got modded interesting. They already make a 12 or 13 inch MacBook Pro -- it's called the MacBook. It's one distinguishing feature is the small screen and lower spec graphics. I guess you can complain about lower spec graphics, but when was the last time you saw a high spec graphics card in that space? The mac books already get really hot, I don't want to know what would happen with a Geforks 8600 in there.

Re:Here's one way they can prepare (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186876)

Make a 12" or 13" MacBook Pro. If that happens, then I will buy a new Mac. Otherwise, they can see how many suckers they can sell a $2500 manila of hot air to...

While I don't own a Mac Book Pro, and I haven't looked at its specs ....

when I first saw those commercials, I immediately though Wow!!! I remember ads for laptops and luggables in the late 80's/early 90's -- they didn't fit in no inter-office envelope.

I know someone a few years ago who bought himself an Apple laptop, because he was frustrated with his Windows laptop work provided. He seemed to think it was well worth the money, as it just worked.

I honestly can't say if it's a lot of hype and hot air or not ... but, the people I know who have spent the money on them feel they actually did get something for their money. In the end, they're the final decision makers on if it was worth it or not.

I guess it's all a matter of what you want and need.

Cheers

History repeats itself (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185626)

All Apple has to do is to look at Dell. Dell made gads of money and had huge growth by selling PCs. The PC itself wasn't new, but it was being bought by more and more demographics. That, however, only lasts so long. To keep up with the same growth, Dell would have to sell more computers in a year than there are people on this planet. So they have to sell people a second computer if people aren't ready to replace their existing computer or computers to businesses. But their entire business still revolves only around computers and every thing is just an accessory. They tried getting into other lines like media players, printers, etc with varying degrees of success.

Re:History repeats itself (5, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185888)

OTOH, Apple's been around for nearly a decade longer than Dell, and people have been predicting Apple's demise [folklore.org] since before even Dvorak began his torrent of verbal excrement. And yet, Apple has managed to persevere and surprise all of us over and over again. You may not like Apple, but you can't deny that they know how to weather ups and downs. Steve Jobs seems especially good at getting people excited about even their mundane products. I think Dell should be looking at Apple.

Re:History repeats itself (4, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185960)

Um no, Apple should NOT be looking at Dell.

Unless you have been under a rock for the last 5 years, Dell priced themselves into a hole and now has serious financial issues. They have basically moved all their operations to India, and now are limiting even built to order in the hopes of saving their asses as the economy bombs.

And their model was ALWAYS to sell multiple computers to the same people, through planned obsolescence in 2 years.

No Apple is doing things EXACTLY right, which is why they are the only computer and perpetual manufacturer to make serious profits in a failing economy. If Dell took Apple as their example, they would not be on the brink of firing off a good 1/8th of their workforce to save profits for their management.

Re:History repeats itself (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23186142)

Dumbass, that's exactly what they said. learn to read.

Re:History repeats itself (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186214)

"And their model was ALWAYS to sell multiple computers to the same people, through planned obsolescence in 2 years."

That is why many geeks recommend against buying their proprietary form-factor upgrade-resistant machines.

Re:History repeats itself (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186610)

Apple should be looking at Dell as a cautionary tale of what can happen if your company doesn't expand their business. I don't think I made that clear. Dell is trying to expand but haven't had much success in other products other than computers.

I'm sure they predicted it (4, Insightful)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185662)

Eventually the market would saturate and I am sure Apple economists must have known it. I don't think they are really surprised at the slump.

Nothing to see here..... move along.

Eureka! The iPod killer (5, Funny)

Anonymous Monkey (795756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185876)

Are you kidding me! We have finally found the perfect iPod killer! This is something Microsoft has been after for a long time (not to mention Sony, Creative, Samsung, and many others). The iPod it self will create it's own demise. Some one should call Microsoft and tell them to start selling iPods so that they can kill it faster.

Re:I'm sure they predicted it (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186208)

Predicting it is not the point. Cray, Silicon Graphics, DEC... I'm sure they all saw the writing on the wall. We can predict social security going insolvent, we can predict China surpassing the US, we can predict global warming. The question, in every case, is "now what"?

Re:I'm sure they predicted it (0, Offtopic)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186568)

we can predict global warming
What species are you? Show me anybody that can predict this and I can, without hesitation, call them a liar.

Re:I'm sure they predicted it (5, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186508)

Apple is pretty good at planning things but they are secretive so you don't know what they are planning. The iPhone was in development for 2 years before they announced it last January. And the only reason they announced it 6 months before they were able to sell it was that Apple had to apply for a FCC license on it.


Over 10 years ago, Apple bought NeXT to save themselves. Some analysts couldn't understand why Apple with it's faltering personal computer product line would buy a Unix computer company whose product line wasn't very successful. Was Apple going to start selling 2 product lines? What few understood was Apple bought NeXT for their OS expertise not their hardware business. That expertise became OS X.


Just yesterday, Apple bought PA Semi. This slump might be something that planned for a long time and PA Semi is just the start. We don't know what Apple has in store for PA Semi if NeXT is a good example.

What about an 80-column card? (5, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185668)

What about an 80-column card? (If you get that, I know how old you are...)

Re:What about an 80-column card? (2, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185760)

What about an 80-column card? (If you get that, I know how old you are..

I'd pass on that, as it doesn't really benefit my favorite SubLogic program.

TV-typewriter cookbook (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186488)

Dang! I remember wanting to buy an 80 column card for my s-100 buss and agonizing over whether to get one using 5x7 dot matrix or go for broke with 6x8 dot matrix. Or possibly building my own using the TV_typewriter cookbook.

By the way, please advise, Should I get the new fangled double-buffered version or try to write to memory during the re-trace?

Re:What about an 80-column card? (5, Funny)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185934)

What about an 80-column card? (If you get that, I know how old you are...)
Young enough to use wikipedia [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:What about an 80-column card? (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186212)

I'd tell you my unique relationship to the 80-column card, but then I'd be giving away my identity online, which is a no-no.

Re:What about an 80-column card? (1)

drerwk (695572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186456)

I used a software mod that allowed 72 columns using the HIRES (rootbeer) mode - best used on a monochrome display unless you likes purple/green orange/blue highlights to your B/W characters

Re:What about an 80-column card? (1)

Renegrade (698801) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186510)

Hey, my C=128 had that natively without any upgrades~

Re:What about an 80-column card? (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186756)

(If you get that, I know how old you are...)

I didn't get it, because I'm too old [uiowa.edu] .

And it turns out I can produce 80-column cards on my Apple computer [x3270.bgp.nu] .

Re:What about an 80-column card? (5, Funny)

Digi-John (692918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186770)

Damn kids and your Apple hardware. In my day, an 80 column card was one of these [wikimedia.org]

Re:What about an 80-column card? (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187062)

man.. I remember that.. used one in a IIe and a Franklin Ace 1000 (a IIe clone). I needed it with the Z80 CPM emulator for my Pascal coursework :P

iPod choices are going downhill (1)

Control-Z (321144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185804)

I have an old 3g 40GB iPod that I received as a gift, it still works very well.

Yeah the iPod touch is cool, but 32GB is woefully inadequate.

The 160GB iPod Classic might be nice, but then I read comments that they have Cirrus Logic (*shudder*) sound chips instead of Yamahas. No thanks.

I've never used iTunes. Amazon.com sells MP3s with no DRM for the same or lower price than iTunes.

iPod still has the name recognition and is much sought after, but there are better alternatives, I'm looking at an Archos WiFi 160GB player, I just don't like how they want you to pay for the web browser.

Re:iPod choices are going downhill (3, Informative)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185938)

You could check out the Cowon Q5W. It competes with the high-end Archos PMPs. I have a Cowon A2 and for the kind of player it is, it's easily the best one I've used. Though the next player I plan on getting will be Cowon's successor to the D2, whatever that will be, as the idea of just swapping out high-capacity SD cards works for me.

Re:iPod choices are going downhill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23186112)

Looks neat, but I'm mostly worried about capacity. A 60GB Q5W for $518.00 does not compare to a 160GB Archos 605 for $360.00.

Re:iPod choices are going downhill (1, Troll)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186052)

Yeah the iPod touch is cool, but 32GB is woefully inadequate.
What's woefully inadequate about it? That's enough music so that you'd never have to repeat a song for over 16 days. Why exactly would you ever need to be carrying around more than 16 days of music at any one time for?

Re:iPod choices are going downhill (1)

Control-Z (321144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186216)


If I want to carry around my entire music collection then I need at least 100GB. Otherwise I fuss around deleting music to make room for other music, what's the point in that?

Re:iPod choices are going downhill (1, Flamebait)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186526)

If I want to carry around my entire music collection then I need at least 100GB.
And other than to say that you carry around all your music on your iPod is there an actual practical point of this? Do you routinely spend 2+ months away from your computer listening to music 24/7?

Re:iPod choices are going downhill (1)

Control-Z (321144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186606)

What part of this are you not getting?

Do you have music on your computer? Are you listening to it 24/7? If not, delete whatever you're not listening to.

Maybe I can help here (1)

deesine (722173) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186732)

He wants ACCESS TO HIS ENTIRE LIBRARY, at ALL TIMES. No, he doesn't PLAY HIS ENTIRE LIBRARY at all times.

He's not alone.

-

Re:iPod choices are going downhill (1)

MarcoG42 (1087205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186944)

Why should he delete the music from his computer? That's where it's being stored. Your analogy is a bad one. I think the point he's trying to make is that, for the average person, 32 gigs is more than enough. What need does anyone have to carry around that much music, if only to say, "My iPod's wang is bigger than your iPod's wang!"? Chances are if you have an iPod you have a laptop or access to a PC almost every day. Call having it all on your iPod a backup, if you like, but it's a helluva lot easier to steal or lose than your PC or laptop.

Re:iPod choices are going downhill (4, Interesting)

Digi-John (692918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186842)

Your argument is like renting a 5' by 10' apartment on the reasoning that you can just store everything you're not using in a storage unit, then haul it in when you need it. When you finish watching TV, just carry the whole TV and stand out and bring in your bookshelf so you can do some reading.

Re:iPod choices are going downhill (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186868)

C'mon, you've never had an itch to hear a certain song at a certain time? It's a very nice feeling to have all of your music with you.

That said, I still use a G1 10GB (actually a 5GB with a bigger hard drive). I'm on battery #3 :)

Capacity (0, Troll)

gobbo (567674) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186730)

32GB is woefully inadequate.

I find this utterly astonishing, if you're referring to compressed music. Even uncompressed, that's an enormous collection at your fingertips. Do you really listen to all that music? If so, I have concerns about: a) your hearing, as damage is related to length of exposure; b) your mental health, as locked away in a private auditory world is ultimately alienating; c) your substitution of listening for creation (i.e. you don't make any music); d) your identity being somehow reliant on your consumption of music; e) your inability to make a decision and just pick a playlist for the road. If you aren't listening to it all, yet must carry it around with you, you're engaged in a strange variant of conspicuous consumption.

Okay, that's partly facetious, except for the hearing bit, and don't take it personally, I direct my concerns to all those I see lost in earphone land (disclaimer: I have one too). There are lots of reasons to have all that space used: you're an ethnographer studying music; you're a musician using it for reference; you're backing up hard drives; you're storing video. All of which is perfectly reasonable for requiring 60GB.

Re:Capacity (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186882)

I use my 32 GB ipod as a semi-permanent music storage device in my car. My library has now grown beyond 32GB (even when I take out album art) so now I no longer have access to all my music while I'm in the car. It's something I can deal with fine now, but I won't buy another ipod unless it's >32GB in size.

Re:iPod choices are going downhill (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186942)

If I buy songs online, I buy them from Amazon. It's downloader pulls them down and puts them right into iTunes without a hitch.

Is this the iPod slump from three years ago? (4, Interesting)

noewun (591275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185810)

Or is this the one which was supposed to hit two years ago? Or the one from last year? You see, I get them confused, as it seems every year someone is predicting that Apple's iPod growth will suddenly crater as Teh Next Big Thing comes along and steals Apple's thunder.

I don't know if iPod growth will crater, or slowly slow down or whatever. But I am pretty well convinced that, whatever happens, no "expert" will predict it.

Re:Is this the iPod slump from three years ago? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23185974)

Or is this the one which was supposed to hit two years ago? Or the one from last year?

No, no, you're getting that confused with the Year of the Linux Desktop(TM) again. Keep it straight, man!

Re:Is this the iPod slump from three years ago? (5, Funny)

archen (447353) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186914)

Actually I think he has it right. THIS is always the year of the linux desktop. Apple will always be bankrupt by NEXT year. And the next version of windows will be the most secure ever.

Re:Is this the iPod slump from three years ago? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186266)

Don't any of you even read the blurb! GROWTH HAS CRATERED. There is no "prediction" here. 1 percent annual sales growth is nothing, especially compared to what the iPod has done in years previous.

Re:Is this the iPod slump from three years ago? (2, Informative)

drerwk (695572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186572)

http://daringfireball.net/2008/01/aapl_q1_2008 [daringfireball.net]

But hereâ(TM)s the thing: iPod revenue growth continues to grow at about the same pace. Last year, iPod revenue was up 18 percent over the previous year; this year, it was up 17 percent. Think about that: a year ago, iPod unit sales were up 50 percent but revenue was up just 18 percent; this year, unit sales are up just 5 percent but revenue is still up 17 percent. (Compare and contrast to Appleâ(TM)s Mac hardware sales, which are up 44 percent in units and an almost identical 47 percent in revenue.)

Re:Is this the iPod slump from three years ago? (1)

noewun (591275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186780)

Any annual growth is not cratering. Cratering would mean, by definition, a precipitous decline.

Mac Sales Affected by Vista? (5, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185814)

If the number of Mac units sold is accurate, then Vista is absolutely killing HP and Dell unit sales.

That would suggest that Dell and HP's consumer PC business will show unit and dollar sales declines.

Re:Mac Sales Affected by Vista? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186924)

They may not show declines - just lesser growth than they would otherwise. Apple may be stealing growth in a growing field (and thus market share).

Move to new markets (2, Insightful)

mcsqueak (1043736) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185834)

I think Apple is doing a decent job upgrading their product line in order to keep winning back existing customers. I still have a 4G iPod (the last version with the monochrome screen) that is 4 years old now and it still works like a charm. The battery is probably shot, but I use it exclusively in my car now so it's plugged in all the time. When the hard drive finally dies I'll probably get an iPod touch so I can get maps and stuff on the go. However, it shows what happens when nearly everyone in America who wants an iPod has one - sales will drop. Apple really needs to start marketing in up-and-coming markets such as the Middle East, China, and other areas. Sure, there are plenty of knockoff products in those markets already, but that doesn't mean Apple shouldn't try.

Just curious.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23185854)

How is 1% growth over last years numbers a slump?

Re:Just curious.. (1)

ohtani (154270) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186074)

They have made a much bigger growth in the past. Also, it doesn't say it's a current slump, it's one that they expect to happen soon.

Mac Sales (5, Funny)

ForexCoder (1208982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185866)

" sales of the Macintosh which showed an increase of 51 percent by units and 54 percent by dollars."

Sounds like Vista is paying dividends for somebody.

Re:Mac Sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23186862)

I worked as a Specialist (read "salescritter") in a retail Apple Store until a few months ago, and some weeks I sold almost as many Macs (@$600-$3000+) as iPods (@$50-$500). Part of that's because there are so many other places to buy iPods so I never saw a lot of those customers, but it says something about the sales strength of the Mac computer line, and its contribution to Apple's bottom line.

Something to look forward to in 2010 (3, Insightful)

CowboyNealOption (1262194) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185872)

I wonder what Apple will release around the same time that Microsoft releases their next OS? A version of OSX that runs on any "Vista Ready" machine before then would be kinda cool. The press seems to be split on how Vista is helping/hindering Apple, but I am sure things are already percolating based on the 2010 release of the next Microsoft OS.

Re:Something to look forward to in 2010 (1)

GregPK (991973) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186114)

I've been predicting it for a while now. I figure Apple will have about 40-50 percent of the total PC market share before Microsoft makes something that turns the tide on this trend. Even then, I doubt Microsoft will ever fully get back to where it was as a percentage of market.

I'm predicting the final tally in 2012 will be a higher total number of users for all operating systems but statistically will be split like this for primary OS.

Microsoft 40 percent
Apple 40 percent
Linux gaining traction at 20 percent
Dual Boot users 40 percent

Re:Something to look forward to in 2010 (4, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186318)

I think the big flaw in your numbers is business users. The vast majority of them are not going to pay the premium for Apple hardware, and I don't see Apple selling budget boxes or licensing their OS anytime soon.

If you take businesses out of the count and look at a consumer level, then your numbers seems more feasible to me. You just have to walk into a college lecture hall and count the Apple logos to see the inroads that they're making.

Re:Something to look forward to in 2010 (1)

revscat (35618) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187010)

I think the big flaw in your numbers is business users. The vast majority of them are not going to pay the premium for Apple hardware, and I don't see Apple selling budget boxes or licensing their OS anytime soon.

And the big flaw in your logic is believing that Apple's hardware is more expensive. It's not. Hasn't been for years. Not to mention that support costs are far lower for Macs: higher quality hardware + higher quality software = fewer calls to the help desk/IT department.

Re:Something to look forward to in 2010 (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187034)

The vast majority of them are not going to pay the premium for Apple hardware, and I don't see Apple selling budget boxes or licensing their OS anytime soon.
I think you are right, but note that truly "Vista Capable" boxes don't really sell at much of a premium to Apple right now, especially where laptops are concerned. MS will probably be forced to cover the low-end again like they used to, or Linux will fill the gap. But I think you are right - Apple simply isn't interested in the low-end... the margins aren't there.

I don't think you'll walk into a Fortune 500 and see iMacs anytime soon, I'll grant you that. But Minis tied to commodity monitors aren't out of the question. Just the power savings alone probably would make them justifiable.

Macintosh (3, Insightful)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185878)

Holy cow, it's been a long time since I've seen someone actually refer to the computer line as "Macintosh" as opposed to just a Mac. My first impression when I read the stub was "Apple has increased its sales of Monochrome IIGS systems? How?!"

Back on topic, Apple has been smart to diversify a little, but even the article mentions that the new features of iPods (eg, Touch) are meant to appeal to existing iPod owners, meaning they want existing customers to buy even more iPods. It also worked with the iPhone and the Shuffle, where fashion-conscious current iPod owners went out and bought "the next thing," but is this strategy really sustainable? How much longer can Apple really keep selling to the same hardcore user group before enough of them say "I have enough trendy mp3 players."

I don't really consider marginal improvements and marginal innovations that appeal to the same core group to be really sustainable over the long term. What they need to do is find the next "trendy gadget" line. That isn't mp3 players. Until they find out what the next "big thing" is and trend-itize that, their investment in other revenue streams (at least the ones that are still dependent upon popularity growth in mp3, like iTunes) is still susceptible to market growth deceleration. Bravo for making your computers popular again with all that iPod money though.

Re:Macintosh (3, Insightful)

Gotung (571984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186080)

The next big thing? You mean like a touchscreen ipod/phone/mobile computer? Yea that would be awesome. Apple should make one of those!!

Re:Macintosh (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186768)

Arguably, Apple has already found the next big thing. Its the networked, touch-based PDA, also known as the iPhone/iPod Touch. While the iPhone is encumbered by its contract with AT&T, the iPod Touch has no such encumbrances and still manages to include all the PDA features.

iPod sales will never go down... (2, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186006)

because the business model includes making the product fail often enough that the consumers will constantly have to buy new ones.

It used to work for cars until this company called Toyota came along and ruined everything. Maybe I'm just cynical.

American car bashing ... Re:iPod sales will never (2, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186448)

It used to work for cars until this company called Toyota came along and ruined everything.

OK, take off your tinfoil hat for a moment and consider the state of manufacturing in the US circa approximately 1970. There were several things working against the US auto manufacturers at the time that were irrelevant (or even favorable) to the imports:
  • US oil embargo
  • Strong US dollar - Yen exchange
  • US supply chain issues
  • Incomplete transition from SAE to metric

So while it is very popular to bash on American car companies, I say that at least some of this is unfounded. People really need to take in the full situation to understand why things are the way they are (and were). And on top of that, I know of plenty of US cars on the road daily that are over 20 years old.

Re:iPod sales will never go down... (2, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186878)

Say something bad about Apple and American cars and get moded a troll. Says something bad about Microsoft and get +5 insightful.

What do I care, I have karma to burn.

iPod = iPod Touch (2, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186168)

Apple, for me, has proven capable of continuing to generate revenue, even though I bought a product which was still more than functional and adequate to my purposes. My 20 gig iPod was plenty for what I wanted and I was very happy with it. Then they released the iPod Touch (iPhone not available (officially) north of the border, or this would be a comment about the iPhone...). It's basically the same thing with some fancy bells and whistles added on. Really fancy bells and whistles. Really, really fancy. No. I mean REALLY fancy. Fancy enough that I dropped the cash, bought the iPod Touch, and haven't regretted it once since I bought it. It's the same thing as what I had but enough of an advancement that it was worth "wasting" money on an upgrade.

So long as Apple continues to upgrade the product line like this, they'll do fine. Offer more, better, and fancier, and people will upgrade. In my opinion.

iPod Touch = laptop substitute (1)

gobbo (567674) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186848)

Then they released the iPod Touch (iPhone not available (officially) north of the border, or this would be a comment about the iPhone...). It's basically the same thing with some fancy bells and whistles added on. Really fancy bells and whistles. Really, really fancy. No. I mean REALLY fancy.

Fancy enough that I convinced my semi-retired dad that if all he needed to do was travel lightly and surf the web and do email, take short notes, reference maps and view documents and photos, he didn't need a laptop. He got an iPod touch instead, and is more than pleased. It's better than a laptop, because he's more likely to have it when he needs it. Much better than the blackberry option too, once you get used to the keyboard.

Apple in driver's seat, rest can't keep up (5, Interesting)

Ilyon (1150115) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186172)

Apple is driving the market and has been doing so since introducing the iMac. Apple invests in technology years in advance while the Dells and HPs are running their businesses on a quarterly basis.

The punditry will be surprised when they finally notice Apple's growth in the enterprise, at 2-3 times the industry rate. Anyone who's paying attention will realize that the features and capabilities that will make Apple unstoppable in the enterprise in a few years are being designed into Apple products today.

Similar things can be said for Apple TV's prospects for becoming a more ubiquitous consumer appliance - but don't be surprised if even Apple TV shows up in the enterprise, as a device to stream corporate training podcasts hosted on a MacOS X Server.

Apple introduces useful new capabilities that provide compelling reasons to buy new Apple products. What compelling reason is there to upgrade Windows PCs, other than for the sake of upgrading?

Re:Apple in driver's seat, rest can't keep up (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186710)

Apple is driving the market and has been doing so since introducing the iMac. Apple invests in technology years in advance while the Dells and HPs are running their businesses on a quarterly basis.

Different target markets. Unless Apple is going to compete with razor thin margins against Dell/HP/Lenovo, they're really making no in-roads.

You're correct that Apple is making impressive inroads in the consumer market, but they're still by far the minority shareholder.

Apple now has two highly successful platforms (4, Informative)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186312)

Apple now has two highly successful, separate platforms that feed one another: it's iPod/iPhone platform (handheld) and its Mac platform (PC). As others have noted, the iPod isn't going anywhere; the iPhone/iTouch sub-platform is very compelling and has a lot of room to grow; the Mac is enjoying growth unprecedented in the platform's history (to my chagrin, largely thanks to Apple's defection to Intel, which allows people to replace their PCs with Mactels). The substantial growth seen in Mac market share will cause developers to take the platform a lot more seriously than they have in the past and may spur traditionally unfriendly developers to enter the Mac market. Apple's corporate image is great in most quarters. Now I'd love to see a consumer Mac tower for those who are never going to buy iMacs, but that's probably not coming any time soon.

Solution: Apple lowered the price (1, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186320)

Hooray! Apple lowered the price on SOMETHING. Oh, it was the lame shuffle with no screen or any features to it? Who cares? I think most of their stuff is overpriced to begin with. The iPod now seems more of a fashion accessory than a necessity to me. (I am not an apple hater)

Re:Solution: Apple lowered the price (1, Redundant)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186854)

MP3 players have never been a necessity.

People like style and quality. Apple packed both with their music player.
Then they dominated the market. No real surprise there.

Apple prices have lowered, and the shuffle is a great device for what it does.

No I am not a fanboy of Apple, but these device are really good.

Cramer on Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23186662)

Hilarious...

http://www.thestreet.com/video/index.html?bcpid=1078966384&bclid=1137812485&bctid=1517472316 [thestreet.com]

"Those are not computers. Those are things that parents use.

They're not computers. These are these devices that parents got because maybe they got talked into it, or because they didn't understand what was cool, but they're not computers.

A computer is a Mac, um... and, you know, like an iPod is your music device, a Mac is your computer, and these other things are just things that were from another day. They might as well be typewriters to these kids, and I just can't emphasize enough that when Apple goes down, like it reports this week, and I'm sitting here thinking, please report a number that people hate, because this is, again, the new iteration, now it just really started shipping in volume in October/November, so the beginning was the holiday season, and a lot of people weren't wise to it, um... the true acceleration began in February. So I mean, there'll be a lot of people who say, "I missed it, I missed it, I missed it" as they did say with the iPod. And the stock's still down substantially from where the iPhone had taken it, but... It only takes one session of watching your kid, to know that the other companies who make these devices, are no longer relevant."

Check out Amazon's new MP3 music service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23186670)

I have met Amazon.com's DRM-FREE MP3 downloads and Steve Jobs is no longer my lord and saviour.

mod do3n (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23186734)

those uber-asshole performing.' Even the m0ost vibrant distended. All I

Drop the Prices Already! (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187002)

How about instead of superficially keeping the high price of iPods stagnate by re-releasing and "upgrading" the player every year, Apple just lets it fall into a more comfortable range?
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