Apple’s “product transition” that was mentioned in the recent earnings call has generated quite a bit of speculation. The “never-going-to-die” iTablet rumor made its way to the top of the list, and some have also speculated that Apple is referring to their notebook line.
When you think about it, though – neither of these make a whole lot of sense.
First, the iTablet isn’t happening. I know a handful of people would really like it if it existed, but for right now, the product does not fill a mass market consumer need, and until it does it won’t happen. We have absolutely no proof that this device even exists anywhere beyond the minds of some hopeful Apple enthusiasts. If it did come out it would not be a “product transition” of any kind either. It would be a new product.
The suggestion of the notebook line would certainly qualify as a “product transition”, but Apple has also stated that they will be offering this “mysterious” product at a price the competition just can’t match.
That throws all notebooks and desktops out the window as far as I’m concerned. Apple does not sell cheap computers. They never have, and I doubt they ever will. If Apple is going to make a statement that they’re going to create a product that’s priced in such a way that the competition can’t match it – they’d have to release sub $500 notebooks and sub $300 desktops.
First, that would make for some crappy Macs. Second, Mac sales are at an ALL TIME HIGH – so why on earth would they go slashing the prices of their computer hardware line?
It just doesn’t make sense.
There is this other product, however, called an iPod. Apple has sold a gazillion of them, and the market for them is growing stagnant. It’s time to transition consumers to the next generation of iPod.
Apple has also recently purchased chip maker PA Semi, which will bring their chip making “in-house” and reduce overall production costs on mobile devices like iPods and iPhones.
So, what’s the “mystery product”?
Easy – it’s the iPod Touch.
Getting consumers to make the transition from their traditional iPods to the iPod Touch will not only bring sales back up to where they need to be, it will also increase the App Store install base, which will, in turn, increase digital purchases and App Store profits.
By offering an iPod Touch at an extremely affordable price Apple will gain an ongoing customer through the App Store, and bring iPod sales back up at the same time.
With all of that said, I fully expect to see an iPod Touch for $199 (or less) just in time for Christmas.
What do you think?