Could Apple Blow Its iPod Lead?


brap

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May 10, 2004
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Wall Street analysts' price targets for Apple's stock are soaring as high as $77 to $100. As of Dec. 6, the stock was trading at around $64. This is the same Apple that opened the year at $21.28. And it's all because of one cool little music player.
Yawn.

Sure, it's not like they make computers, or anything.
 

wordmunger

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Sep 3, 2003
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The article actually has some good information. However, its main thesis -- that Apple could screw up with the iPod because it did with computers twenty-some years ago -- is a little weak, and it's not backed up with any sort of evidence. What type of mistakes did Apple make then? Does it look like Apple is making the same mistakes this time around?

To me, the main mistake Apple made in the '80s is not recognizing the power of a company like IBM to market PCs to business. The analogous situation now is not Dell or HP, but Sony or Pioneer. I think Apple has done a great job positioning itself as a serious entertainment company in their league -- BUT -- Apple needs to provide a complete line of iPod compatible entertainment products -- car stereos, home theater, etc. -- if it's going to compete in the long run.
 

wrldwzrd89

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Jun 6, 2003
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wordmunger said:
The article actually has some good information. However, its main thesis -- that Apple could screw up with the iPod because it did with computers twenty-some years ago -- is a little weak, and it's not backed up with any sort of evidence. What type of mistakes did Apple make then? Does it look like Apple is making the same mistakes this time around?

To me, the main mistake Apple made in the '80s is not recognizing the power of a company like IBM to market PCs to business. The analogous situation now is not Dell or HP, but Sony or Pioneer. I think Apple has done a great job positioning itself as a serious entertainment company in their league -- BUT -- Apple needs to provide a complete line of iPod compatible entertainment products -- car stereos, home theater, etc. -- if it's going to compete in the long run.
I think Apple prefers to let third parties make some of this stuff - just look at the huge array of iPod accessories available. Apple also lets the car companies do the work of putting the iPod compatibility into their stereos simply because Apple isn't in that market. So far, this approach seems to be working. Apple also has plans to continue making these kinds of deals - a possible agreement with Motorola to put iTunes on phones is an example.
 

jkhanson

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Jun 17, 2003
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grapes911 said:
Don't be too cocky. At on point in time Apple had the dominant desktop. I hope history doesn't repeat.
Apple never had the dominant desktop.
 

wordmunger

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Boy, this is surprising: based on this chart, I'd say Apple never enjoyed the kind of dominance with computers that they now have with MP3 players. Hadn't realized that -- though the chart is in unit sales, not dollars. I'd say in '81, Apple was doing more dollars of PC business than anyone.
 

tutubibi

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Sep 18, 2003
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For Apple's future it's not iPod, it's what comes after iPod. Where it will evolve or what new product will Apple bring to market.

MP3 players will become commodity so nobody will be able to charge $100+ for one. Just look at portable CD players: Couple of years ago premium brands like Sony or Panasonic asked for $ 200 for CD player. Now they are selling top of the line model for less than $ 100.
 

nagromme

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May 2, 2002
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grapes911 said:
At on point in time Apple had the dominant desktop. I hope history doesn't repeat.
That would have been fun (except I hated Macs until recently!) but it wasn't true. Macs were always the minority platform, looked down upon by the MS masses. Yes, even in the early days when Macs had a real GUI and MS had DOS! People said mice would never catch on... and DOS PCs far outsold Macs.

In specific niches, Apple has done well of course. Publishing etc. In education, the Apple II might have been THE top machine. Wouldn't surprise me. (And Apple did have a nice chunk of the home market with the Apple II line.) But they were never the top desktop platform overall.

With music they are, by far.

And yes, of course they can--and, one day, WILL--lose that lead. It won't stop them from making great Macs when it happens. Plus, by then it will be World War 4's nuclear winter and we'll all have bigger problems :)
 

williamsonrg

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Sep 8, 2004
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Articles like this have been a dime a dozen lately, and I and others have already made most of the comments worth making. At this point, I just want to fast-forward 10 years and see what's happened. I can see it all going a different number of ways, and I'm just impatient to wait and see...
 

wordmunger

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nagromme said:
That would have been fun (except I hated Macs until recently!) but it wasn't true. Macs were always the minority platform, looked down upon by the MS masses. Yes, even in the early days when Macs had a real GUI and MS had DOS! People said mice would never catch on... and DOS PCs far outsold Macs.
MACS, yes. But Apple was King of the Hill in '81-'82, with the Apple 2.
 

brap

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StarbucksSam said:
Point taken. But..

The iPod is EXTREMELY successful in comparison to their computers.
To say Apple is a one-hit wonder, which is what this analyst is effectively doing, is toss. Airport Express? 30" Display? iMac G5? I think they pretty well count as 'assets' :rolleyes:
 

wrldwzrd89

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Jun 6, 2003
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brap said:
To say Apple is a one-hit wonder, which is what this analyst is effectively doing, is toss. Airport Express? 30" Display? iMac G5? I think they pretty well count as 'assets' :rolleyes:
I agree with you, even though I only think I understand what you're saying since I haven't been around British English for 7 years (I used to live in England, but I wasn't born there - I was born in the USA).
 

StarbucksSam

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Nov 21, 2004
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brap said:
To say Apple is a one-hit wonder, which is what this analyst is effectively doing, is toss. Airport Express? 30" Display? iMac G5? I think they pretty well count as 'assets' :rolleyes:
Okay.. that's fair. But the iPod is by far the MOST successful product; and I'm going to say that's because of a few things:

A) It was the first (I THINK, don't kill me if I'm wrong) high-capacity music player out there.
B) It REALLY took off when it became Windows compatible.
C) The fact that pop culture has adopted it as an icon isn't exactly hurting it.
 

brap

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wrldwzrd89 said:
I agree with you, even though I only think I understand what you're saying since I haven't been around British English for 7 years (I used to live in England, but I wasn't born there - I was born in the USA).
Hehe... :p :D

Sorry... [ashamed] Which bit is confusing, guv'nor?

Okay.. that's fair. But the iPod is by far the MOST successful product; and I'm going to say that's because of a few things: ...
Yeah, I'm not disagreeing with the fact iPod is huge. This silly article, however, has overlooked the fact that this year Apple have come out with some brand-spanking new, completely original products - if not in design, example 30" display, then in simplicity and funtionality, example Airport Express. Share prices would hardly have fallen.
 

StarbucksSam

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Nov 21, 2004
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I hate to do this to you again... but if you want to go into share prices...

iPod.

I am an Apple stockholder and have been for a LONG time so please bare with me as I explain because I watch these things carefully.

Tech stocks are based largely on publicity. The Wall Street Journal used to trash Apple (yes, I read it. I'm a geek.) but lately they have been praising Apple. The iPod is Apple's biggest success by far in the field of stock because it keeps Apple on people's minds.

Kids aren't going to beg for an Airport Extreme Base Station, and neither are college students. Lawyers aren't going to give their colleagues GarageBand or an iMac. While these things are all definitely brilliant and do not deserve to be discounted, the iPod is the best for Apple's stock becuase...

MUSIC IS UNIVERSAL. ALMOST everyone likes music. You can give almost anyone an iPod and they will be able to enjoy it. It's just got a bigger market, gets more publicity, and therefore is majorly responsible for the increase in Apple's stock.
 

brap

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StarbucksSam said:
I hate to do this to you again... but if you want to go into share prices...
I don't, but that's the whole thrust of the article :)
[snip]...majorly responsible for the increase in Apple's stock.
Yep, of course it's a major part - but it's not the beginning and the end. Which is great. Can we agree to agree now? :rolleyes:
 

Fiveos22

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Nov 20, 2003
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StarbucksSam said:
A) It was the first (I THINK, don't kill me if I'm wrong) high-capacity music player out there.

I had a Archos Jukebox 5000 before the iPod came out. It was 5 gigs just like the iPod (I think they even had a 10 gig player out at the same time). Of course it was only USB 1 and took forever to transfer.

Apple didn't have the first hard-drive based player though.
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
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brap said:
Hehe... :p :D

Sorry... [ashamed] Which bit is confusing, guv'nor?


Yeah, I'm not disagreeing with the fact iPod is huge. This silly article, however, has overlooked the fact that this year Apple have come out with some brand-spanking new, completely original products - if not in design, example 30" display, then in simplicity and funtionality, example Airport Express. Share prices would hardly have fallen.
Where you said "is toss" is a British-specific thing I'm not familiar with. I assume that it means the same thing as saying:

blah is garbage
blah is bull

you get the idea...