Not attending CES, Apple marches to the beat of its own drummer

“No matter how you slice it, Apple is a major player in the consumer electronics industry. Its influence is far larger than its sales volume in a single product category, even if it won’t be attending International CES this week,” Doug Olenick writes for TWICE. “Since the 2003 holiday season, Apple has sold in excess of 21 million iPods of various types, with 6.4 million of those sales having taken place during the company’s third quarter, which ended Sept. 25, 2005. In addition, Apple has sold several hundred million music downloads during the same period from its iTunes music library.”

“This level of success is enabling Apple to do what it does best — march to the beat of its own drummer. However, it would be a mistake to interpret Apple’s absence from CES as something negative. Every major CE and PC supplier exhibiting at CES has had to figure out a response to the iPod, while hundreds of others have simply jumped onto the iPod bandwagon and rolled out a mountain of accessories for the portable music players.. More insight into its plans may come at its MacWorld conference to be held in San Francisco Jan. 9-13. (Apple did not respond to numerous requests to contribute to this article),” Olenick writes. “‘Apple is dominating the MP3 arena by design and product and many companies are trying to emulate them,’ said Ahron Schachter, VP/general manager of New York-based RCS Computer Experience. This imitation is only partially successful, Schachter said, because other portable audio vendors simply do not pull along the rest of the industry like Apple. ‘The minute Apple has a new iPod, there are eight companies that come out with accessories. This does not happen with other companies — they wait to see if the product sells first,’ he said.”

“The potential is very strong for Apple — with its demonstrated ability to dominate a CE category — or any other IT company like Dell or Hewlett-Packard that have taken big chances in select CE categories, to further penetrate what are now solid CE categories. This is primarily because IT companies are much better at integrating their technology into CE products than CE companies are at incorporating computer technology into their own products,” Olenick writes. “‘The CE guys still can’t figure out how to integrate IT. They really can’t think outside the box, and this is really their big weakness and Apple exploited this weakness,’ Baker said. Schachter supported this, adding that even Sony, which formerly was very pro-active in portable music, has stopped to watch what Apple is doing with color and price.”

Full article here.

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18 Comments

  1. I think that it’s great that Apple has finally taken their great and aesthetically appealing designs into the consumer electronics market, where such things seem to be appreciated more than in the computer market. For some reason, fewer people seem to care how their computer looks than how their MP3 player looks. Perhaps with the iMac and Mac mini Apple will be able to bridge the gap and make their computers a consumer electronics item; albeit a more expensive one.

    MDN MW: Have, as in “Apple have an amazing design team.”

  2. Not only will Apple move into the world’s living rooms but they are demonstrating that it’s not “convergence” but rather “useful elegance” that should be the idea driving any kind of personal tool. Computers in the workplace are CORPORATE TOOLS. Hence initial cost, and clear business utility are what makes them sell. Apple understood a long time ago that a “personal computer” was just that, a tool used by a person. Now, as the dawn of truly web based computing grows brighter we are watching Microsoft struggle for relevance. Thin client computing is coming back for the corporate world since it provides greater security, lower cost, and greater efficiency. Personal computers however will come to be tools that people truly love, and use to accomplish personally meaningful tasks. Useful elegance then can be seen as the most powerful reason to buy and use computing tools. Apple will make huge gains in the next few years precisely because they have focused so completely on an integrated approach.

  3. Anybody else notice the lack of Intel yonah processor news at CES?

    Dell did a whole schling demo and did not even mention them.

    Could it be that Apple is not going to introduce them at MacWorld…or???? (Is this why there are no good rumors about new Mac computers…because there are none to make rumors about????)

    Steve: “As I said in June 2005, the Intel computers will arrive in June 2006…..”
    Groan….

  4. … “This is primarily because IT companies are much better at integrating their technology into CE products than CE companies are at incorporating computer technology into their own products,” Olenick writes. “‘The CE guys still can’t figure out how to integrate IT” ….

    Bull Krap … IT companies such as Dell, Gateway .. errr IBM … Please.

    Apple is unique in that it (Apple) is able to integrate it’s technology into CE products cuz it (Apple) has always been a CE company masquerading as an IT company … duh?

  5. If I worked for Apple, I’d go to CES just to f#$# with the other vendors…

    Me, standing in the middle of the CES floor wearing an Apple knit shirt and ball cap: “Hey, does anyone want to see the prototype for the new iPod?” (thundering footbeats of every other vendor dropping what they’re doing and running over to me) “PSYCHE!!!!! BITE ME, YOU PATHETIC LOSERS!!!!”

    or…

    “Yes, it’s the new iPod Suprema. This is not an earbud, but the unit itself. You control it telepathically. It holds 80 to the 9th power songs, has its own high speed internet connection, does your taxes, and even helps discipline your kids. It also has a specialized output that can transmit still images and video directly to your optic nerve for a widescreen high definition viewing experience. It also inputs images from your optic nerves and saves them as still pictures and video. And with the optional software upgrade, it can even alter the path of the sun and redirect ocean tides. Sorry, but despite the report on the MacRumors site, it does NOT allow time travel; we do not expect that capability for another six to eight months. I’d like to tell you more, but it is now time for the schduled Rio demonstration. Oh, look, the new Rio has an AM radio!” Then I’d take pictures of the other vendor’s faces…

  6. Hank, if I’m reading you correctly, I just want to make a point. Steve NEVER said: “…the Intel computers will arrive in June 2006…..” He said they would be arrive in 2006 and by “this time next year”.

    That means we could (theoretically) see an announcement between Jan 1, 2006 and WWDC [June] 2006.

  7. What would really be awesome is if Apple could be the one to crack the home entertainment rubik’s cube that it has already become. People have 19 fricking remotes and have to press buttons in such an order as if you were trying to figure out someones pin number just to switch from one appliance to another.

    Apple’s trademark ease of use would fit right and and revolutionize this market.

  8. Whew! Dell showing new Yonah based laptops. Look how thin those new 17″ Dells are with the new Yonah chip!(link above). Doesn´t that white one look Apple iBookish????

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