“Poor Steve Jobs. His Apple Computer has become so successful that it now has only himself to compete with. And he might be losing,” Rachel Rosmarin writes for Forbes. “Jobs announced Wednesday afternoon that Apple sold 8.5 million iPod music players last quarter. That’s an impressive number, but less than the 9 million-plus that Wall Street had predicted. And it’s substantially less than the 14 million Apple had sold in its previous quarter. IPod sales still helped push the company profits and sales up 41% and 34%, respectively, and Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer noted that iPod sales, which now make up more than half of Apple’s sales, were up significantly over the same period last year.”
“But a drop in sales of nearly 40% from the previous holiday quarter seems severe. Apple allowed its product lineup to go slightly stale, for once, as it didn’t launch any innovative new iPod models in the first quarter,” Rosmarin writes. “Have the ubiquitous white machines crested the top of their popularity curve?”
“If the iPod’s bloom is fading, Apple may want to rethink its approach to its iTunes digital music and video store–one of the company’s true winners of the second quarter,” Rosmarin writes. “With more than one billion songs served, Apple’s iTunes store now has nearly 90% of the paid-download music market, according to Nielsen NetRatings. Perhaps soon would be a good time for Apple to consider cashing in further on the store’s success by opening its copy-protected content to other devices, as the French government has suggested in a bill… Some day, the iPod really will wane, and Apple should be ready to capitalize on the next big non-computer thing: maybe an Apple-designed cell phone?”
Full article here.
This is what happens when someone who has little or no understanding of what’s going on with a company gets assigned to write an article about said company. In the plus column, Rosmarin hints that she actually does realize that her premise is a put-on with the line, “Some day, the iPod really will wane…” As in, “iPod sales are not really waning, I’m just yanking your chain.” Newsflash: Apple will sell less iPods in the quarter after Christmas than in the quarter containing Christmas. This will happen for as long as Apple sells iPods.The decline in iPod sales last quarter wasn’t severe, it was seasonal. New iPods are coming, on that you can bank. There are hundreds of millions of iPods left to be sold by Apple. That’s right, hundreds of millions. Also, it’s not time to open FairPlay; you don’t open it until some real competition shows up, if ever. Finally, hope springs eternal (here, too) for an Apple-designed cell phone+iPod. We wouldn’t mind Apple as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), either.
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Apple reports Q2 2006 earnings: $4.36 billion revenue, $0.47 earnings per share – April 19, 2006
Apple to become mobile virtual network operator (MVNO)? – April 19, 2006