“Apple shares closed at $52.96, off $2.69, or 4.8 percent, on Nasdaq, their lowest since October 2005,” Duncan Martell reports for Reuters.
“The stock, which was among the biggest drags on the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq market, has been beleaguered by concerns that updated versions of the iPod may be delayed to the fourth quarter, rather than the third quarter, and that sales of the iPod Nano, introduced last October, have been sluggish,” Martell reports.
Martell reports, “Talk of a rival music device and download service from Microsoft Corp. may also be contributing to the weakness. ‘We are continuing to hear that Microsoft may be much closer to launching its iPod killer, a wireless iPod. I think that could be behind the pressure we are seeing in Apple,’ said Jon Najarian, co-founder of information Web site insideoptions.com. Microsoft will start selling a wireless digital music and video player to compete with Apple’s iPod by Christmas, sources close to the matter recently told Reuters.”
“The new player, which Microsoft has been touting to record companies in the last few weeks, would let users download music and videos over the air, according to one source, a feature that would give it an edge over the iPod,” Martell reports.
“Few experts believe any rival product could dethrone the iPod, but a significant challenger could take a bite out of one of Apple’s chief sources of revenue. Apple has relied on new models and services to re-energize demand for the iPod and its companion iTunes music software and service,” Martell reports. “Its last new iPod device came out in October.”
Martell reports, “But Shannon Cross, an analyst at Cross Research said that, increasingly, investors are coming to view Apple’s share price as driven more by the Mac and with less emphasis on the market-leading iPod. ‘This has become more of a Mac story in the minds of investors,’ Cross said. ‘Can Apple get up to selling 1.5 million to 2 million Macs a quarter and we think that’s possible as we get into the back-to-school and Christmas quarters.'”
Full article here.
Yes, Microsoft is a huge threat. We all know how well they’ve done against iPod for the last half a decade or so. Hey, Microsoft was trying to increase Apple’s iPod’s and iTunes’ respective market shares, right?
Furthermore, it’s really too bad that Apple CEO Steve Jobs stopped all R&D and froze iPod designs in stone forever. It’s just terribly shortsighted for a man who’s supposed to have “vision.”
Anyway, to see the word “beleaguered” attached to anything related to Apple Computer is a weirdly comforting blast from the past, however misplaced.