CNET blogger: Are Apple’s golden years behind us with dark days coming on strong?

“When the iPhone first hit store shelves, Apple was on top of the world. Not only did the company enjoy the biggest product release of the year, its stock price was on the rise, Mac sales were soaring and, for the first time, it looked like Apple might be able to supplant Dell and HP as the proven leader in the hardware business,” Don Reisinger blogs for CNET.

“But just a few months later, it’s amazing how quickly things have changed. Mac sales are still strong, but the iPhone has become the topic of heated debate, Apple has come under fire for dropping the iPhone price too early and too substantially, and its iTunes Store is under attack from content producers and new, formidable competitors,” Reisinger blogs.

Complete inanity here.

Total absurdity from beginning to end from a hack with a childlike understanding of what’s actually happening. iPhone’s price drop “affected” some portion of 0.33% of the U.S. population. The other 99.67% of the U.S. and the entire rest of the world sees only that they can now get an iPhone for $200 than they thought. This is “bad” somehow? We’re tired of this “iPhone price cut bad” stupidity.

Also, Apple must protect their relationship with AT&T regarding unlocking, otherwise companies will not want to work with Apple in the future. There are contracts with carriers (AT&T in the U.S.) for iPhone exclusivity. Because the iPhone is a unique product that has no equal, it can therefore demand unique terms. If you don’t like it, don’t get an iPhone or learn how to unlock it and deal with the problems that voiding your warranty may cause (figure out how to relock it before updating or leave it unlocked and forgo new features) or wait out the exclusivity contract (see you in 3-5 years, depending on where you live).

As for the iTunes Store, which according to Reisinger is supposedly now under some massive threat from Amazon’s DRM-free MP3 store:
• Amazon does not offer Wi-Fi download direct to iPod touch and iPhone (and future iPods which will undoubtably gain Wi-Fi downloading capabilities)
• Amazon does not offer the convenience of iTunes Store’s integration into the iTunes application or it’s user interface and features
• Amazon currently offers less than 1/3rd the library of iTunes Store
• Amazon’s store was created by Steve Jobs. Because he wants more stores to sell iPod-compatible content (as long as Microsoft and their DRM is not involved), so he can sell more iPods. He did not want the responsibility of licensing FairPlay to a broad range of licensees, and upholding the integrity of the DRM as called for in contracts with the music cartles, so he did even better by calling for and precipitating the end of DRM itself.
• One more time, dumbed down for Reisinger-level IQs: Steve Jobs doesn’t much care if you buy tunes at Amazon or iTunes, as long as you don’t buy something encoded with Microsoft DRM and as long as you play it on Apple hardware. It’d be nice if you used iTunes Store, but it’s not essential to Apple’s success.

We welcome Amazon (and we bet Apple does, too). Non-exclusionary competition that serves all users only helps consumers and grows the market. There are millions upon millions of people who do not yet have digital media players. Apple’s iPods can stand and sell very well on their own (as they did before the iTunes Store even existed). Surely, Steve Jobs is so confident of iPods’ lead that he can “afford” to spread the non-wealth that iTunes Store sales generate for Apple, especially since doing so will sell more hardware that actually does generate profits for Apple.

Okay, that’s enough. We’ve wasted enough time on a guy who’s probably not even qualified to clean out the shake machine at Mickey D’s, much less criticize the business strategies of a major technology company.

Is Reisinger’s insipid 2nd-grade level of economics understanding and business analysis really the best CNET can muster nowadays?

59 Comments

  1. the new, formidable competitors are not Amazon… they are the music companies by way of giving Amazon preferential treatment.

    First, they demanded DRM… against apple’s request, but Apple had to give in. In Europe, they demanded tiered pricing and different pricing for different countries against Apple’s request, but Apple had to give in.

    There is something to this whole thing… yesterday, Apple’s store was “indecent” and today, a more “indecent” store opens up, and the music companies are happy about it?

    Why? What changed in 24 hours? Why are non-Apple online retailers getting a better deal than Apple?

    Something is afoot, and i wonder who will step up to find out how the RIAA has just allowed the musical equivalent of a MLB Steroid Store

    (drm-free music at fixed prices are going to be the death of the music industry as steroids would be the death of Major league baseball – come on… keep up, people.)

  2. the only perceptable gain from the Amazon MP3 Store (AMS) is that they get to tell Jobs to fsck off…

    other than that, why didn’t they give Apple the same loosey-goosey DRM-free files at sub $1 prices?

    I can’t figure this out. Something is going on here – and we’re not getting the whole story here.

  3. Hmm, selling DRM-songs at Apple for 99c ist indecent but selling DRM-free-songs at amazon for 99c is ok?

    What the hell are they smoking at Universal??? Are they part of the axis of evil? Bomb’em out… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Damn I wish I could get a gig telling everyone that grass is blue and the sky is green. All this sky is falling shite. Such critics have all the long-term perspective of a fruit fly.

    This is the first year of the iPhone, which will prove much to be much larger in Apple’s story that the iPod. And we’re looking at Macs doubling their market share in the not so distant future. And as far as poor sinners like me, the Apple customer, I’m elated with my $600 iPhone. All is well in Apple Nation, but if you make your living shoveling such nonsense, good on ya’ mate!

  5. iPod sales especilaly with the “little video” everywhere – watch for the numbers to be truly skyrocketing.
    Also the reason apple will announce a softwar update for iPhone after the quarter is over is because this quarter did extremley well.
    the update will give another boost to iPhone sales next quarter christmas et al

  6. Competition is good. I welcome Amazon’s DRM free store. The songs are 256k Mp3 at 89 cents. Who cares if they don’t have 6 million songs if they have the one you want at a better price than iTunes and they’ll play on your iPod?

  7. Have the mental patients taken over the insane asylum? WTF!?!

    The “problem” with iTunes is Apple is holding down prices for consumers while the content providers want to RAISE prices. The “problem” with the iPhone is that Apple reduced prices for consumers—too much and TOO QUICKLY. No, the problem isn’t that AT&T;raised its monthly fees by charging per megabyte of downloaded data—something that is currently free and which could be laid at the feet of Apple. Instead, the “problem” is that Apple is asking for less money.

    Total insanity.

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