Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Grading my iHunches

With Apple having made their product announcements today, it's time for me to grade my iHunches from Monday.

Overall, I did quite good. Each hunch was generally correct, and I even guessed the name of the new "iPod touch" product line correctly. (I should work for Apple marketing!) Some of the details were a bit off, but not terribly so... corrections noted below. The only place I blew it was not having the hunch that Apple would drop the 4 GB iPhone model and reduce the price of the 8 GB iPhone model from $599 to $399.

Here is my posting from Monday with corrections noted:

Hunch #1 -- The iPod touch. Apple expands the capabilities of the iPod but very carefully so -- to not step on the iPhone product line. A new iPod borrows the touch screen interface from the iPhone and has the capability to purchase songs directly from the iTunes Store wirelessly (with an available wi-fi connection). The wi-fi capability is specifically for purchasing songs and for web browsing. Want e-mail or web browsing? Get an iPhone. This new iPod runs OS X, the same operating system Apple runs on Mac computers, the Apple TV device and the iPhone. As with the iPhone, Apple uses flash memory for durability. Apple calls this new iPod line the "iPod touch" and releases it in two models -- 16 8 GB or 32 16 GB, selling for $349 $299 or $449 $399, respectively.

Hunch #2 -- The hard drive iPod lives on. While larger amounts of flash memory are relatively expensive and since some customers (such as DJs) need a lot of storage, Apple keeps the current hard drive iPod product line for now, reducing the price of the 80 GB model from $349 to $299 $249 and adding a 120 160 GB model for $399 $349.

Hunch #3 -- The larger-screen but "even thinner" iPod nano. The larger screen means that photos are now bigger than a postage stamp and also that videos can now be played on the nano. The resultant product line looks like a shrunken-down version of the current hard drive iPod. No OS X, wi-fi or touch interface. Some new colors in the mix. Same storage capacities and prices as before -- 2/4/8 GB at $149/$199/$249, respectively. The 2 GB model is gone but the 4 and 8 GB models remain available at reduced price points of $149 and $199, respectively.

Hunch #4 -- The iPod shuffle stays about the same. It adds some new colors, stays at $79, but goes from 1 GB to 2 GB and stays at 1 GB.

The resultant product line looks like this:

$79 - 2 1 GB iPod shuffle
$149 - 2 GB iPod nano
$199 $149 - 4 GB iPod nano
$249 $199 - 8 GB iPod nano
$299 $249 - 80 GB iPod
$349 $299 - 16 8 GB iPod touch
$399 $349 - 120 160 GB iPod
$449 $399 - 32 16 GB iPod touch
$499 - 4 GB iPhone
$599 $399 - 8 GB iPhone


Bryce said...

Hey Tom! Just found out about your blog from Steve. Great insight on the iHunches. You were pretty close on almost all your guesses.

My take on the new iPod touch is that they had to do it. Releasing that device effectively cuts off the oxygen supply to whoever it was that just started selling the "hack" to untangle the iPhone from AT&T. Putting 16GB on it is a great strategy since it a) doesn't completely upstage the 8GB iPhone at the same price and b) gives them a chance to generate a new wave of buzz at the next big press release by announcing an iTouch with whatever capacity they want.

Steve said...

Great hunches! One thing you didn't mention that I thought was interesting: The partnership with Starbuck's. C|net has a great live-blogging account of the announcements, and they mention that, "Starbucks customers will get free access to the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store on iPods, iPhones, Macs and PCs. There's no login required to the store, and you can buy the song that is playing while you wait in line for your double soy extra hot whipped macchiato to go." Article here:

scoodog said...

Bryce and Steve, thanks for the comments!

Bryce, great point about the iPod touch. That move by Apple definitely makes less relevant any efforts by hackers to make the iPhone usable outside of a monthly phone contract.

Thanks for the link, Steve, on the Starbucks tie-in. Makes you wonder what could be next!! I say we use our iPods to vote in the next Presidential Election... but maybe I'm just a bit ahead of myself here... :)


Bryce said...

I must have completely missed the Starbucks tie-in. But that makes sense considering Starbucks direction they've taken with music, but too bad the rest of us can't get free wi-fi there.

I meant to comment also about your idea on a thinner nano. I have the latest non-fat nano (it was free with the purchase of my laptop). It's already hard enough to pick up from a desk if it's laying flat.. There is such a thing as too thin despite the old saying. :-)

scoodog said...

Bryce, I agree -- thin (or smaller) is not necessarily better! It's almost as if it's become a game for Apple to make things smaller and thinner and such. I guess it's competitive advantage... but at some point it could all of a sudden become competitive disadvantage.

I must ask, though: What is the old saying you refer to?

Anonymous said...

The saying he is referring to is: You can never be too rich or too thin!

Your lurker! lol