As nearly everyone notes right from the start when they begin to dig into the numbers that Infinite Loop has disclosed, the company’s profits — up 15% overall — have been driven primarily by strong sales & margins in the iPhone sector of its business.
That is to be expected, and will continue to be the case; however, in about seven weeks’ time (WWDC, June 8-12th) we are increasingly confident that more than just new iPhones & iPods will be announced. Whether the new iDevice(s) will be Apple’s answer to the netbook, the “iTablet,” or both in one device…whether they will be marketed as a Mac, given an i-Name, or one of each….these are the questions that we’ll be digging into over the coming days.
So, while the iPhone (and to a lesser degree, iPod Touch) with its associated massive software marketplace in the form of the App Store are Apple’s primary area of growth and strength at the moment….that dominance may begin to shift quite rapidly over the course of the (third) quarter just begun.
Not only will all-new products be an important part of Apple’s future; revamped models of existing products will be arriving at a very rapid pace during the middle of the year — largely during the summer, but definitely not limited to those announced at WWDC in the second week of June.
Macs, which traditionally have revision cycles averaging out to about nine months, will be updated significantly sooner than that; despite the entire desktop lineup having been tweaked in early March — just six weeks ago — we expect at least one new model (and probably much more significant overhauling than that) each of iMac and Mac Pro before the summer is out.
And “netbooks” — more likely a scaled-down Macbook Air with ~10-inch screen and a handful of other tweaks, unless Apple sticks to a single iDevice intended to address that market as well as demand for an “iTablet” — aside, updates to Infinite Loop’s laptop lineup will also take place in an “unusually short” time frame according to sources.
While we’re pleased that Apple met and exceeded some of the most wildly optimistic projections for its Q2 financials even as the rest of the computer industry experiences a 20%+ plummeting drop in sales (compare to Apple’s 3% slump in Mac volume)….we think that the momentum is still only just truly beginning to build for the big story of 2009 for this company and its associated third-party community.
WWDC in June will be the spark — Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” and its little cousin iPhone OS 3.0 both big components of the fuel — but the flames’ full flower is still hidden from us by Infinite Loop’s “wall of secrecy.”
We expect to see that wall continue to crumble — perhaps even accelerating, despite Steve Jobs’ planned return to full-time on-site work in Cupertino come June — and what will emerge from behind it this year is bigger than the sum of any of the parts we’ve yet seen; even those elements still firmly in the realm of the rumor-mongers, such as the “third and fourth Touch iDevices,” are only part of the picture.
Will Apple be able to sustain sales of current “non-Touch” iPods, or will that family of products have to change rapidly to avoid losing momentum? Will future mobile-internet (3G and soon, 4G) enabled products including Macbooks be open to any network or tied to Apple’s relationship with AT&T? Will Infinite Loop’s answer(s) to the Netbook and Tablet be a Mac, an iDevice, or both? Will Macs gain touch screens or will that continue to be limited only to the iDevice domain?
These questions and more continue to fascinate us, and have only been further highlighted by the various hints/references made in Apple’s disclosures as well as last night’s Conference Call with analysts & the press….so stay tuned to Mac OS Rumors for all the latest dirt — and to go beyond the blog for an “inside of the inside” view, don’t forget to Follow us on Twitter!