Saturday, January 24, 2009

Interest in Mobile Computing Saved Apple's Christmas

Without Apple's redesigned unibody Macbooks (which I have and love) and the refreshed iPod Touches, and certainly the iMacs were no help, Apple stock price could have end up much lower.  The record quarter revenue and profit did stunt any effort from Jobs not being at the helm, at least until June.

But with Macbooks selling really hot, let's not forget the iPod Touch.  the iPhone had a great quarter but nothing like the 7 million sold in the previous quarter.  So, let's focus on the iPods.

It's unfortunate that Apple doesn't break out individual numbers for the different iPods but I'm willing to believe that the second generation iPod Touch did a lot to exceed analyst expectations (from Wall Street to Internet bloggers/analysts). 

I got the 2nd gen 8GB iPod Touch and it's just absolutely incredible.  I have the iPhone as well and this design is just incredible.  More than just the design, it's what it represents.  It's a mobile computing platform.

A mobile computer.  A gaming machine.  A lot of people think that iTunes is why the iPods are selling so well and I agree.  But it's these new functions that makes iPod Touches stand out.
  • 36 Hours of play time - I'm getting around that much.  In fact, I think I'm getting closer to forty hours.
  • I'm getting 6-7 hours of Internet use.  8 hours of just writing.  Gaming varies depending on how graphic intensive the games are.  Generally, great battery life.  I don't watch video on it like I do on my iPhone because I have more room on my iPhone (16GB).
  • Mobile Internet.  E-mails. 
  • I love the touchscreen keyboard.  No doubt about it.  I never got used to the physical keyboards on the Blackberries and I'm only getting used to the one on my G1.  
  • $199.  Cheaper with some online oulets.  Even cheaper with refub units from Apple.  
  • Don't have to deal with a wireless contract.
I'm sure a lot of mobile readers who own an iPod Touch have other great features they love about their iPod Touch but the above features comes to mind.   Again, Apple doesn't have numbers for us but I'm sure the 8GB iPod Touch model was very popular this Christmas.

What does this mean?  Well, no new iMac or Mac mini and Apple still had a great quarter.  I'm thinking a change on how we do computing and expectations as far as mobile entertainment comes to mind.  As a society, we're increasing wireless affording us greater freedom from our home or office.  Macbooks aside, Apple has introduced a great mobile device in the form of the Touch.

The iPod Touch doesn't do spreadsheets or many other office functions but it does allow for mobile warriors to take data, e-mail, and perform simple word processing.  Kids can do some homework on the go or where there is Wi-Fi, go onto the Internet. Again, gaming.

I think the impact of devices like the iPod Touch is only beginning to be felt.  There simply is no other device like this.  I know there are devices like the Nokia N800 series but nothing as integrated a far as computing functions and entertainment values as the iPod Touch.

Personally, I can wait until the third generation and updated software features.  

Note:  Microsoft did not have a great quarter.  In fact, Zune revenue was down $100 million.  I've only seen Zune in the wild like twice.  But I hope Microsoft doesn't exit the market because even if Zune does sell as well as the iPods, it's a competitor to the iPods and competition, everyone knows, is good for innovation and, ultimately, consumers.

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