Few products you can’t buy and can’t touch have caused such a stir as Apple’s iPhone.
The new product strategy for 2007 is unfolding before our eyes and we’re not paying much attention. Why? The iPhone clouds our vision.
The iPhone’s introduction caused so much commotion that there’s been little consideration to the rest of 2007. What’s coming? How do we know?
Each of the past three years Apple’s honcho Steve Jobs said the products in the pipeline were exciting; great, even. What did we get? Until the iPhone, not much.
2005 saw the announcement of Intel chips inside Macs. 2006 saw the Intel chips inside Macs. Before and after was Mac OS X Tiger, and a new line of iPods.
Then, the bombshell announcement of the multi-touch screen iPhone. That announcement alone overshadowed Apple’s two other new products for 2007.
AppleTV has been criticized as not being enough to satisfy the DVR hounds in our households, though it’s only version 1.0 Did we forget that the iPod, version 1.0, was overpriced and underpowered back in 2001. Wasn’t everything Apple sold back then underpowered and overpriced?
AirPort Extreme, long overdue for an upgrade, actually comes with some interesting capability, besides the high speed wireless. You gotta love that USB port and the ability to make an external USB hard drive into a network file server; perfect for backups.
So, 2007 has just gotten started, and what do we have? Well, today, nothing. AppleTV and Airport Extreme will ship before spring, iPhone perhaps by mid-summer.
One other thing about the iPhone—notice all the noise that iPhone isn’t a competitive “smart phone?” It’s not. It’s a high-priced cool phone with a wide screen iPod and WiFi.
Businesses will not lap up the iPhone by the millions. The rest of us will.
What else will we see soon that we were expecting to see before 2007 runs the course? Mac OS X Leopard, for sure. An 8 core Mac Pro. iLife ‘07 and iWork ‘07.
These are all no brainer predictions. The only thing we don’t know is the date of shipment, but sooner than later is expected. Much sooner.
Set aside all the above and focus on the iPhone, iPhone features, iPhone price tag, and iPhone ship date. That’s the key to the rest of 2007. Who among us does not expect Apple to introduce a widescreen iPod this year? At what price?
At $500, the iPhone is clearly aimed at the upper level, early adopter among the gadget generation. Actually, that’s good, because if it was priced lower the iPhone could dampen sales of the high end iPod nano, and iPod with video.
This year will see Apple introduce a wide screen iPod with the multi-touch screen, first in the hard drive version, then the flash version. How much and when?
Expect the multi-touch iPod to be introduced just before or when the iPhone begins to ship—for $399 in a 100-gigabyte version, $299 in an 8-gigabyte flash version. Apple doesn’t want people to hold off buying current iPods while waiting for new ones, right?
The multi-touch screen iPods need to be priced at the high end of the scale until manufacturing ramps up sufficiently to meet demand which will then push prices lower. Eye candy sells.
Will either model come with wireless WiFi and the ability to run Skype or iChat AV? That’s a want, rather than a prediction. I’d buy one.
The key to new products for this year is to focus attention at the high end. Look for LED screens in a revamped MacBook Pro line later this year. Revamped? The last true revision to the PowerBook MacBook form factor was late 2002, right? It’s time.
Apple announced the World Wide Developers Conference would be held in June this year, not August as it was last year. Why so early? What does that mean? Something new, of course.
See? It’s not even 11 months before Macworld 2008 and already we’re in a prediction mode for new products.
How does an Apple-watching, Mac-loving, iPhone-waiting teacher like me come up with such great prognostications? I don’t. These are from our resident Mac360 prognosticator, one Barbara Marie Hambi. She’s got the flu. I’ve got her notes. I’m just the messenger.