Dig this little tidbit from the Wall Street Journal's Consumer Electronics Show blog.
This makes me want to avoid Apple (AAPL) as a stock. One of Apple's biggest products is the iPod. In the past your phone couldn't play music. Now many of them can. You have to have a cell phone with you these days. If it can play music as well, why carry around an iPod, too? Particularly if the phone can also access the web and the iPod can't.
Admittedly, these phones carry much less music than the iPod, but where's the break point at which the iPod is no longer necessary?
Update: Yes, I know these kinds of phones have been around for a while. And I know Apple is planning on releasing a phone product of their own. I just don't see this as iPod territory, where Apple is going to come in with something totally revolutionary and blow everyone away. This is the corporate strength of many large corporations and a new area for Apple.
I know quite a bit about telecommunications. Technologically, a multimedia player is nothing compared to a high data rate, wireless communications system.
I also blogged a follow up to this post.
Update 2: The WSJ has blogged about Cingular's plan to support Appple's new phone. Do you think that the other cell phone companies will go quietly into the night?
The stakes for Apple could be huge: While the company has shipped more than 70 million iPods over the past five years, more than a billion cellphone handsets are shipped each year.Here's a larger WSJ article about Apple's foray into phones.
Apple has a lot riding on its next moves. While the Cupertino, Calif., company has enjoyed several years of fast growth riding on the back of its hit iPod digital music player, there is a growing sense in the financial community that Apple will soon need to enter potentially big new categories like cellphones and television set-top boxes to keep up the momentum started by the iPod. As a result, pressure is building on the company.The final paragraph from the article echoes my sentiments.
There's the possibility, too, that Apple may fail to wow the digerati, many of whom have become accustomed to a steady stream of innovations from the company like the iPod, iTunes and stylish new Mac computers. Some financial analysts have begun warning that a no-show by an Apple cellphone, for instance, could be seen negatively by investors because of the feverish speculation surrounding the product.