Apple plans mystery "product transition" before September's end

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
During his quarterly financial results call, Apple's chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer revealed that the company will make a key "product transition" that cuts back on its profit margins to help shut out rivals.



A frequent point of discussion during the hour-long call, the mystery transition will drop Apple's gross margins from 34.8 percent in the spring quarter to just 31.5 percent in the July-to-September window in which the update takes place, ultimately settling at about 30 percent during Apple's fiscal 2009.



Oppenheimer is deliberately short on details, not wanting to pre-announce the product or allude to its nature, but explains that cost will be a driving factor.



The Cupertino, Calif.-based company often introduces products to the market with new technology at a high price, according to the executive, but often seeks to drive the price lower over time. It never wants to create a profit margin so wide that it creates an "umbrella" for rivals that lets them safely undercut Apple's pricing and steal sales.



The new, unnamed product will continue to have "technologies and features that others can't match," according to the CFO.



While notions of what this transition entails are likely to become clearer soon, several product categories are just now reaching the ends of their typical cycles, with updated MacBooks, the Mac mini, and new iPods all due for refreshes or replacements in the near future. Apple is also still believed to be developing its multi-touch tablet but has slipped out little extra information beyond leaks near the start of 2008.
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Comments

  • frank777frank777 Posts: 5,714member
    This should be fun.
  • mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,653member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    This should be fun.



    Yup



    Here's my take:



    Tablet : unlikely, as that would be a totally new product, not a transition.



    Mac Mini becomes the xMac: I wish, but I don't think so. Oppenheimer said Apple "often introduces products to the market with new technology at a high price, but often seeks to drive the price lower over time". The Mac Mini is hardly new.



    MacBook plastic -> aluminium transition: very likely.



    Radical MacBook Air price drop: highly probable.
  • dentondenton Posts: 723member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Radical MacBook Air price drop: highly probable.



    The first thing that popped into my mind was the iPod Touch. But does Apple sell enough iPod Touches to account for much of a drop in gross profits? I like your idea: a price reduction in the MBA.
  • shanmugamshanmugam Posts: 1,200member
    Best to worst case scanerio

    -----------------------------------------



    1. merger of macbooks

    two models - all alu, new cpus, discrete graphics card, ....

    $1099, $1299



    2. price drop in MBA



    3. touch screen on all the iPods except iPod shuffle



    4. Merger of macbook and macbook pro



    no new products ....



    and one more thing



    sep is just a month away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    It's the secret features of Tiger released at last!



    No, no, it's the G5 Powerbook!



    No, no, it's the...



    So mysterious - a "new product" that will shut out rivals. The only products Apple sells that can shut out rivals are iPods, and there already are no real rivals, and not likely to be any in the future. The iPod Touch is of course due for a price reduction.



    The Apple TV? I don't see how anything regarding the Apple TV could shut out rivals, since the market is so small and fragmented right now, and Apple doesn't have enough content.



    Maybe it's a big push with notebooks, which are due soon anyway. Big price drops, is that it? Could be a good idea, back to school season (slightly late), but with the gains in market share already this year, maybe it would start a flood of new buying (but it wouldn't "shut out rivals").



    Better call Chief Inspector Foyle...



    Addendum: As pointed out above, the Macbook Air - that could shut out rivals in that category (adding some needed features along with a good size price reduction).
  • echosonicechosonic Posts: 441member
    So...what is a "product transition?"



    Is it not a transition from one product into another?
  • SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 25,380member
    Interesting ideas about the MBA... could be all-new form factors for MacBook Pros, with all the extra bells and whistles the first batch of MBAs lack.
  • astrosmashastrosmash Posts: 85member
    It's a MacTablet, obviously. A merging of a full Mac and the iPhone in terms of functionality and UI.



    It's the last remaining "poorly defined" market to be conquered before Steve-o retires.
  • SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 25,380member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by echosonic View Post


    So...what is a "product transition?"



    Is it not a transition from one product into another?



    It's the same as "evolution". Uh-oh, let's not debate that again....
  • SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 25,380member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by astrosmash View Post


    It's a MacTablet, obviously. A merging of a full Mac and the iPhone in terms of functionality and UI.



    It's the last remaining "poorly defined" market to be conquered before Steve-o retires.



    MacFolio.... and you heard it here first.
  • adrianzehnadrianzehn Posts: 3member
    This product needs something to gain attention and market share.....



    It's very important for Apple's future and just isn't doing the job at the moment....



    AZ
  • chuckgaudettechuckgaudette Posts: 1member
    They do know how to stir the pot of rumor and speculation. My guess is they are replacing the chips (possibly in laptops) with chips of their own design. Isn't that why they acquired PA semi? That would be a transition to shut out rivals.
  • echosonicechosonic Posts: 441member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elroth View Post


    So mysterious - a "new product" that will shut out rivals. The only products Apple sells that can shut out rivals are iPods, and there already are no real rivals, and not likely to be any in the future. The iPod Touch is of course due for a price reduction.



    The Apple TV? I don't see how anything regarding the Apple TV could shut out rivals, since the market is so small and fragmented right now, and Apple doesn't have enough content.



    Ah but wait, that isn't true. The iPods have already "shut out" rivals. They don't need to, they have 90% of the market.



    But iPhone is a product in which Apple could "shut out" rivals, and Lord knows, there are rivals to the phone.



    Could this be another price drop, or could it be another phone? Perhaps something lower down the food chain for the folks who can't afford the current model, or maybe even a NEW device that utilizes some of that 700mhz bandwidth that Google bought?



    Oh, this is really going to be fun.
  • elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    It's the same as "evolution". Uh-oh, let's not debate that again....



    Let's hope the designers are really intelligent.
  • merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chuckgaudette View Post


    They do know how to stir the pot of rumor and speculation. My guess is they are replacing the chips (possibly in laptops) with chips of their own design. Isn't that why they acquired PA semi? That would be a transition to shut out rivals.



    Keep guessing.
  • merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elroth View Post


    Let's hope the designers are really intelligent.



    Lets hope they don't exist.
  • icibaquicibaqu Posts: 278member
    although it could easily have just been to distinguish the new model from the original iphone, i did notice the addition of 3G to the iPhone name. the only other products that have a second name are iPods, which come in various models. So that could or could not be significant in terms of product transition.



    plus, nothing like a smaller entry level iphone to upsell the big iphone. apple does love the upsell.
  • ferazelferazel Posts: 18member
    You can read it however you want it.

    I read it as we are going to get the jump on our competitors by announcing a Nehalem Mac Pro before anyone else! It seems that all the other product lines are sexier than the Mac Pro, but I honestly want a good tower upgrade. Please?
  • hookhook Posts: 42member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Interesting ideas about the MBA... could be all-new form factors for MacBook Pros, with all the extra bells and whistles the first batch of MBAs lack.



    I keep trying to breath some life into this one. Never seems to get much traction.

    http://www.macnn.com/articles/08/01/...notebook.dock/



    As a designer who needs a professional grade laptop and a larger display in my office, this would be a perfect solution.



    The accompanying laptop with this "dock" would seem to qualify as a transition.
  • johnqhjohnqh Posts: 242member
    One thing for sure, this product transition is NOT a computer.



    Apple can grow Mac share, but no matter what it does, it cannot shut off rivals because 95% of the market is still Windows PC.



    I already said in the other thread - it can be an iPhone Nano - a smaller iPhone with T9 keypad. Apple's trying to pre-empt the market segment of smaller touch screen phone with touch screen, mainly Android phones.



    It could be a game pad, but I don't see how Apple should shut off rivals with GB and PSP already in the established market.
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