the most interesting info in the article is the profit margin chart, which documents that Apple's recent very high margins were likely a one time bump due to special circumstances. but also that its current margins are still above its long term average - and very high for any comparable company.
(not that this matters to "the market" of course. Apple stock is up 7% today YOY, while extremely low margin "nonprofit" Amazon is up 38%. for "the market," hype = value.)
everyone knows that Apple overcharges buyers for expanded storage models, and that this contributes to its high margins. but for most consumers iCloud and all the streaming web media options reduce the capacity they need a lot, so storage is not a big deal anymore like the old days. only hobbyists and techies ever fill up their storage nowadays (and post 99% of all website comments too i bet)(i'm a hobbyist).
as Apple clearly outlined in its press release for the 128G iPad, which DED didn't mention, it is aiming it at the enterprise market, which he did discuss at length. so in this case, the conventional wisdom that Apple timed this product announcement to undercut MS' new Surface Pro tablet is very likely correct. MS is hyping the Pro as the tablet for "real work" at a price few consumers would pay but businesses don't mind. and MS is undeniably an enterprise market heavyweight.
so we have now a head to head competition between the 128G iPad and the Surface Pro for the business tablet market, which DED did not get into much (yet).
the iPad has two big advantages out of the box: much longer battery life and much more available net storage after deducting the operating system usage from the total specced. and most important i think, that there is already a wide range of specialized business apps available for the iPad, plus a large software developer community that can produce customized focused-purpose "light" apps for any particular client relatively easily and economically. whereas all the specialized third party Windows business applications - a huge inventory far far beyond MS Office - are large scale application suites designed for Windows 7 and have not been formatted at all for a touch UI, let alone a tablet. they will not work well on a tablet, if at all, until they are. the big question then is how will the established Windows software industry respond to Windows 8? full software suite redesign for the touch Metro UI isn't quick, easy, or cheap. but until they are, few business can even use the Surface Pro, and its sales will be anemic after the initial group of early adopter MS fans buy theirs.
and those Windows business applications take a lot of storage space too, btw. because the current era of big cheap storage drives on PC's have made the issue of application size unimportant - until now. which takes us back to original problem. if the 128G Surface Pro only has a net of 83G available for actual use as reported, that is a real problem for many businesses unless there are new "light" versions of their specialized software available too, like the iPad apps.
but who is going to invest in all this software development for a new product with very uncertain prospects? and assuming that MS (bribes) subsidizes the major software companies to do it - i'm sure they will put $hundreds of millions into this - it's going to take the rest of the year. talk about a slow start ...
and that all begs the ultimate question: will many enterprises ever adopt Windows 8 at all? which is a different topic, but i think i know the answer - which is No, they are sticking with W7. and that makes the Surface Pro a one-off orphan product without much of a market no matter what.
so to wrap up, the 128G iPad is the Surface Pro Killer.
ps: just like it is now undeniable that the iPad Mini is the Surface RT Killer.
Edited by Alfiejr - 1/30/13 at 9:40am