Originally Posted by Alex3917
A) The profit margin will stay at 35% until this new product is released.
B) This product won't be announced until August 19th at the earliest.
The article said "Apple's gross margins [will drop] 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."
That could mean 2 drops! This quarter (till Sept) we will see a drop to about 28% (so that on average we end up at 31.5, down from 35%) and until March (Apple's fiscal year ends March) we'll see another drop to probably around 25-26% so that the average is 30%.
Or it means the new product will show up really late in the quarter, more like September than mid August.
In regards to iPods going all touch, I can't really see then go past 128GB SSD storage on the 'classic', but dropping maximum storage from 160 to 128GB will not make everyone happy. And will certainly leave room for the competition to keep offering higher storage capacities with HD based units.
Unless Apple goes 256GB SSD I don't think this would qualify as 'shutting out the competition'.
As other have said, merely putting in an SSD drive doesn't really differentiate Apple from the competition that much anyway as every manufacturer can do that.
But how about breaking the SSD drive up and mounting the chips behind the LCD in a laptop? This requires hardware integration average OEMs can't do. And would allow laptops to go even slimmer. But also means no user-replaceable HD anymore. But for the MBA this could be doable.
Or how about OLED screen? What if Apple forged a deal with one of the manufacturers to be the first to offer laptops with OLEDs?
Combine that with above idea and you get a screen that's the same thickness as current MBA screens (probably needed for stability reasons anyway, any thinner and the screen starts bending) _and_ save the HDD space in the base unit. Add Montevina space savings and the base unit could be lots slimmer than even today - and have room for more USB ports!
Such a combination would certainly leave the competition scrambling.