So what is coming in September, to cause Apple to warn investors?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
A product transition that will impact profits for the quarter.



Anybody have any guesses.



I was thinking that maybe they will trim the iPod line up. The other possibility is a high resolution iPad but you would think that would advance sales. Unless of course Apple expects to take a hit on profits with the initial roll out.



I have a third possibility and that is that the Mac Pro gets dropped for a far cheaper machine.



It is curious that they call the move a product transition.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    iPod classic'll be dropped.



    Mac Pro'll be redone, not cheaper.
  • Reply 2 of 56
    phongphong Posts: 219member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I have a third possibility and that is that the Mac Pro gets dropped for a far cheaper machine.



    I think it's more likely that they drop the Mac Pro and not replace it with anything.



    And I don't think dropping the iPod Classic would impact profits. More than half the iPods sold are iPod Touches.



    WHICH MEANS....



    It's the iPod Touch that's going to be dropped! In favor of an unlocked iPhone.
  • Reply 3 of 56
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Phong View Post


    In favor of an unlocked iPhone.



    But we already have an unlocked iPhone.
  • Reply 4 of 56
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Companies are always "warning" investors. It really doesn't mean much.
  • Reply 5 of 56
    phongphong Posts: 219member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    But we already have an unlocked iPhone.



    I mean a new kind. I'm trying to avoid the word "paradigm."
  • Reply 6 of 56
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Phong View Post


    I mean a new kind. I'm trying to avoid the word "paradigm."



    There won't be an iPhone nano. No need to use the word paradigm at all.
  • Reply 7 of 56
    dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,150member
    I think it has to do with the new iPhone, and perhaps a lower priced model
  • Reply 8 of 56
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Phong View Post


    I think it's more likely that they drop the Mac Pro and not replace it with anything.



    I actually could see that happening. Mac Pro sales have to be fairly pathetic right now.

    Quote:

    And I don't think dropping the iPod Classic would impact profits. More than half the iPods sold are iPod Touches.



    WHICH MEANS....



    It's the iPod Touch that's going to be dropped! In favor of an unlocked iPhone.



    Err I have to think that would never happen. The Touches biggest strength is the lack of a cell radio.
  • Reply 9 of 56
    How about NO iPhone 5 at all due to the earthquake?
  • Reply 10 of 56
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by freeshipping View Post


    How about NO iPhone 5 at all due to the earthquake?



    Uh. No.
  • Reply 11 of 56
    marvfoxmarvfox Posts: 2,275member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    iPod classic'll be dropped.



    Mac Pro'll be redone, not cheaper.



    I thought this was a great seller for Apple?
  • Reply 12 of 56
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by marvfox View Post


    I thought this was a great seller for Apple?



    Neither are.
  • Reply 13 of 56
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Phong View Post


    It's the iPod Touch that's going to be dropped! In favor of an unlocked iPhone.



    That's what I think they should do in the sense that they move the radio components into a bumper case and just sell iPod Touches and leave the carriers to deal with your phone parts. This way, you can buy an iPod Touch in the US, travel to China and buy a cheap bumper and avoid any roaming charges. You can use CDMA/GSM/4G bumpers, whatever suits.



    As I've said in the past, a move like this would almost wipe Android out and I think it's time to do this.



    The fact they are talking about a product transition around September hints that it's iPhone related and not Mac Pro related. The new Xeon chips don't arrive until Q4 and I don't think they sell enough of these to warrant any warning over investment. If they dropped the Mac Pro entirely, it would wipe 5% off their earnings at best.



    If the following graph is accurate, it paints a clear picture:







    http://www.businessinsider.com/chart...product-2011-7



    It shows that iPod sales have been steady but gradually shrinking. The following article has some more very interesting information:



    http://www.cloudfour.com/ditching-th...-discontinued/



    The vast majority of iPod Touch owners are under 17. The 12-17 market is going to bleed away to cheap smartphones and if Apple doesn't have something for them, Google will be there to welcome them.



    I do think the Mac Pro needs to be redesigned too though and step one would be removal of internal expansion. They'd design it like the following:







    Sure people will complain that they can no longer run PCI cards and have to make do with slower Thunderbolt instead but remember when we all switched from SCSI to SATA? Mac Pro owners are getting by just fine with SATA and it will ramp up to an optical connection in due time.



    As for GPUs, you only ever get the option to buy a handful of cards anyway and you can only fit one in so clearly MXM GPUs like the iMac has are the way to go. Then they can put on 4 x Thunderbolt to drive up to 8 displays from one machine.
  • Reply 14 of 56
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Sure people will complain...



    Because this thing would obsolete MY Mac Pro's ability to do any upgrades to the graphics.
  • Reply 15 of 56
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Because this thing would obsolete MY Mac Pro's ability to do any upgrades to the graphics.



    Initially, although there may be an option for MXM upgrades after buying a redesigned one. The advantage that impeding upgrades has for Apple is that instead of you prolonging the life of your machine by buying parts that Apple has to support, you have to do the whole machine upgrade, which stops the Mac Pro line stagnating. It pushes manufacturers away from PCI into Thunderbolt products and Mac Pro owners get sleeker and probably cheaper machines. I could see a Mac Pro like this starting at $1999.



    The alternative is that they do nothing to it except bump specs and over time, it becomes an insignificant product if it hasn't already.
  • Reply 16 of 56
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    That's what I think they should do in the sense that they move the radio components into a bumper case and just sell iPod Touches and leave the carriers to deal with your phone parts. This way, you can buy an iPod Touch in the US, travel to China and buy a cheap bumper and avoid any roaming charges. You can use CDMA/GSM/4G bumpers, whatever suits.



    An interesting concept. The only problem I have here is that the bumper or module if you will can not obstruct access to the iPod port.

    Quote:

    As I've said in the past, a move like this would almost wipe Android out and I think it's time to do this.



    I'm certain that they need a low cost iPhone, as you note to address the younger crowd. The exact configuration is harder to get a handle on.

    Quote:

    The fact they are talking about a product transition around September hints that it's iPhone related and not Mac Pro related.



    OK but I don't see where a new iPhone would have a negative impact on profits. Rather you would expect sales to be heavily stimulated. Unless of course Apple intends to get real aggressive with pricing.

    Quote:

    The new Xeon chips don't arrive until Q4 and I don't think they sell enough of these to warrant any warning over investment. If they dropped the Mac Pro entirely, it would wipe 5% off their earnings at best.



    At best. I suspect Apple realizes it has a problem with the Mac Pro. I doubt it has been profitable for the last several years. They really need to rethink the whole concept.

    Quote:

    If the following graph is accurate, it paints a clear picture:







    http://www.businessinsider.com/chart...product-2011-7



    It shows that iPod sales have been steady but gradually shrinking. The following article has some more very interesting information:



    http://www.cloudfour.com/ditching-th...-discontinued/



    The vast majority of iPod Touch owners are under 17. The 12-17 market is going to bleed away to cheap smartphones and if Apple doesn't have something for them, Google will be there to welcome them.



    Actually I think you mis one group. I see a lot of iPod Touches in business, usually personally owned. If for whatever reason a person doesn't want an iPhone the Touch gives them everything else they need.

    Quote:

    I do think the Mac Pro needs to be redesigned too though and step one would be removal of internal expansion. They'd design it like the following:



    NO NO No no! We very much need internal expansion. Especially if we wish to see Apple become more successful in the corporate world.

    Quote:





    Sure people will complain that they can no longer run PCI cards and have to make do with slower Thunderbolt instead but remember when we all switched from SCSI to SATA? Mac Pro owners are getting by just fine with SATA and it will ramp up to an optical connection in due time.



    Well yeah because SCSI was a dead horse going no where. It however has nothing to do with PCI Express slots and the need for them.

    Quote:

    As for GPUs, you only ever get the option to buy a handful of cards anyway and you can only fit one in so clearly MXM GPUs like the iMac has are the way to go. Then they can put on 4 x Thunderbolt to drive up to 8 displays from one machine.



    For the people using GPU cards in a Mac Pro neither MXM nor TB are suitable substitutes. Not even close actually.
  • Reply 17 of 56
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,756member
    One big reason to buy a Mac Pro is to get a high performance graphics card. Be that to support 3D or OpenCL usage. Neither MXM nor TB can support a high performance GPU in this regard.



    Actually I'd like to see Apple attempt to more tightly integrate a GPU with a CPU on the mother board. The idea being to bypass the slow PCI bus. AMD fusion is nice as a low end solution but the high end needs a separate GPU and likely will for at least half a decade.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Initially, although there may be an option for MXM upgrades after buying a redesigned one. The advantage that impeding upgrades has for Apple is that instead of you prolonging the life of your machine by buying parts that Apple has to support, you have to do the whole machine upgrade, which stops the Mac Pro line stagnating.



    The pro stagnates due to the kack of sales. Pull out one of the reasons to buy a Pro and the stagnation will get worst. Look at it this way, even the Mini gets more respect than the Oro simply because of strong sales.

    Quote:

    It pushes manufacturers away from PCI into Thunderbolt products and Mac Pro owners get sleeker and probably cheaper machines. I could see a Mac Pro like this starting at $1999.



    TB is not capable of supporting the performance that PCI can offer a card. Not to mention the high cost of external devices.

    Quote:

    The alternative is that they do nothing to it except bump specs and over time, it becomes an insignificant product if it hasn't already.



    It is insignificant now. There is no doubt in my mind. Part of that is due to the cost. I find it humorous that you think a base Mac Pro replacement should start at $1999. That is an absurdly high price for a entry level expandable desktop machine.



    What Apple needs is a base Mac Pro built foprom desktop parts starting at $1200. Save the $2000 offering for a Xeon based machine with ECC memory and the like. Actually even. $1200 might seem high in some circles but I'm expecting that a good GPU will be offered up.
  • Reply 18 of 56
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    An interesting concept. The only problem I have here is that the bumper or module if you will can not obstruct access to the iPod port.



    I agree, unless they include micro-USB for charging - sync can happen over wifi. It should be trivial to leave the port free though.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    The exact configuration is harder to get a handle on.



    I'd say if it matches the iPod Touch line, it's fine. They can put better cameras in more expensive models.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    OK but I don't see where a new iPhone would have a negative impact on profits. Rather you would expect sales to be heavily stimulated. Unless of course Apple intends to get real aggressive with pricing.



    It seems like they aren't hinting at a negative impact:



    http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-20...-analyst-call/



    They included iOS 5 and iCloud in the group of things that would have an impact so I'd say it's positive. An aggressively priced iPhone would have a positive impact.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    NO NO No no! We very much need internal expansion. Especially if we wish to see Apple become more successful in the corporate world.



    Thunderbolt covers anything you'd need from a PCI card and can even house PCI cards in an external box with the exception of high-end GPUs.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    For the people using GPU cards in a Mac Pro neither MXM nor TB are suitable substitutes. Not even close actually.



    Full desktop cards are faster but the 6970M in the iMac matches the 5770 in the Pro and you get options for Quadro cards or FirePro if you need double precision. The 5770 doesn't support DP either but the 5870 does.



    It boils down to what people are using the cards for. It's unlikely for gaming and when it comes to compute tasks, it's best to get as much as possible e.g 4 cards but you can only put two at best in a Mac Pro because of the power supply limit. The only way to make the Mac Pro smaller is to go with MXM cards due to lower power consumption and lower heat output.



    If Apple launched a new Mac Pro with the entry model having a quad Xeon along with a Radeon 6970M starting at $1999 and in a 2U-3U size, I doubt there would be too many complaints from new buyers.
  • Reply 19 of 56
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    I agree, unless they include micro-USB for charging - sync can happen over wifi. It should be trivial to leave the port free though.



    Actually my wish here is a bit different as you got the ideal mill a churning. How about an iPad/iPod expansion port/module in a more generic sense. I think the idea is similar to yours, what I'm thinking of is a snap on "back" that can interface to a number of modules including cell phone modules. IOS devices have a great interface for things besides cell phones, here are a few to stimulat the mind:



    1. DVM module. It would likely be a bit bulky due to safety requirements but the power of an iOS device could be put to work very effectively.

    2. Oscilloscope module. Again the goal here is to put the iOS device features to work to provide an interesting capability that fits in your pocket.

    3. In a general sense the iOS could provide a very suitable interface to a number of instrumentation products.

    4. Radio interfaces. While I never understood Apples reluctance to add FM support I'm think something more interesting here like a shortwave module.

    5. A blood glucose monitoring module.

    6. A bulk storage module.



    The list could go on and on. The point is there are many ways a portable device like the Touch could provide for the computational, storage and interface needs of a portable device. The need is for a robust and reliable way to connect to these sleds or backpacks. Interestingly Apple should have learned something from their POS iPods. The big problem to over come is the overhanging iPod adapter port which negatively impacts these ideas. Get rid of that and all sorts of devices could be enhanced with an iPod Touch.

    Quote:

    I'd say if it matches the iPod Touch line, it's fine. They can put better cameras in more expensive models.



    This whole obsession with cameras is bothersome. I have an iPhone 4 and hardly use the cameras. The big problem as I see it is if they set a standard for these modules they will then have to be compatible with that interface for a long time.

    Quote:





    It seems like they aren't hinting at a negative impact:



    That isn't how I took it.

    Quote:

    They included iOS 5 and iCloud in the group of things that would have an impact so I'd say it's positive. An aggressively priced iPhone would have a positive impact.



    Maybe I misinterpeted things but I understood the warning to be about an impact to profitability.

    Quote:

    Thunderbolt covers anything you'd need from a PCI card and can even house PCI cards in an external box with the exception of high-end GPUs.



    I keep hearing this and frankly I don't know where these ideas come from. People need to realize that PCI Express is not frozen in time, it continues to evolve. Beyond that there are all sorts of cards that benefit from multiple PCI-E lanes.



    In any event if you take functionality out of the card slot into a second enclosure you immediately add expense. The cost coming from the enclosure, power supply and cabling.

    Quote:





    Full desktop cards are faster but the 6970M in the iMac matches the 5770 in the Pro and you get options for Quadro cards or FirePro if you need double precision. The 5770 doesn't support DP either but the 5870 does.



    All the mumble jumble about cards aside you still have to realize that the slow TB port will be a factor in acceptable use.

    Quote:

    It boils down to what people are using the cards for. It's unlikely for gaming and when it comes to compute tasks, it's best to get as much as possible e.g 4 cards but you can only put two at best in a Mac Pro because of the power supply limit. The only way to make the Mac Pro smaller is to go with MXM cards due to lower power consumption and lower heat output.



    The Mac Pro is a monster, huge and outsized. It can be shrunk significantly and still support a high end graphics card.

    Quote:



    If Apple launched a new Mac Pro with the entry model having a quad Xeon along with a Radeon 6970M starting at $1999 and in a 2U-3U size, I doubt there would be too many complaints from new buyers.



    Well it depends. It depends upon what that XEON board is offering up and what series XEON it is. Depending upon what is in that base model you could have a bargain or a ripoff. We live in a world now where a serviceable 2U server can be had for $1200 so that Mac Pro better have some really impressive features. Certainly a good GPU card adds some cost to the machine but otherwise Apple hardware is sort of spartan.



    Time will tell but the big problem with the Mac Pro is that it is to damn expensive when compared against other desktop hardware. The fact that you have no other choice from Apple is an issue that frustrates people too. Especially when a machine capable of doing the same work can be had for $1000 cheaper.





    As a side note one only has to look at the Minis to see how much Apple can stuff into a little box. I'm actually fairly impressed with the Mini that now comes with a GPU. All Apple needs to do is put the same development energy into a Mac Pro replacement. Of course the chip companies have to help a bit, I'd love to see an AMD GPU that sits in the second socket of a dual processor system working in a tightly integrated fashion with the CPU. The problem is such a solution does no exist yet. I just want to see Apple move away from past thinking about how to build a Pro machine.
  • Reply 20 of 56
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    How about an iPad/iPod expansion port/module in a more generic sense.



    The only issue with making it for multiple purposes is that it limits future form factors or people have to buy all new sleds when a new one comes out. It would be nice to have a lot of adaptors like card payment sleds and things but I think it would create a lot of headaches unless they decided the iPod Touch form factor was as thin as they wanted to go.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Maybe I misinterpeted things but I understood the warning to be about an impact to profitability.



    It could do, the statement was quite vague:



    "As we announced at WWDC, we have a lot going on in the fall with the introduction of iOS 5 and iCloud. We also have a future product transition that we're not going to talk about today, and these things will impact our September quarter," Oppenheimer said.



    The statement was made in response to a question about "soft" projections for the 4th quarter though and I guess iOS 5 and iCloud are not really going to be profit-generating as they are free so this would suggest negative impact. A new iPhone should make short work of that though.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I keep hearing this and frankly I don't know where these ideas come from. People need to realize that PCI Express is not frozen in time, it continues to evolve. Beyond that there are all sorts of cards that benefit from multiple PCI-E lanes.



    Sure but how many uses and does Apple need to cater for them? The Mac Pro segment is already close to dead comprising much less than 10% of total Mac shipments. People won't give up easily on OS X so transitioning to Thunderbolt-only for expansion helps push manufacturers into supporting those products so all models can use them.



    A simple series of questions can reach this conclusion:



    Is the future mobile? Yes.

    Can you put a PCI slot on a mobile device? No

    Can you put a Thunderbolt port on a mobile device? Yes.
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