Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Right and wrong

Steve Jobs announced the new line of Apple iPods today, and my predictions were both right and wrong. (I was in class and then meetings and so only now have been able to catch up with the video broadcast).

Of course, the big news was that Steve Jobs is not dead yet — as he said “I’m vertical” — publicly admitting to the liver transplant from a donor who died in a car accident. He did look haggard, 10 years older than his last public appearance, and was on stage less than 15 minutes.

Before he stepped away from the pdoium, he made a few announcements:

  • iPhone: 30 million sold
  • iPhone App Store: 75,000 apps, 1.8 billion app downloads (not including updates).
  • iTunes 23 countries, 8.5 billion songs, 100 million customers, #1 retailer in the world
  • iTunes LP: “Some of us here are old enough that we actually bought LPs. It was great, because you not only got the music but you got great photography, you got liner notes, you got essays. Who could forget some of these classic albums?”
Of my product predictions, the major one was clearly wrong: I’m not buying the new iPod Touch this week because (despite my prediction) there is no new iPod Touch. Rumor has it that a product is planned but has been delayed due to component problems.

One minor prediction was more on target: Users hate the proprietary headphones on the iPod Shuffle so much that there is now an adaptor to allow third party headphones. It sounds like the main plan is to license rights to the proprietary controls to headphone makers (presumably royalty bearing, raising consumer prices), so it’s not clear this really solves the problem. As they say, the devil is in the details.

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