Apple's "It's Only Rock and Roll" Event Notes
Apple's just wrapping up the "It's Only Rock and Roll" event the company scheduled for the day. While tech enthusiasts and Apple investors had hoped for the roll out of the much-rumored Tablet device, instead there were several smaller announcements.
Steve Jobs led most the discussion and spent quite a bit of time touting the success of Apple's exiting lines:
- Jobs announced they've sold over 30 million iPhones. As of their last filing most analysts had the company pegged at about 22 million phones sold, so they’re still seeing enormous growth in the current quarter. It'll be interesting to see whether that's clearing out inventory on the $99 3G model, or if the company has been pushing more of the newer 3GS phones.
- Also, they upped the application count from "over 50,000" to “over 75,000" and announced that there have been over 1.8 billion App downloads.
- And another eye popping figure, the iTunes store has sold over 8.5 billion songs. The company claims it doesn't make a ton of money from its store fronts (Apps and songs), but they've clearly become a key differentiator between Apple and other smartphones such as Palm's Pre which have closed the technological gap in smartphone hardware and software, but lack the application variety that’s been developed for Apple devices.
- Jobs also spent a lot of time focusing on the gaming capability of the Touch and iPhone. Some of the demos looked pretty impressive and it's clear that Apple's gunning not just to be a player of niche, smaller games; it wants to be a full-fledged competitor to Sony and Nintendo.
Now, what were the new product announcements? Apple mainly focused on unveiling incremental improvements to its existing software. It announced an upgrade to the iPhone's operating system, and a new iTunes release that can manage Apps and has some new features for downloaded albums that simulates the artwork customers enjoy when buying an album from a bricks and mortar storefront.
The company also unveiled improvements to their Touch and iPod product line. This included a new Nano which has a video camera, microphone, speakers, pedometer, and an FM radio. The iPod line may be decaying, but the company's fighting hard to keep it competitive.
So, that's enough of a rundown from here, for a full live-blog of the event you can go here.
Not a lot of new stuff here or anything that any radical changes, but more an emphasis on the critical mass Apple's building with its App and music stores. As people download more and more Apps and organize their mobile lives around Apple’s software, the more they’re ensnared in Apple’s ecosystem and will be less likely to switch to competitors who are releasing smartphones and mobile devices that are quickly replicating the iPhone’s capabilities.
Also, interesting the company spent so much time talking about games. They’re getting quite a few major developers to sign on to their platform. If the future of mobile gaming is for convergence devices like the iPhone, that spells big trouble for Nintendo and its long-running dominance of mobile-gaming.
Any thoughts or comments, let’s chat in the comments area below.
- Eric Bleeker (TMFRhiino)