Philosophy over coffee

A bigger bite of Apple

In Interesting, Size: Grande on March 12, 2009 at 6:42 am

Presenting the latest addition to the iPod family- the latest, and smallest, iPod shuffle and MP3 player.


Apply never fails to come up with innovative ways to, well, innovate.  As the latest addition to its product line, this iPod shuffle boasts of a size smaller than a AA battery, a 4GB memory (capacity: 1000 songs), and the newest feature: a voice-over, which allows one to hear the title and artist of a song just by pressing-and-holding a button. And it’s multilingual! It can speak 14 languages: English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanse, Chinese (Mandarin), Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.

Another change to the player is that the controls are situated on the cord, right below the right ear.  Press the middle once to play the song, press it twice to skip to the next, press-and-hold to hear the song info and press-and-hold longer to reveal the playlist/s.  What made it more interesting was that it was only worth $75 bucks, making it more affordable (at least I presume more affordable than its predecessors in the eyes of the public). Battery life lasts for 10 hours per full charge and comes in 2 colors- silver and black.

Whether it becomes the “recession-proof” Apple product is still to be tested.  Its affordability might not necessarily translate to high consumer demand.  If I am to say one thing about its design, I wish the control was either in the center (where the left and right ‘cords’ meet) or somewhere lower.

The AAPL stock reacted to the launching of the product with a 4.5% increase, beating the index, which only rose a percent.  Analysts view this product to be the company’s way of gaining market share on the lower segment of the market.  Some rival companies such as SanDisk and Creative Technology are very aggressive with their MP3 players;  SanDisk is selling a similar 4GB player with a small display screen a third less, $50.  Despite that, AAPL is still a company that relies on brand equity.  Its fundamentals are strong, with strong cash position ($28 of cash per share), no debt and strong profitability.  P/E ratio are 17 (trailing) and a tad cheaper at 15.76 (forward). Just a couple of days ago, the stock closed at 83.11 and since then has moved almost 12 percent to today’s closing of $92.68.  It was $200 stock in December of 2007 and just $10 cheaper sometime in May/June of last year.  That translates to more than a 50% plunge in price.  As a company of innovation, there’s no reason not to love this firm.


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