Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I want a little video iPod.

So did you find yourself up early this morning, vibrating with anticipation over Apple's "One More Thing" product announcement? Me neither, but there was no denying the curiosity and the high expectations, and there was much rejoicing when word arrived from the delivery room that Apple was indeed the proud parent of a little video iPod. Jobs said the new addition, available in black or white, will come in a 30-gigabyte version that will sell for $299 and a 60-gigabyte model for $399. Jobs also announced that under a deal with ABC, the online iTunes store will sell episodes of hit shows "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" for $1.99 apiece, making them available the day after they air on television. "It's never been done before, where you could buy hit TV shows and buy them online the day after they're shown," said Jobs, whose enthusiasm was mirrored by Robert Iger, CEO of Disney, which owns ABC. "This is the first giant step to making more content available to more people online," said Iger. "It is the future as far as I'm concerned. It's a great marriage between content and technology and I'm thrilled about it."

Of course high expectations are not necessarily a good thing, as Apple was rudely reminded after releasing absolutely wonderful quarterly results late Tuesday, only to be told by the market that wonderful just doesn't cut it anymore. Apple's quarter-over-quarter profit quadrupled on strong Mac sales and "staggering" iPod demand, but earnings merely met expectations instead of exceeding them. Investors promptly punished the company for this sin by knocking 10 percent off Apple's share price in after-hours trading. "If you look at the stock price, it's obviously been a darling," said Shaw Wu, an analyst with American Technology Research. "Expectations were very high. ... Apple had to report a flawless quarter. It wasn't flawless.

By JOHN MURRELL, Good Morning Silicon