iPod, Jr.: the power to crush other kids.

There is much hubbub and hoo hah-ing over Apple’s latest product offerings, the iPod mini. People are saying that they missed the price point by $50 (should have been $199; I felt this way when the pricing was announced) or that the smaller, cuter iPod minis will somehow reduce income for Apple because it will cannibalize sales of the larger, more expensive iPods.

All of these arguments fail to look at the market segment as a whole and only look at Apple from either the drooling, nearly sycophantic Followers or from those with the usual love/hate codependency that comes from years of working on Apple computers, i.e., me.

I suggest that Apple is dead on with their pricing. If one merely looks here, one can see the competition and see that Apple has priced it very competitively. Add to that the value of interface, software and a great music store and this product will sell. Not to the diehards or the geeks fixated on specs, but to those who are swayed by color and by style. This is your mother’s portable player.

Back in the day, when I was a beta-tester for Apple’s long-dead, online service eWorld (I know, shameless digerati plug), I had an argument with Robert Cringely. He argued that Apple was doomed, both in it’s eWorld offering and with it’s computer product line. I argued that all Apple needed was a killer product that was not available anywhere else or from anyone else. At the time, I thought it might be something in the gaming realm (this was 1994) but that it should have a cachet about it and that cachet would drive sales. It’s not marketing genius, but it’s what Apple needed, even then.

Now, post-iMac and post-iPod, Apple is poised to become what it really is at it’s heart; a great consumer company that makes cool products. Apple’s presence should shift from making announcements at Macworld and instead should be at the Consumer Electronics Show (hit the slideshow links). That’s really where they belong. Looking at the products being hawked at CES and thinking about how beautiful Apple products are… I believe a much bigger splash could be had, and Apple would be even more a household name than they are presently. Plus, it would shift the focus away from the 2-3% market share doomsayers.

I welcome your views.

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