June 29 2008

I Want To Be An Analyst

apple logoWho are these analysts, and how do I get their sweet job?

Craig Berger at FBR Research has issued a report that he expects an iPod line refresh in the near future, especially on the iPod Classic and on the iPod Touch.  This is something akin to saying, “the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.”

According to my records, for the past two years the iPods have been updated on September 12th, 2006 and September 5th, 2007.  Gee… any one thinking September again?  Maybe that’s just me.  Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, likes to do it then because then it gives time to ramp up for the holiday sales.  Well, okay, that’s my “analysis” of why he does it then.

For years now, I’ve been hearing these proclamations from “analysts” about new Apple products coming down the road.  “They’ll update the MacBook Pros this year.” er… Yeah, they will, what’s your point?  “The iPods will be getting a line refresh soon.”  Yes, they will… and the Earth will continue to rotate.  What I found amusing, and shows that they truly are guessing, is how many times they have predicted the death of the Mac Mini.

mac miniPretty much every time an Apple event comes around, someone will say, “Well, they’re going to kill off the Mac Mini this time, and replace it with such-and-such.”  Take this post from AppleInsider on May 24th, 2007 as an example.

Ladies and gentlemen, AppleInsider believes in all sincerity that the Mac mini is dead.

True, this is an Apple blog I am quoting here, but it is just one of many examples of people thinking the Mini was dying off.  Well, funny, the Mac Mini is still here, and has even been updated in the past year.  It may very well die off, most products usually do, but it is still here, and analysts keep saying it’s doomed.  Doesn’t this tell us something about the value of their “analysis”?

Essentially analysts are doing nothing more than making educated guesses, and yet people act like it’s some sort of message from on high.  Mr. Berger’s report is burning a path across the blogosphere with people reporting on it, and I just have to scratch my head.  We all know the iPods will be updated, it’s a given, so why give so much free publicity to some guy stating the obvious?

To be honest, I think it’s a little disingenuous on the part of the analysts who make these types of predictions about Apple.  It’s almost as if they take a look at the clock on a Friday, and say to themselves, “ugh… I didn’t get any predictions out this week, I need to get an easy one out… new iPods are coming!  Brilliant… let’s go hit the bar!”  It’s a softball prediction, there’s no risk in it, and yet they are able to spin it into coverage all over the Internet because it’s about Apple.  Sure, it’s their job to make predictions, and maybe they should be thankful there is the occasional no-brainer such as this one, but it just comes across silly when it makes it out to the general public.

In short, yes, new iPods are coming, and trees will continue to produce oxygen.

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