In a story from C|Net concerning product availability for the 5 GB iPod, supplies of which have dried up, there were some interesting comments from two analysts. Charles Wolf of Needham, and Stephen Baker of NPDTechworld -- two analysts who have a good track record with thoughts on Apple -- both say that an inexpensive iPod at the US$199 level would open up doors for Apple, and that not having the current 5 GB model for US$299 available has "left money on the table." From the article:
An Apple representative on Monday reiterated Appleis position that the 5GB models are "temporarily" unavailable and would not elaborate further.
The situation has frustrated some on Wall Street, including Needham analyst Charles Wolf, who sees the iPod as a potential billion-dollar market for Apple, if the company could expand, rather than contract, its lineup.
"If they could hit $199, theyid have a 25 percent share" of the market for MP3 players, Wolf said. "It would sell like crazy."
Although Baker believes the iPod can fetch somewhat of a premium over rivals because of its smaller size and unique design, he said Apple would be wrong to think that it doesnit need to bring prices down to remain competitive. Baker noted that Apple has at times tried to eliminate the low-end of its iMac line in favor of more feature rich models, a move that he says has cost the company market share.
"To ignore the entry-level price point is probably not a good idea for the long term." Baker said.
There is much more information on current availability, possible new iPods, and other related topics in the full story at C|Net.