Despite its forecast of modest sales in the initial year of release, Apple may capitalize and leverage on the hype surrounding the iPhone (e.g., integration of perceived faults of the device such as 3G technology) to eliminate any negative effect on third quarter Mac sales. However, there will still be an earnings hit for that quarter, albeit minor, and Apple knows that its stock may trade on the mobile communication device for a number of weeks.
Apple Inc. has learned well from Microsoft Corp.'s failure to generate positive buzz on Vista. Besides preventing a spill of the negatives associated with Vista's failure over to AAPL's Leopard, it is possible that Steve Jobs has realized that the Mac has been over-rated as a near-term sales driver! Thus, Jobs is positioning the iPhone for short-term cash infusion and the Leopard as the icing on the cake for the long-term haul because, after all, the complete integration of a new OS in both the enterprise and individual level takes around 10 to 12 months. And the decision to allocate resources from one division to another highlights Apple Inc.'s inherent ability to quickly move and shift talent; a lean and mean company with no bloated head count overhead. It also underscores an important fact in the industry, i.e., that a first-release product demands more resources in terms of testing and integration.
After all is said and done, one thing is crystal clear: Apple understands what it is doing. It expects modest sales (iPhone) in the first year. But wait! What if it overshoots its initial target of 10 million units? Possible? You bet! Steve Jobs has that gift of creating hype and excitement around his products and cementing it with releases perfectly in-tuned to the times. And coupled that with luck, maybe Jobs can repeat history. After all, the Nintendo Wii was initially laughed at (it was just a year ago that the PlayStation and Xbox were the king and queen of the video game industry), and everyone sneered at the iPod when it first came out (everybody said Sony's Walkman was ei, “invincible”). Tsk.