I've got to hand it to Apple (AAPL), cool factor, aside: Apple's product offerings are getting more confusing, not less. Trying to remember which product sold at which price with which memory yesterday and what it sells at today is like trying to keep track of which shell is hiding the pea.
The big change, aside from sharply lower prices for the iPhone, is the the intro of the iPod touch, which is likely to get wide acclaim. However, this is really little more than the iPhone without the phone -- in other words, the best part of the iPhone for a hundred or two hundred dollars less than the iPhone; a few thousand dollars, less, if you include the total cost of the contract required with the phone.
"So," emails one money manager who has long been dubious of the hype surrounding Apple, "who in their right mind would want an iPhone when you can get this? If I was AT&T/Cinglular (T) I would be furious. Heck, if I bought an iPhone I would be furious because I just paid $2,000 [including the contract] for a ...phone when I can get this thing for $299 and keep my old cell phone...I wonder how many sudden iPhone returns they start getting now...talk about buyer's remorse."
As for Apple's stock: I've learned not to go anywhere near that subject. Cult stocks have minds of their own, and this one is likely to continue to create buzz as long as it rolls out new products and as long as its stores are packed which, for now, they are. (At least in San Diego.)