The Motley Fool: Apple’s music strategy ‘may ultimately grow the company’s computer business again’

“Apple continues to prosper on the strength of its portable digital music player. Over the holiday quarter the company sold nearly as many iPods(733,000) as it did Macs (829,000). That helped the company reverse a year-ago loss and post a better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter profit of $0.17 a share,” Rick Aristotle Munarriz writes for The Motley Fool.

“Granted, iPods aren’t big-ticket items. In sum, they only accounted for 13% of the $2 billion in revenue that Apple generated during the quarter. However, after decades of watching its share of the personal computing market decline, it’s a merit badge for the company that now owns an entirely different space — digital music,” Munarriz writes. “Apple claims that it is behind 70% of the legal downloading market. It has earned it. In less than a year, it appears to be single-handedly saving the prerecorded music industry that wasted too many years in fragmented alliances while failing to understand the mindset of the song file swapper.”

Munarriz writes, “This may all ultimately grow the company’s computer business again. As traffic continues to grow at Apple’s site and with more consumers loading up on Apple products, it will give the company a huge audience to market to. No, Dell has nothing to fear from Apple in terms of losing its market leadership in the near future. However, the industry should take note of how Apple now has its foot in many non-Apple doors.

11 Comments

  1. The iPod (and now GarageBand) might be the most effective Trojan horses ever seen in the world of computers. Once Windows users get their hands on a Mac – they realize just how bad their old computers are, and they want a new Mac immediately.

    Now… if the new iPod has an integral microphone and voice recording capability – Apple’s trojan horse will penetrate the corporate market…. and once that happens in any numbers, Macs will start to appear in corporations where they have never been seen before.

    Are you listening Apple? iPod + Integral Mic & Voice Recording = Corporate America.

  2. And yet the labels are still conservative to NOT call Apple’s AAC/Fairplay a “possible” standard. Much less RIAA doesn’t even list Apple on their website as a legitimate option to download legal music to educate the consumers when they ask that question.

  3. Why the hell do people get hung up on the idea of a built in voice recorder? What a waste of a feature. It’s like putting a camera into a phone… sure, lots of people have them (mostly because the mobile companies give them away), but only about 1 in 1000 people actually use the camera portion.

    The strategy of add-ons is perfect. I (and the vast majority of iPod users) don’t want a frickin’ voice recorder, so don’t pollute this great device with that garbage.

    That said, though, look at the bottom of the iPod mini. See those little holes on either side? I’ve heard that those allow you to mount add-ons, and that one of the first will be a cellular phone module. Ever wonder why Apple felt compelled to compare the iPod mini to the size of a cellular phone? This is from the iPod mini page:

    “…weighing just 3.6 ounces and smaller than any cell phone.”

    Just thinking out loud here.

  4. “…only about 1 in 1000 people actually use the camera portion.”

    Yeah, that’s what I thought when I bought my Nokia 3650 — I bought it because of the Bluetooth and Java support. But now, I use the camera as much as I use the phone. I doubt your numbers are anywhere near accurate but, even if they are, cameras on phone are driving sales of the devices.

    Voice recording on my iPod? No brainer. I’d LOVE to be able to record meetings I attend. If Apple can put a mic into an iSight, then they can mic an iPod as well.

  5. Hi Atomic Bomb…

    A built-in voice recorder (as opposed to a device that attaches to the iPod) would enable a smaller unit than a regular iPod plus the external device. Yes, the iPod might be a little larger than it is now – or, maybe not.

    Why an integral voice recorder? Well – why wouldn’t you want the iPod to have that additional capability? It would add a whole new area of functionality to the iPod – which is obviously desired by enough people that two companies have developed and market external mics for the iPod.

    I love Apple – but there’s a Sony digital recorder in my pocket every day for work and personal reasons. If the iPod had a voice recording capability, I could have justified it long ago at work – and I’d dump the Sony right away…

    And I’m just one of the thousands of people who would purchase an iPod – if it only had this additional capability.

    Again… if it is as simple as adding a microphone, and a little software – why wouldn’t you want your iPod to be the world’s highest capacity voice recorder?

    As far as your camera phone comparison… I think you are incorrect. Camera phones are selling like hotcakes at my company – thousands and thousands every day. They are changing the way people work and communicate.

    Again… Camera phones are now cheap enough that the question for new cell phone purchasers is, “Why wouldn’t you want your phone to have that capability?”

    Good luck Atomic Bomb – and you’d be a much nicer person if you killed the bad language. We don’t see many Ludites here, and you make life interesting for the progressives.

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  6. AB, like finelinebob above, I didn’t choose the Nokia 3650 for the camera, I chose it because it worked with iSync, so I no longer needed my Palm. However, I use the camera on my Nokia 3650 all the time. When the door on my apartment block was vandalised, I used it to document the damage for the insurance. When I fly to server rooms around Europe, I take pictures of the racks to make it easier to point engineers to the right place if a future problem occurs. I even managed to capture a corking red-sky sunset on the beach at the end of my street on New Year’s Eve. Building these devices into phones has become surprisingly useful. I think people would find that similar built in functions to the iPod would have the same effect, even if they would never stump up the cash for the same function as an add-on.

  7. i bet people who bought their camera phones for reasons other than the camera are using it for photos now more often that they thought they’d use it…

    i’m sure when people were first conceptualizing this sort of product… it was laughed at… “stupid idea… who would want to use their phone as a camera”… well, in all likelihood, two years from now almost all, if not all phones will have cameras…

    remember… it’s the “stupid ideas” that end up as being the insanely great ideas… 20 years ago, who would have thought it was smart to use a mouse and a GUI, when DOS seemed to work perfectly…. 30 years ago, who would have thought people would need computers at home? fifty years ago, why the hell would we need cup holders in our cars?

    give the mic thing on the iPod a chance… or at least don’t lambast the thought right away…

  8. I would like a built-in voice recorder, because then the iPod has SOME means of input instead of none. Thus, if someone gives me a phone number or a meeting time, my iPod alone lets me store it until I get to my Mac. Otherwise I’d need a separate device. Some may need a handheld computer. Me, I just need to VIEW my data–which iPod does–and have some way to occasionally store data. Voice recording is the simplest way to do that. Then I can do the detailed work of properly integrating the data with my calendar/contacts at a REAL keyboard on my Mac.

  9. another thing that people dont realise, is that you can use yer camera phone as an ass-scratching machine. Simply pull your trowsers down to around your knees, or ankles if you have a particularly large ass, and insert your camera phone in your crack. Then move the phone around at a regular pace until you have scratched yer ass-itch away. Key bennies: take pics of your ass as you scratch it, and if you plan on farting, turn the phone portion on to transmit fart sounds to your family/friends in addition to ass pics!

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