OSViews: ‘Apple’s decision to not make cheap junk will kill the iPod’

“A lot of talk has been making the rounds about the iPod, the iTunes Music Store and Apple’s ability to avoid repeating past mistakes and maintain its advantage in the digital music market. Some people point to the Pepsi and the HP deals as evidence that Apple has learned from the past. Some people point to the lack of choice in players and digital stores compared to the Windows Media (.wma) market and say that Apple is destined for doom,” opines OSViews’ Thomas.

“Those arguments are right, but only to a degree: the HP and Pepsi deals do help, and the variety of .wma compatible devices and music stores do hurt, but choice isn’t everything. Many like to say the Mac v. PC debate is about choice: Choice of vendors, choice of peripherals, etc. Consumers want to buy what is both good and popular. Choice would come in a distant third if we were to weigh each of the options. If I were wrong, the same five clothing stores wouldn’t be at every mall (selling virtually the same clothes). We talk about choice because it is a positive word, and its better than saying the two real reasons Apple lost and might again lose its position as number one: cheap, available junk and resistance to change. Apple’s decision to not make cheap junk will kill the iPod,” according to OSViews’ Thomas.

Full article here.


  1. So, according to this argument, why did anyone ever buy the original Sony Playstation? Everyone had Nintendo and Sega, and their games wouldn’t play on Sony’s console. Sony was also much more expensive. I didn’t spot much resistance to change back then. Anyone else?

  2. One last thing, bonus points for anyone who can tell me exactly why the Playstation became such a big success.

    Don’t worry, I’ve answered that myself. Because it was a better product.

  3. By that logic…

    Rolls Royce
    Louis Vuitton

    …should have gone bankrupt a long time ago.

    Quality still has a market in the world.
    Sadly, some people’s worlds are only as large as the Walmart electronics department.

  4. Dave: The reason that you say the Playstation was a better product is quantifiable. The games and previews on TV and hearing those who use it talk about gameplay–that’s all stuff that can be marketed.

    Right now, the only reason the iPod is a better product is ease of use, and that can’t be marketed very well. It’s size and style are very marketable, and that’s what makes it a success right now. It has little to do with being a better product.

    Resistance to change seems to be on Apple’s side, so I don’t really see the author’s point.

  5. There will always be a market for both the cheap junk and the good stuff. Why is it that these moron analysts always apply a different standard to Apple? If they don’t own 95% of a market, then they say they’re doomed to failure. Why does this not apply in the auto industry, consumer electronics such as TVs, or any other industry for that matter? This guy’s opinion is ridiculous…

  6. I’m not sure if Sony thought of this in the development stage, but coming on the market with a CD-based system at around the same time when consumer CD-burners became easily and cheaply available allowed for some very cheap game distribution amongst people who weren’t concerned with piracy guilt….an enterprising gamer could rent a game overnight, burn a copy, and thus have a huge collection of games at a quite significant discount than his cartridge-based colleagues. So Sony makes all their bucks on the hardware, and leaves the 3rd party games to fight it out on the shady “open” market.

  7. hum… sounds like someone wants people to finally read his crappie articles. which bashing Apple and the iPod with the phrase “Apple needs to sell junk products” gets him published but also does he feel he actually made a valid point? … No

  8. Pure idiocy!

    Fortunately for Apple and those of us with taste, the Penney wise and Dollar Stupid contingent is not an important component in the digital music player market, unlike they were in personal computer sales.

    All I can say is that it must truly SUCK to be such a pathetically cheap SOB that you would choose an inferior product simply based on the retail price and never once consider the fact that the higher quality product, though more expensive in the short run, will provide far better returns in the long run, and will serve you through the life-times of two or three of the cheaper, also-ran inferior products over time.

    As was mentioned earlier, other high end brand names have not gone under for not catering to the Wal-Mart zombies, and I trust that neither will Apple.

    The iPOD will rule the music player markets for years to come, despite the clueless whining of the moronic Blue Light Special Crowd.

  9. Despite what the article said, Apple is doing a good job of marketing the iTunes Music Store to most consumers. I believe that is the whole point of the Pepsi promotion and the rumoured deal with McDonalds. iPods are sold everywhere, from Apple Stores to Target so there is plenty of exposure for it and the prices are good. Unlike the WMA players, it is also compatible with both Mac and PC. The iPod has become to digital music what the Walkman was to analogue tapes. There is no need for an Apple-branded Flash-based MP3 player, unless it was a freebie to be given away at MacWorlds, Apple Seminars, etc.

  10. Having read the article, he talked less about Apple’s hardware quality and prices, which he admits are quite competitive on the mini, and more on the format war, which is still undecided. He made some good points, and the MDN headline didn’t get to the point of the article, I think.

  11. What’s it with these Wintel fanboys? Why are they actively seeking to be screwed by Microsoft? Because that’s what you get when you support WMA, not to mention that AAC sounds better.

    This article might have had some merit if it had been written at the introduction of iPod when it’s future was not clear. iPod is the most popular digital player out there and is still gathering momentum and he is taking about dying iPod? Look Thomas, just because you like to buy junks, it doesn’t mean that everybody else does.

  12. This has to be one of the most cynical comments I’ve ever heard. Instead of giving Apple a little credit for creating better products, this clown concludes that “Apple’s decision to not make cheap junk will kill the iPod.” Unbelievable!

  13. Another person who doesn’t realise that just because it’s made by a computer company doesn’t mean it’s a computer.
    When it comes to computers, for some reason, people are quite happy to buy junk.
    Consumer electronics are different. Anyone who can afford tends to buy for quality, design, ease of use. The junk caters for those who don’t have much choice only.
    If the CE market were like the computer market Sony, JVC, Phillips, B&O, (insert favourite recognisable brand here) would be fighting for a tiny sliver, and 3 or 4 cheap rip-off brands would be sharing the rest.

    Just ‘coz the iPod comes from Apple doesn’t mean it’ll be governed by the rules of the computer market.

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