“‘It’s unusual for a product like this to cross all the gender and age lines right away, but iPod is doing both,’ says Seth Godin, author of several best-selling books on marketing such as ‘Unleashing the Ideavirus.’ ‘It’s like the whole culture was ready for this – we were ready to change the way we listen to music,'” Phil Kloer reports for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Apple launched the iPod in November 2001, with a unit that held 1,000 songs and cost $400. (You can now store 10,000 songs for that price.) It sold rather slowly at first, and really started building critical mass last year. One of the big boosts was Apple launching its iTunes online music download store for PC users (as opposed to just Mac users). Apple has acknowledged it doesn’t make any money off iTunes but uses it to sell highly profitable iPods,” Kloer reports.
“It took the rest of the consumer electronics business awhile to catch up, but recently there have been lots of MP3 players similar to the iPod hitting the market, sometimes for less money. So far nothing else has that iconic status, but if prices fall on competing models and Apple tries to keep its prices high, Godin says consumers will go for the cheaper models,” Kloer reports. “‘Apple has a long history of blowing it,’ he says. ‘They invented the personal computer and figured out the laptop,’ but now have only a small fraction of those markets. ‘The juice,’ he says, ‘is in reducing the price and making it completely ubiquitous.'”
“That day may be coming, whether it’s with the iPod as a brand or a bunch of generic 10,000-song MP3 players. Eventually, the device will probably become like cellphones and e-mail accounts, no longer the plaything of techno-pioneers,” Kloer reports.
Full article here.