Columnist: ‘Apple iPod sales will slump in the not too distant future’

“Apple’s iPod, the diminutive portable music player beloved of minimalists and trendies, has been a smash hit. Strong quarterly results on Wednesday night drove the New York-listed shares to a stunning 38 per cent rise this year, opening at $29.02 yesterday,” James Dow writes for The Scotsman. “But there are three good reasons to think iPod sales will slump in the not too distant future – taking the shares in the same direction.”

“Apple has a fabulous history of innovating to-die-for products, whose sales then crumble after rivals launch similar offerings. The legendary Macintosh, which introduced the icon interface and the mouse to home PCs, gave Apple a 16 per cent share of the US market in the 1980s. Today it has less than 5 per cent. Its rivals, of whom there were dozens, soon offered the same product for less cash,” Dow writes. “Within 12 months, the

52 Comments

  1. Walkman sales are not as dominating as they were in the beginning, what 20 years ago? Panasonic and the other brands sell more then Sony. As a matter of fact Sony has seen diminishing sales in recent years. The company is in a crisis actually.

    One comment Dow makes is parroting what Glaser said. Yes only iTunes downloaded songs will play on the iPod. Of course we know that WMA and other formats can easily be ported to the iPod by burning a CD of the songs loading them into iTunes and then copying the songs to the iPod. But the major LIE is that Dow completely omits the fact that ANY CD (unless copy protected, which seems not to be a problem anymore as there hasn’t been any CDs with that scheme released in quite a while) can be downloaded to the iPod via the iTunes jukebox. These “journalists” consistently ignore this fact. Dow needs a lesson in knowledge, accuracy, truthfulness.

  2. Dow want a piece of clics out of Apple, Imac and iPod keywords… Like C|net, Thurrott and the none-visionnary people that trail the computer industry. Shame on you!

  3. “Dow continues, “The iPod only plays music downloaded from the internet in Apple�s own ‘AAC’ format, combined with its ‘FairPlay’ anti-piracy encoding. The only online store that offers this kind of music is Apple�s own ‘iTunes.'”

    Ummmm, and Sony’s ATRAC3 will be available for sale everywhere? At least Apple is using AAC (a format that Sony, ironically, had a part in developing) which is a standard.

    I too am getting tired of these “journalists” making it sound as if the ONLY way you can put music on an iPod is buying from iTMS. I think they are purposefully being cloudy on this point.

  4. He’s dead on. Sales have been so amazing of late, there’s really only one way for them to go: down. And yes, the iPod runs the risk of falling out of fashion. I’m very worried that if Apple doesn’t work to position AAC/Fairplay as the de facto standard for digital music, they will be out of the game in 5 years. And so I just cannot understand why they don’t license that protocol to everybody who wants it. It’s flat-out foolish.

  5. It’s frustrating, you know. I’ve had an iPod since day one, but obviously there’s no music on it becuase it will only play music downloaded from iTMS. And I’m in Europe where there is no iTMS. These things are totally useless here without iTMS.

  6. � Apple will soon be launching it’s 4th generation iPods.
    � The HP iPod will be on it’s way in June.
    � iTunes EU will hit this summer.
    � iPod Mini will be have world-wide availability by July

    Apple’s market share, and sales won’t be dropping off any time soon. Of course, at MWSF ’05 we can look forward to iTheater and iPod A/V, but that’s a whole other service that will blow the socks off the competition.

    Lastly, what will current iPod users who have spent hundreds on AAC iTunes music going to do? Port it all? What a pain, and loss of quality. No, their get a new iPod as that is the vertical market they are now happily “suck” in. This isn’t an iMac, where you are not locked in – with iPod users pretty much are – uh, but who’s complaining? Best player, best store, great jukebox.

  7. Hey Hywel, do you know the fact that even if you do not download music from the net, you can still rip your old CDs and organize the songs in iTune and load all you music library onto iPod and carry the music with you ? Dah!!

  8. Terrific economies of scale, huh? It seems to me that Apple has most of the market for small hard drives. It will be tough for anyone else to make a profit in this segment with the numbers of portable players Apple sells.

  9. Hywel — cheer up! Do you own any CDs? I believe they sell them in Europe. I have purchased very few songs from the iTunes store, but I carry my ENTIRE CD collection of music with me on my iPod.

    This may work for you…and keep you busy until iTMS Europe opens…

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