“US holiday sales forecasts have been decidedly muted this year, but it appeared no one bothered telling the throngs of shoppers crammed into Apple Computer’s downtown San Francisco store last week,” Scott Morrison writes for The Financial Times. “Some shoppers gawked at Apple’s line of stylish computers, but there was little doubt most were drawn by the hottest product this holiday season the iPod digital music player… Apple, which launched the MP3 fad with the release of the first iPod in late 2001. That fad is now turning into a frenzy fuelled by hot new models and a cool marketing campaign.”
“Some analysts forecast that consumers will snap up as many as 4m iPods this holiday season. That would be a staggering haul considering that it took Apple about three years to sell its first 5.7 million iPods,” Morrison writes. “The iPod plays songs encoded in the AAC format, which is available through Apple’s iTunes. Most rivals have adopted WMA technology, which Microsoft is pushing to become the standard of the future. Almost all devices available are compatible with the older, more popular MP3 format.”
Morrison writes, “Microsoft has started to promote Apple’s rivals with a ‘Plays for Sure’ campaign aimed at reassuring consumers confused about which players play which music formats offered by various internet music stores. However, the campaign which was launched only a few months ago is seen as too little too late to make an impact this holiday season. Other rivals such as Rio, Creative and Dell will probably start chipping away at Apple’s lead this holiday season, but there is little doubt that iPod will dominate the holiday shopping frenzy.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: This is simply excellent, correct, factual, quality reporting by Mr. Morrison. Explaining AAC, WMA, and MP3 succinctly and properly wins well-deserved kudos. We wish more journalists would take the time to be this accurate and write this clearly and accurately.