Another day, another Apple iPod+iTunes ‘killer’

“Apple’s version of the Maginot Line is the integration of the iTunes music store with the iPod and while people sincerely believe they can dethrone Apple from atop the electronic music market by just biding their time or making ever more silly mp3 players they are simply wrong, the only way to beat Apple in the electronic music field is by innovating something completely new and going around Apple’s carefully placed defenses,” Chris Seibold writes for Apple Matters.

“As it stands precious little innovation seems to be coming down the pipe but plenty of folks are sure Apple’s ride is over. Gene Munster, an analyst that usually has only the best things to say about Apple, was quoted by CNN as saying ‘Its inevitable that over time their market share declines.’ The reason Mr. Munster gives for this is that no particular product can dominate the consumer electronics market for more than two or three years. Going by past experience that is seemingly true, consumer electronics rarely hold such a large percentage of the market over such extended periods of time. Yet Mr. Munster forgets that the iPod is much more than just another consumer gadget people can get rid of on a whim. Once you couple the iPod with songs from the iTunes music store you’re stuck (short of EULA violating hacks) using the iPod as your mp3 player until something sufficiently compelling comes along to replace it,” Seibold writes.

Full article here.

Related articles:
Apple’s Japan iTunes Music Store sells one million songs in first four days – August 07, 2005
Study: 32 million U.S. adults plan to buy iPod in next 12 months – July 20, 2005
Needham & Co: Apple ‘iPod Halo Effect’ fueling Mac purchases; predict 43 million iPod sales in 2006 – July 18, 2005
Apple smashes street with record revenue, earnings; shipped 6.155 million iPods – July 13, 2005
Apple cuts iPod prices to grab market share; analyst estimates 35 million iPods shipped by year end – June 29, 2005

54 Comments

  1. “Once you couple the iPod with songs from the iTunes music store you’re stuck (short of EULA violating hacks) using the iPod as your mp3 player until something sufficiently compelling comes along to replace it.”

    And that is the reason why Steve Jobs has not licensed Fairplay for use by these other online stores and competing mp3 players. And rightfully so.

  2. i have a 2nd generation iPod that’s still working great. never had a problem with it. i will add to it or replace it with ANOTHER iPod. i will never consider a crappy sony kidney bean or whatever it is.

  3. John –

    I’m not sure this has anything to do with the closed-system topic, but surely, if you’ve spent any time in the Apple Discussion Forums, you know that your experience, while delightful, is not typical. Many many many people have had drastic failures of their iPod devices. Some again and again and again.

  4. As a player the iPod is very nice. I have the mini- but it does leave a lot to be desired in my opinion. I would like to be able to record directly from sources and of course I would like to be able to back up to any computer I want with a simple drag and drop. Yes yea I know there is DRM and music industries interest to protect BUT this interest existed when the cassette recorder was introduced and the Walkman had capabilities to record. Yes I also know the Ipod is digital and therefore it could make exact copies but there are player/recorders such as the IARiver and the archor out in the market, they are just not as well designed. My 2 cents.

  5. “The reason Mr. Munster gives for this is that no particular product can dominate the consumer electronics market for more than two or three years.”

    Oh yeah…

    – How long did Sony make the Walkman? (cassette & then CD)
    – How many Palm Pilots did they sell from 1997-2005?

    iPod & iTunes are more than a gadget fetish Mr. Seibold.
    It represents the first legal download package, the entire widget, the whole enchilada.

    Hardware + Software + Online Store.
    Each on their own is successful, together, they are the best on the market.

  6. >And that is the reason why Steve Jobs has not licensed Fairplay for use by these other online stores and competing mp3 players. And rightfully so

    Rightfully so? From an Apple business perspective, yes. But from a consumer’s perspective, being locked into a sole source standard can never be a good thing. The monopoly inevitable creates higher prices than necessary, and it also creates a significant hurdle for migrating to a better player that might come along. What’s good for Apple is not always what’s good for the user.

  7. All my iPods are still working just fine, I have a second generation for my car, a third generation to take all my msic with my, a iPod shuffle for those hazardous needs and of course a black/red U2 iPod which hardly comes out of it’s box except to fondle and say

    MY PREEECCCCIOOUSSS

  8. People who bitch about being locked into a sole source are really only saying, “We’d rather be open to crappy stuff than be inconvenienced by something that works really well.”

    I think you people long to be slaves to mediocre quality products so you can share everybody else’s experience.

  9. To PC Apologist:

    Sir, forums are for complaining about problems, not posting messages when things are fine. Your perception is skewed.

    I have 4 ipods and none of them have exhibited any problems. Even my daughter’s iPod mini that she dropped on the concrete is working fine.

    Apple would not have been able to keep selling millions of iPods if they all had serious flaws.

  10. “Right on the money. Sadly, refusal to interoperate conflicts with Apple’s much-touted lies about supporting the open source model.”

    dur-dur-dur….ooohhhh, i’m a socialist and think everything should be open and free like the air we breath. DIE HIPPY! DIE!

  11. “Rightfully so? From an Apple business perspective, yes.”

    Yes, rightfully so. The last time I checked anyway, Apple is still in business to make money, just like every other corporation on the planet. Steve’s first responsibility is to the stock holders, not to pacify those calling for “opening up” the iPod. Let’s try to have a little common business sense here people.

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