Whither the Apple iPod killers?

“When Sony execs crowed a few weeks ago that their latest MP3 players were THE iPod Killers one thing was obvious. They were oblivious to the fact that the term ‘iPod Killer’ had already gone from clever market-speak to running joke. Think about it. Last year we ran a five part article covering dozens of iPod Killers only to watch Apple gain even more market share. This grouping of portables, many of them flash-based players, did nothing to dent the iPod Juggernaut. The proof was Apple’s introduction of the iPod Shuffle – its first flash unit – two weeks after last year’s holiday sales season was over. In a few months Apple went from 0% of the flash player market to over two-thirds of it. So much for iPod Killers,” Richard Menta writes for MP3newswire.

“But hey, let us keep the joke going, because with so many competitors someone has to eventually come up with a player that sustains sales into the double digits. Now that the Rio brand has been retired – a name that managed to keep Rio a distant second to the iPod in overall sales – someone else can go for number two. Will it be iRiver or Creative or Archos? Maybe it will be Sony or Samsung. We’ll just have to wait and see,” Menta writes.

“Of course, as the Charles Arther of the Register pointed out astutely, some of these firms will be claiming increased market share very soon and without having to sell more units. With Apple replacing the hard drive-based Mini with the iPod nano – and shifting there biggest selling player niche (2-6GB capacity units) over to flash memory – everyone else’s percentage of the hard drive-based player market will automatically grow, some into the double digits. They will thus boast of a higher market percentage for a shrinking market niche,” Menta writes. “But enough already, [here] are the first fifteen newcomers to challenge for the Digital Audio Player crown…”

Full article here.

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17 Comments

  1. if any of those have a chance… its the Creative Zen Micro Photo

    Its funny to scroll through the list only to see ugly after ugly and complicated followed by even more complicated, and then, down at the bottom of the page, after the one that looks like a phallus, you see a true mp3 player, with a stylish black finish, and you say “wow, now that one is slick.”

    And underneath that picture it simply reads “The 4GB iPod Nano is available on Amazon”

  2. The instant success of the Shuffle was due to the seamlessness and ease of use of the iTunes Music Store.

    Hint to competitors: IT’S THE SOFTWARE, STUPID!

    This same phenomenon will power the video iPod to huge sales instantly as well, so perhaps Apple’s HD based sales numbers won’t decline much.

  3. From the article, I think everybody should read this. It is very funny especially this one.

    Quote from the article

    Qoolqee i

    Warning, the following is not suitable for young children. It is one thing to concoct an iPod killer through unique styling, but somehow this one may have gone too far. For those who haven’t figured it out, yes Virginia, it is shaped like an erect penis right down to the…um…body curve. Ahhh, I can see the commercials now with a beautiful young girl holding the unit firmly in her hands as she changes tracks by rubbing the…er…round…nib…ok, ok, you get the point.”

    “Mothers, if your daughters ask for one of these make sure you give them the talk first.”

    Ha ha ha ha very funny take a look at the picture

  4. I think that Sony should introduce the “BETAMAXPod” or Maybe have Polaroid introduce the ROIDPod…and then just convince themselves that their proprietary inventions are absolutely DESTROYING the ipod market share… I think I might buy a ROIDpod if after downloading, I had to shake it back and forth profusely to make the video come in faster.

    Andrew Hamilton
    Las Vegas Videographers
    Hamilton International Productions
    http://www.hiproductions.com

  5. You can’t blame them for trying. So do any of these players support AAC files created by iTunes? They all support MP3 and WMA but neither format sounds as good as AAC in the same bit-rate setting. If so-called iPod Killers want to be competitive they should add support for people’s iTunes libraries.

  6. Sol, I can’t realy tell the diff between AAC or Mp3. Especialy on the earphones. Pumped through an expensive high quality stereo system maybe, but I don’t have one of those. I figure at least Mp3 is compatable across the board.

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