More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Dell dumps ‘DJ’ hard-drive MP3 player line

“Dell Inc. stopped selling its most expensive digital music players after failing to take market share from Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod,” Connie Guglielmo reports for Bloomberg News. “Dell, the world’s largest personal computer maker, discontinued three Digital Jukebox players that sell for $200 to $300 in late December and early January, a spokesman said Friday. Dell still will sell the $99 DJ Ditty, he said.”

“The decision underscores the difficulty companies including Dell have had trying to unseat the best-selling iPod. Dell introduced the music players in 2003 as part of a strategy to expand sales beyond desktop PCs. The versions being scrapped used hard drives to store music; newer models use cheaper flash-memory chips,” Guglielmo reports. “It follows Apple’s introduction last fall of the Nano, an ultrathin MP3 player that uses flash instead of a hard drive. It replaced the popular iPod Mini, which used a hard drive. Apple’s full-size iPods still contain hard drives. ‘No vendor other than Apple has really stepped up to the combination of design, marketing and user experience that is required by this segment,’ said Rob Enderle, president of the Enderle Group, a research firm based in San Jose, Calif. The iPod accounted for 69 percent of all music players sold from January through November in the U.S., according to NPD Group Inc. in Port Washington, N.Y. SanDisk Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif., Singapore’s Creative Technology Ltd. and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. each have less than 10 percent.”

Full article here.
Yum, a particularly savory kill. Whatsamatter, Dell, done in by a “fad?” cool smirk
(Amazingly, even Endlere’s quote makes sense.)

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39 Comments

  1. THE amazing thing is that people would spend $100 on a DJ Ditty or another also-ran rather than ponny up $200 for a Nano. Apple could really slaughter the market with a $149 1GB nano…and end-of-life the shuffle brand.

  2. This is not a good thing in my opinion….

    Essentially what may happen is all these companies with minor marketshare percentages will begin folding and the only ones left standing will be iPod in the number one spot and (un)-Creative at a distant second..

    The problem with this is that with less competition a company like Creative could actually GAIN traction in the number two spot by selling to all of the people who simply WILL NOT buy an Apple product and would have bought one of the other brands… If a company like Creative gets above say a 10% marketshare I could easily see more third party accessories becoming available specifically made for Creative players which could boost their sales even higher. Creative players could begin to be seen as a viable alternative (even though it isn’t) to the iPod…

    Creative’s Zen Vision M recently won the “best in show” award at CES and it is getting glowing reviews at Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CS7U1C/sr=1-1/qid=1139068313/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-5699143-7099362?_encoding=UTF8

  3. Hee! Maybe they can go back to selling iPods at Dell.com!

    I feel like such a Mac zealot for taking such delight in the death of iPod competitors. But, hey, if said “competitors” weren’t such crappy jokes meant to prop up Windows-only solutions, maybe I wouldn’t hate them so damn much.

  4. Trevor, the “I HATE APPLE!” market is actually very very small, nowhere near enough to get Creative to 10%. The “I know nothing about Apple” market is huge, but that market tends to go with whatever’s popular. The same forces that drive them towards Windows drive them toward the iPod.

    Someday, someone will build a true competitor to the iPod, but I sincerely doubt it will come from Creative. Perhaps Sony. But my money is on some new company, one that doesn’t even exist yet, that may be founded by people who cut their teeth working for Apple.

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