SanDisk exec on competing with iPod: ‘Apple has always been happy with 2-3 percent of the market’

“Digital music executives from around the world gathered in here yesterday to powwow about their business. But there was one notable absence, particularly notable because it was the company that was on everyone’s minds and has been the talk of the industry for three years. Apple, whose iTunes/iPod juggernaut continues to dominate the digital music game, didn’t send a rep to the Music 2.0 conference in Los Angeles this week,” Jim Welte writes for “But that didn’t stop conference attendees from talking about them incessantly, mostly because the company has jumped to such a big lead in the space. One panel was even dedicated to the subject, dubbed ‘Can Anyone Take on the iPod?'”

“Amazon is thinking about it, Sony has failed so far, Dell has largely thrown in the towel, and Creative, SanDisk, Samsung, and iRiver are still fighting for second. The answer, according to a panel of industry execs, is a bit of a head-scratcher,” Welte writes. “Pedro Vargas, director of mobile entertainment for SanDisk, said he liked the reported plan of Amazon to create a branded media player that is attached to a subscription service that is also attached to its online music retail operation. He declined to say whether or not SanDisk is the company designing such a device for Amazon, emphasizing that SanDisk’s strategy is to offer portable players at multiple (read: lower than Apple) price points, particularly for younger demographics…. And history–that Apple once had a clear market share lead on Microsoft in the operating system market–is on their side, several execs said. ‘If you look at the numbers, Apple has always been happy with 2-3 percent of the market,’ Vargas said.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “macnut222” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Ah, the SanDisk guy talking smack. Finally. And we thought SanDisk had some class. How silly of us. The Macintosh platform required and still requires huge investments by developers to create compatible software. So, when faced with budgetary contraints, they chose and still sometimes choose to go with the most popular platforms. The iPod simply plays music that can be encoded, for very little cost, in any format the “developers” (musicians and labels) desire: AAC, MP3, WMA, etc. The music doesn’t need to be rewritten, recorded, and remastered. It’s like writing Photoshop once and then pressing a button to translate it for use on Mac, Windows, Linux, etc. To draw an analogy between past Mac OS licensing and the iPod/iTunes symbiotic relationship simply highlights SanDisk’s director of mobile entertainment’s ignorance of the vast differences between the two business situations. Since the distant number two in the player market, SanDisk, still doesn’t understand extremely basic business concepts, the future is bright for conferences featuring ‘Can Anyone Take on the iPod?’ panel discussions for years to come.

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Related article:
SanDisk quietly becomes distant No. 2 to Apple in U.S. digital music player sales – February 09, 2006
The iPod is not the Mac, so stop trying to compare them – August 13, 2004


  1. Looking back at history, Apple never had more than 15% of the market so, to say they were once the dominant platform is silly.

    Be that as it may, this is a completely different business than operating systems, and to perpetuate this idea that somehow Apple will lose its lead in music because they supposedly lost this huge lead in OS share to Microsoft is just silly. Let them believe that. It just shows how little they understand the situation.

  2. Vargas obviously hasn’t learned the lessons from making statements that prove to have zero merit…

    Maybe he read the book written by Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo; “How to Make Empty Proclaimations Against Apple for Dummies”

  3. @Greyarea

    the ipod cannot play WMA. what macdailynews meant, though, is that a piece of music, once produced, can easily be translated to any conceivable format, making it virtually platform-independent.
    this is contrasted with software, which has to be portated for each target platform specifically, involving a high cost.

    buahaha, how could you not get that?

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