Would-be iPod killers are failing to slay Apple giant

“By now Apple’s sainted ipod should be seeing real competition. Some enterprising company should be developing a dandy new device that costs the same as the clickwheeled darling but performs significantly better–or a pure knockoff that looks great and works as well but costs a lot less. Luckily for Apple the competition just doesn’t seem to get it,” Stephen Manes writes for Forbes. “The burgeoning culture of iPod accessories, both software and hardware, helps ensure that those who think different and shun the iPod will remain in the minority. For the foreseeable future, the greatest competition for an iPod is the next one.”

Manes looks at would-be iPod killers and why they are failing to slay in his full article here.

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Related articles:
Dilbert gives glimpse behind-the-scenes of would-be Apple iPod Killer’s marketing meeting – March 31, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Sony’s Walkman Bean is cooked – February 13, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Dell dumps ‘DJ’ hard-drive MP3 player line – February 04, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: iRiver pulling out of Europe? – February 01, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Thomson gives up on MP3 player, CE markets – December 12, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: BenQ withdraws from MP3 player markets – November 28, 2005
CNN’s joke: here come the ‘iTunes video killers’ – November 11, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Olympus halts production of portable digital music players – November 09, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Rio is dead – August 26, 2005
Thurrott: Microsoft’s ‘iPod killer’ just ‘ain’t going to happen’ – August 12, 2005
Apple’s iPod has blood on its Click Wheel: Virgin Electronics is dead – March 08, 2005


  1. I can’t believe MDN missed this!

    From the article: [The Zen] comes with software that can convert video to a compatible format, something for which Apple charges extra.

    What are they talking about?? iTunes will convert anything it can recognize as video into iPod format, and last time I check, iTunes was still free!

  2. The problem is that “performing” here really is about the interface and ease of integration. Unless someone makes an more intuitive interface than the clickwheel, there really is not much to do for performance boosts. Battery life? OK. But most of the performance parameters are going to be similar for everyone else (I am separating features from performance). However, the competitors are going to be locked into the nightmare world of “plays for sure” and the integration is just not going to be as good as iPod/iTunes/iTMS. The lower case “i” told me so.

  3. I have a suggestion for all of you would be companies that want a piece of the iPod action…

    Instead of following Apple’s product – why don’t you follow their philosophy — create cool things that YOU would want to use.

    Be original, be different, Be a rebel.

    Apple has this one – Steve Jobs has learned a great deal from mistakes in the past.

    Stop following. Stop being Status Quo. Be creative. Employ your imagination for once. It might be frightening the first time but it can be fun after that.

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