“Nearly five years have passed since Apple introduced the first-generation iPod – the one from that crazy, 3% market share company everyone knew would never win over mainstream consumers. Since then, a few things have happened. The iPod became popular, and hundreds of competitors have been released, many by companies working with Microsoft under programs such as Windows Media and PlaysForSure. Today, over 120 devices are now PlaysForSure-certified, but none has made a dent in the iPod’s sales: even during a lull in its incredibly aggressive rollout of new iPod models, the company has sold more iPod units than all of its portable competitors put together. There are now between 60 or 70 million iPods out there, and by 2007, the number will be much higher,” Jeremy Horwitz writes for iLounge.
“So we’d like to make a friendly suggestion to Creative Labs, iRiver, and other iPod rivals, but it’s not the one they’re expecting: you don’t have to quit making portable media hardware. Just follow Philips’ lead and make a few products that are iPod-compatible,” Horwitz writes.
“Within six months, Microsoft’s marketing dollars are going to stop focusing on PlaysForSure devices and start going towards its own competing Zune products. In the process, analysts believe that the company won’t hurt Apple, but it will hurt its bank account – sizable, but depleting by literally billions with every release from the Zune’s developer, the Xbox team – and you,” Horwitz writes.
Horwitz writes, “Despite all the apparent acrimony between Apple and its numerous rivals, iPod owners still know and respect your brands, and would love to see you competing with the “iPod economy’s” current players in all sorts of categories – iPod-targeted speakers, headphones, car accessories, wireless devices, sports gear, and more. Consider Bose. It opted to join the iPod bandwagon rather than compete with it, and single-handedly released the iPod’s top-selling speaker. We’re pretty sure that a Sony-branded iPod speaker dock would light the world on fire faster than a Sony-branded Walkman speaker dock, and the same goes for once-notable speaker and web camera maker Creative, which could be leveraging its technologies to tens of millions of iPod owners instead of the handfuls of Zen owners. And imagine an iRiver-developed line- and mic-audio recording accessory for 5G iPods. The possibilities are endless.”
Horowitz asks, “Would you buy a Creative, iRiver, or Sony-branded accessory for the iPod?”
Full article and the opportunity to answer Horowitz on iLounge here.
Zune: Apple cannot lose. Microsoft cannot win. – July 26, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft partners zune to be the biggest losers – July 25, 2006
In wake of Zune, Microsoft ‘partners’ consider abandoning PlaysForSure – July 25, 2006