Apple’s taken iPod+iTunes to an entirely different level; iPhone will be like supertrain

“In the longstanding tradition of the Mac, Apple has done an absolutely brilliant job demystifying what is otherwise a complex technical process [with iPod+iTunes]. It is only in recent years that some of the competing products have managed to catch up to the usability of the iTunes/iPod duo. But, by the time they did, it was basically too late. Apple controls 70 percent of the portable digital audio player market and, in the US, 88 percent of sales of downloadable music. Not only that, Apple has successfully bridged a usability story into a fashion story which has taken the attraction to the iPod to an entirely different level that no other technology vendor will be able to duplicate,” David Berlind blogs for ZDNet.

Berlind writes, “Recently, at Gartner Symposium, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talked about Microsoft’s stick-to-it-iveness with the message that once his company commits, it has the resources to keep at it until it wins. Only, in the portable digital audio space, the company didn’t stick to it. Instead, after it’s PlaysForSure ecosystem barely made a dent in Apple’s momentum, it went back to square one with a brand called Zune that, except for a few minor details, will pretty much mirror Apple’s strategy (where the content comes from the same source as the hardware does). When Microsoft about faces, this is a sign that Apple is in charge.”

Berlind writes, “And just when all of Apple’s competitors are turning to plan B, and just when a few cell phone vendors are getting hip to the idea of including iPod-like functionality in a mobile phone (something that no smartphone maker has quite figured out how to do very gracefully), Apple is about to swoop in and show them all how its done because you know that Steve Jobs would never let an iPhone see the light of day unless it’s absolutely perfect. Nokia, Ericcson, Sony, Samsung, Motorola and the rest of the lot of them (as well as Microsoft and the other portable audio manufacturers) will be left so stunned by Apple’s entry into the market that it will feel as though a supertrain with a wild party on it just left the train station while they were left standing on the platform say ‘But,…but…'”

Berlind writes, “Here’s a good question. With Apple Mac sales going up (on the coattails of iPod sales), what happens when Apple decides not to make a Windows version of iTunes?”

More in the full article, including Berlind’s prediction that eventually some government somewhere will force Apple’s hand under antitrust law and how Apple will profit immensely regardless here.
This is an excellent article — even if the concept of Apple pulling the Windows version of iTunes is way out there — that’s full of interesting points and ideas; highly recommended.

Related articles:
RUMOR: Apple iPhone features leaked – October 19, 2006
Zune: Apple cannot lose. Microsoft cannot win. – July 26, 2006

More blood on Apple iTunes Store’s play button: Tower Records liquidated – October 09, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Dell’s ‘DJ Ditty’ flash-based MP3 player is dead – August 22, 2006
More blood on Apple iTunes Music Store’s play button: MyCokeMusic is dead – June 20, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: iRiver gives up on digital media player market – May 23, 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
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
Apple’s iPod has blood on its Click Wheel: Virgin Electronics is dead – March 08, 2005
Apple’s iTunes Music Store has blood on its play button: is dead – March 28, 2004


  1. I think you’re missing the articles point. What happens if Vista will not play with iTune? Would Micro$oft purposely make Vista & iTunes incompatable? For the sake of new Zune sales? It’s possible!

  2. Holy Mackerel

    There is an article in the St Paul Pioneer Press is am concerning the Macbook random shut down. Talk about a lack of “goodwill.” The article states “thousand of hits” on Google concerning the shutdown. I checked and there are 736,000 hits!

  3. “Here’s a good question. With Apple Mac sales going up (on the coattails of iPod sales), what happens when Apple decides not to make a Windows version of iTunes?”

    Apple is a hardware company, that’s where their profits come from. iPod’s are hardware.

    Apple would pull iTunes for Windows under the folllowing conditions:

    1: Windows market share is so low that it’s not profitable to make iPods for Windows.

    2: Apple gets soundly defeated on the Windows platform.

    Either case is very unlikely to happen.

  4. “Kinda like that German MagLev train, Everybody thinks maglev’s great technology but nobody uses it because it’s not as practical as the alternatives. The sample train kept endlessly going over the same small piece of ground trying to convince people that the technology was viable and eventually crashed killing a lot of the people on board.”

    Such ignorance.

    That accident was the result of it slamming into a utility vehicle and had nothing to do with maglev per se. The accident happened at “normal” train speeds (106 mph). That better safety standards need to be developed is a given, particularly if top speeds are 280 mph. Human error, by the way, was the fault of that accident.

  5. Oh, and I wish I had a 20 mile “test track” with a maglev train that goes 280mph.

    No one knows “useless” until one has taken the MBTA’s “B” Green Line.

    Any train that makes taking a bus or walking a viable, even preferred, alternative is a bad train.

  6. Beatles, Gwen Stefani, Chingy and Metallica Special Edition 120 GB iPods with Firewireless™ for Mac Only.

    Windows iTunes no longer supported.

    Yeah, I can see it.

    “Mom! I NEED A Mac!!!!!!!”

  7. No way they will dump windows itunes. Its a huge foot in the door. Plus you piss off both mac and pc users. Sorry to break it to you but most people want to use both platforms and by killing the windows version you lop off a huge section of customers. Fact is more Ipod owners run windoze than osx

    By the way, did I tell you that Im getting a RAGING CLUE right now?

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