NY Times: Apple iPod also-rans run race for second place [UPDATED]

“Iman Hayward is an 18-year-old college student and self-confessed contrarian. She likes to mix Cyberdog T-shirts with platform boots. She prefers vintage horror movies to modern remakes. And she does not like the Apple iPod,” Roy Furchgott reports for The New York Times.

“‘I was kind of anti-iPod because everybody had it,’ said Ms. Hayward, who lives in the Bronx,” Furchgott reports. “That is not to say she dislikes portable music players. In fact, on Nov. 14 she will wait in line, if needed, to be among the first to own Microsoft’s iPod alternative, the Zune — in the fudge-brown case, no less. ‘I’m going to be waving it in front of my friends’ faces,’ she said. ‘They all have iPods.'”

Furchgott reports, “The people at Microsoft are hoping that people like Ms. Hayward will give them reason to gloat this holiday season, too. They are not the only ones. Other makers of portable media players have also introduced new products, hoping to grab a big piece of the market that the iPod dominates. ‘It’s no secret that a lot of people are trying to come up with products to drag people’s attention away from iPod,’ said Rick Souder, executive vice president for merchandising for Crutchfield, the electronics catalog and retail company. “I’m not sure they are going to do it, at least not this season. ‘The race is for second place.'”

Full article here.
It’s fine to be a contrarian unless you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Note the similarities to this October 5, 2006 article — which prompted a very similar “MacDailyNews Take” to today’s — also from The New York Times, by Wilson Rothman:

“When Max Roosevelt wanted to rebel, he got a Dell laptop and a SanDisk Sansa MP3 player. It was not a rebellion against his parents, who had been buying Dells for years. It was a rebellion against his peers, Mac-toting iPod addicts one and all…

“’I just didn’t want to have the same MP3 player as everybody else, and felt that there had to be equivalent or better players out there,’ Mr. Roosevelt, an 18-year-old native of Chappaqua, N.Y., said recently from his freshman dorm room at the University of Maryland. ‘It’s not that I don’t like it; I just don’t like the whole cult mentality towards Apple. I don’t like how everyone gravitates toward it immediately.’

“Determined to steer clear of Apple, he bought his six-gigabyte Sansa last June. ‘It may look a great deal like an iPod Nano, but it isn’t one,’ he said, ‘which is all that I really cared about.'”

[UPDATED 2:10pm EST: Added to “Take” regarding similarities to previous NY Times piece.”

Related articles:
New York Times’ Apple iPod articles reveal very similar formula – November 01, 2006

JupiterResearch: Apple’s iPod will dominate for foreseeable future; Microsoft’s Zune insignificant – October 25, 2006
Ellen DeGeneres Show gives away Microsoft Zunes, studio audience goes berserk – October 23, 2006
More Microsoft Zune myths explored – October 20, 2006
Five more Microsoft Zune myths – October 18, 2006
Microsoft Zune intensifies chaos in Apple iPod+iTunes also-ran market – October 16, 2006
Newsweek Q&A: Apple CEO Steve Jobs discusses iPod’s impact, Microsoft’s Zune, and more – October 15, 2006
Microsoft’s Ballmer: Zune device not money loser, wishes Apple’s 30GB iPod was $299 instead of $249 – October 11, 2006
Microsoft’s consumer electronics track record: long string of failures – October 11, 2006
MP3.com founder: ‘Zune will be an expensive failure for Microsoft because consumers aren’t stupid’ – October 06, 2006
Microsoft fails to secure key Zune domains – October 04, 2006
Microsoft rigs Zune with tricky pricing and proprietary money schemes – October 03, 2006
Why Microsoft’s Zune won’t kill Apple’s iPod – October 03, 2006
10 Apple iPod vs. Microsoft Zune myths – October 02, 2006
Analyst: Zune could lead to ‘civil war’ between Microsoft and Windows Media partners – September 29, 2006
Thurrott on Microsoft’s Zune: ‘The makings of a disaster, what the heck are these people thinking?’ – September 29, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft Zune’s as good as dead on arrival – September 28, 2006
Microsoft sets 30GB Zune price at $249.99 – September 28, 2006
How Microsoft’s Zune can kill Apple’s iPod – September 21, 2006
Microsoft’s Zune insanity – September 21, 2006
The Microsoft Zune 1.0 dud – September 20, 2006
Microsoft’s underwhelming Zune a ‘viral DRM’ device – September 18, 2006
SanDisk teams with RealNetworks against new common foe: Microsoft Zune – September 18, 2006
Creative does Apple’s dirty work by immediately attacking Microsoft’s Zune – September 17, 2006
Motley Fool’s Jayson: Microsoft’s ‘just plain ugly’ Zune a meager offering, not an iPod killer – September 15, 2006
What’s in a name? ‘Zune’ a French-Canadian euphemism for penis or vagina – September 15, 2006
Crave at CNET: ‘Microsoft Zune, all the excitement that brown can bring’ – September 15, 2006
Microsoft’s Zune underwhelms – September 15, 2006
Enderle: Microsoft Zune ‘a design mistake’ – September 15, 2006
Microsoft hypocrisy exposed with Zune: What ever happened to ‘choice?’ – September 14, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft Zune with fake scroll wheel ‘hardly an Apple iPod killer’ – September 14, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft Zune won’t spoil Apple’s biggest iPod Christmas ever – September 14, 2006
Microsoft unveils Zune 30GB player, Zune Marketplace; declines to disclose prices – September 14, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft’s Zune an ‘underwhelming’ repackaged Toshiba Gigabeat; no threat to Apple iPod – August 30, 2006
Microsoft confirms brick-like Zune to be made by Toshiba – August 25, 2006
Microsoft Zune is chunky brick made by Toshiba – August 25, 2006
Microsoft to spend hundreds of millions, several years on Zune trying to catch Apple iPod+iTunes – July 27, 2006
Zune: Apple cannot lose. Microsoft cannot win. – July 26, 2006

Apple’s taken iPod+iTunes to an entirely different level; iPhone will be like supertrain – October 21, 2006
AP: Apple’s new iPod, iPod nano, iPod shuffle ‘clearly worth the wait’ – October 19, 2006
Apple announces iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition, iTunes (PRODUCT) RED gift card – October 13, 2006
Apple iPod games reviewed – October 06, 2006
Mossberg: Apple’s new iPod+iTunes are ‘better products at better prices’ – October 04, 2006
The Washington Post: ‘New competitors can’t measure up to Apple’s iPod’ – September 30, 2006
Computerworld review: ‘Apple’s new iPods are better than ever’ – September 27, 2006
Review: Pac-Man for iPod – September 27, 2006
PC Magazine’s 19th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards for MP3 players: Apple iPod line – September 25, 2006
Thurrott reviews Apple’s iTunes 7: ‘the best software-based media jukebox I’ve ever used’ – September 22, 2006
USA Today reviews new Apple iPod nanos, updated iPods, iTunes 7 (each earns 4 stars out of 4) – September 21, 2006
CNET Editor’s Choice: Apple fifth-gen updated iPod – ‘best, most attractive iPod to date’ – September 20, 2006
Disney sells 125,000 movie downloads via Apple’s iTunes Store in first week – September 19, 2006
PC Magazine review: iTunes 7 ‘Apple’s best effort yet’ (4 stars out of 5) – September 15, 2006
CNET Editor’s Pick: Apple’s new 2G iPod nano – ‘sure to be top choice among wide range of users’ – September 14, 2006
Analyst: Apple ‘s iTunes+iPod+iTV model ‘the gold standard for the digital home of the future’ – September 12, 2006
What’s new in Apple’s iTunes 7 – September 12, 2006
Analyst Gartenberg: Apple ‘s iTunes+iPod+iTV ‘will be hard for other players to match’ – September 12, 2006
Apple debuts iTunes 7 – September 12, 2006
Apple debuts new iPod in 30GB and 80GB with Hollywood movies, games and new lower price – September 12, 2006
Apple intros new iPod nano with new aluminum design in five colors and 24-hour battery life – September 12, 2006
Apple unveils new iPod shuffle: world’s smallest digital music player – September 12, 2006


  1. very immature if you ask me.

    “I’m going to do the opposite of what other people I know do just to prove to everyone that I’m original and different!! That’ll learn ’em!”

    and yet…. she’s buying a digital music player (like everyone else) and getting a Zune just to be contrary. product aside, that has to be the single most idiotic reason for doing anything that i’ve ever heard! not because it’s cheaper, not because it’s better, not because it’s what you desire but because it’s not what they have… and i can annoy them with it!

    she’s gonna look a little stupid if it’s crappy, doesnt work well and cant consistantly and easily load music, movies, etc. then she’ll have a shit coloured paperweight. if you wanna really be counterculture, get a portable cd player.
    better yet, just carry a victrola on your shoulder.

  2. Seems Ms. Hayward’s real problem is that she lives in fear of her identity being subsumed by her environment. I don’t make purchases based on “what everyone else has” either; if it is a good product and I want it, I couldn’t care less if everyone else is walking around with one or not. Sadly, Ms. Hayward seems afraid of losing her identity to her surrounding, thus she is indeed cutting off her nose to spite her face, which is a poor way to make any decision in life.

    Here’s hoping that college is good to Ms. Hayward and she finds a secure identity…and a bit of common sense.

  3. Iman, you are a brainwashed fool that is succumbing to the assholes in Redmond. They want you to believe that the Zune is a superior player. It’s a piece of excrement, and it won’t even make a dent in iPod sales. And guess what? When you start waving it in front of all of your friends, Apple will be introducing a video full-screen iPod that will render the zooone obsolete shortly after it hits the market.

    Zune=elephant excrement (hence the brown color)

  4. From the article :
    “I really like the size, and it has excellent battery life,” Mr. Taylor said. “I can charge it up, leave it on the shelf for a month, and it’s ready to go.” By contrast, he said, the iPods have to be topped off with even a day or two between uses. “I have two of the newer ones, and the battery life is even worse.”

    Strangely the iPod gets which gets used everyday is chastised for it’s frequent need of recharging, while the Dell DJ is praised for sitting on the shelf for a month holding it’s charge.

  5. I find it amusing that most of these “contrarions” don’t like Mac people because they are “elitists”, yet they buy a Zune just so they can stand apart and “wave it in front of their faces”. I can’t imagine a more pompous, elitist statement than that. The funny part of the whole thing is anyone with an iPod just won’t give a crap, because the Zune is a bad joke.

  6. I know a *lot* of teenagers, and I’m sure almost none of them know what a Zune is. AND they all either have iPods or want one.
    Come on… BROWN. That’s just idiotic. iPod colors are better, but if MS really wanted to differentiate and appeal to kids, they’d cover them in colorful plastic beads, wrap them in chains and leather, or offer a ‘hatchetman’ model.
    MS has NO CLUE what youth culture is about or what kids are into. Not a single clue at all. >.<


    MW: ‘medical’ (attention, stat! This Zune is flat-lining!)

  7. Is everyone missing the funniest part of this?

    “In fact, on Nov. 14 she will wait in line, if needed, to be among the first to own Microsoft’s iPod alternative, the Zune — in the fudge-brown case, no less.”

    …wait in line, if needed?

    Yeah Right!

  8. Let’s face it this article is a puff piece about an 18 year old! So she wants a zune. Im sure she has and will make a bunch of crappy decisions in the name of individuality or contraianism. It’s all so immature but it is a part of growing up. I say move along people let m$ make a big deal about how they appeal to the contrarianists. That just sounds funny. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

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