PDA

View Full Version : Another "iPod-killer" bites the dust


bigmac
05-25-2008, 12:34 PM
It's a fascinating saga since 1984. The death of Apple Computer has been predicted so many times I've long since lost count. And while virtually all innovations in personal computing have come from Apple, every computer mfgr has repeatedly brought out models that supposedly were going to "beat the pants" off of Apple, and they've done that by copying Apple rather than innovating. Ironically, the only computer company that has ever come close to putting Apple out of business was Apple itself.

This hilarity has carried over into the personal electronics market, most notably with the iPod, then the iPhone. I laugh at the number of "iPod killers", now "iPhone killers" that are hitting the market. I remember the predictions that the Zune would put the iPod up as an also-ran...yet another iPod killer.....


http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-9951459-17.html

Can anything beat the iPod?
Posted by Don Reisinger , Tech writer at cnet.com

The MP3 player market is one where logic is thrown out the window and as long as the player is manufactured by Apple, it'll perform quite well. Although there have been a number of solid alternatives, none have gained ground. And by the look of things, the Zune is up next on the chopping block.

According to GameStop, it will stop selling the Zune in its stores due to insufficient demand from customers. And although it may not matter to, oh, 99 percent of you, the fact that GameStop is ditching the Zune tells you that Microsoft's media player is on its way out.

"We have decided to exit the Zune category because it just did not have the appeal we had anticipated," said a GameStop spokesperson. "It (also) did not fit with our product mix."

GameStop's decision to remove the Zune from its store shelves reflects an increasingly prominent notion among retailers that suggests that only the iPod is a viable product regardless of the fact that Microsoft has sold more than 2 million Zunes and its other competitors have fought valiantly.

So what's the deal? Is it really true that iPods are the only MP3 players that matter? You better believe it.

Sadly, it doesn't look like there's any real chance for any other player besides the iPod to do well in the current environment. Apple commands such a large portion of the market with its current stable of products, there's no reason to suggest any company can break in and change the way things have been done for so long.

And perhaps that's the biggest issue we're facing. Today's MP3 player market is so lopsided, most companies are basically copying the best features from each other in an attempt to take the No. 2 spot, while Apple laughs all the way to the bank.

From the very beginning, Apple understood what no other company did: people want a product that works well, but also offers the end-to-end solution that won't require them to fire up too many programs to get songs onto their devices. And although some of its competitors don't want to admit it, Apple was the first, and to be honest the only real, end-to-end solution for all consumers.

Going forward, there's no debating the fact that Apple will lead the charge, but I'm not so sure it'll stay on top forever. Who knows if something totally new will come along and supplant it as the leader in the portable audio market much like the Walkman did. If you ask me, it could happen sooner than you think.

But until then, we're stuck with a market that's utterly dominated by the iPod and products like the Zune have little chance of survival regardless of their merit as a fine device.

The competition should pack it in and try to do something new. If it doesn't, we'll be stuck with boring updates to the same devices while doing all we can to satiate our burning desire for a revolutionary device. If it's out there now, I'd surely like to see it.

shepherd
05-25-2008, 12:41 PM
You own Apple stock, don't you? ;)

bigmac
05-25-2008, 12:56 PM
You own Apple stock, don't you? ;)Wish I did.

stuartmcnair
05-26-2008, 11:33 PM
I never understood the whole Zune thing. Did you ever see the ads? Those might have been the worst ads ever.

I did break down and get the wife an iPhone. It actually works out cheaper in the long run over a PDA phone like I was going to get her.

craig3972
05-27-2008, 01:56 AM
I owned an ipod once... biggest POS i ever spent $450.00 on. thing was broken more than i used ..it up untill the warranty ran out.

sinister_designs
05-27-2008, 02:37 AM
I owned an ipod once... biggest POS i ever spent $450.00 on. thing was broken more than i used ..it up untill the warranty ran out.
or it seemed like the day after you brought it there was a new generation out :mad:

Chas
05-27-2008, 06:22 AM
Both of my kids have owned Apple Ipods - both Nano IIRC - and I have a Nano which I share with my wife. She uses it for language studies as she works on her masters degree, so I rarely see it.

I sell Ipod-based sound systems in the spas I sell, so I have one on a display in our store which runs all day. I am one of about five or six friends/coworkers with Iphones. We all seem to love them and get good service out of them.

Out of that base, I don't know of any who have had trouble. OK - my phone froze and I lost all my data once, but I learned that I had not been backing it up correctly or I would not have lost much if anything. And the Apple Genius was very helpful in showing me exactly how to sync all my data, not just music, and that it is possible to get corrupt data in the contact list which will slow/stop the device. No trouble since that free lesson, btw.

I catch a lot of grief over being part of the Apple mind-numbed robots, but I enjoy the products completely. I bought Apple stock below ninety, and I enjoy that part of the equation as well.

I simply don't see why they get bashed - when the competition gets it right they might have a run, but so far they seem to be doing it best. I even bought my son an apple computer as a going away gift when he left the family business for another opportunity. He has enjoyed expanding his computer IT skills, loves the way that machine does the video work he does for fun, and it has performed flawlessly for him so far.

I know this can easily become a war of the brands, and Apple seems to know that they have a product which is worth more - again I say that if the competition offered what Apple offers that might change - but so far they are the only game in town for some of us.

Flame on... :D

dapicatti
05-27-2008, 06:35 AM
love my iphone and my wife's ipod touch.

BriEOD
05-27-2008, 08:08 AM
Yes, my daughter and wife have nanos and someone gave me a touch as a gift. It does way more than I'll ever need. 16 GB.

bigmac
05-27-2008, 08:39 AM
My new GMC truck has an Aux-In minijack on the front panel so that iPods or other MP3 players can connect up to the stereo through their headphone jack. It's the same concept as the Aux-In RCA plugs on our factory Clarion head units in our boats.

GM now has a dealer-installed option (~$200 installed) called Personal Audio Link (PAL) which allows connection to the iPod dock connector and the iPod can then be controlled from the head unit. IIUC, Ford and Dodge have a similar option available. I bought (haven't received) a similar device from PIE. Looks easy to install (video here (http://www.mp3carpros.com/product_info.php?products_id=125)) without having to pull the radio. We'll see, but I agree that being able to have the iPod working easily in the car will increase its usefulness to me even further.

dmayer84
05-27-2008, 08:46 AM
I'm waiting for the 3g iphone to come out and then going to pick it up. About 2 weeks or so left to wait according to the rumors.

wakeX2wake
05-27-2008, 09:22 AM
an MD in my area heard about the iPhone... read up on it and all it's features and functionality... paid a very knowledgeable electronics guy to go to NYC to buy the phone (which he paid for) where it was first debuted to the public for consumption... the guy bought the phone went directly back to the hotel room and took the phone apart... he started reading off the names of the companies who made the components for the iPhone... the MD was drinking on the water the other day and laughed and said "hell that was one of the best investments i've made yet... i paid __(insert guy's name)__ $5K and he paid $500 for the phone and i've already cleared 20K in what the stocks have made me"...

i guess it pays to be smart AND have money

bigmac
05-27-2008, 10:30 AM
an MD in my area heard about the iPhone... read up on it and all it's features and functionality... paid a very knowledgeable electronics guy to go to NYC to buy the phone (which he paid for) where it was first debuted to the public for consumption... the guy bought the phone went directly back to the hotel room and took the phone apart... he started reading off the names of the companies who made the components for the iPhone... the MD was drinking on the water the other day and laughed and said "hell that was one of the best investments i've made yet... i paid __(insert guy's name)__ $5K and he paid $500 for the phone and i've already cleared 20K in what the stocks have made me"...

i guess it pays to be smart AND have moneyHmmmm...sounds like an urban legend to me. The iPhone was debuted everywhere in the country at the same time. He could just as well have gone down to either the nearest Apple Store or to any AT&T store.

Jorski
05-27-2008, 11:10 AM
The guy, if he existed wasn't that clever. He could have found out in numerous research reports, and on a number of websites who made the components for iphone.

Further, Qualcomm(QCOM) makes more money from cellular than anyone else, as they receive royalties on virually everything to do with the various versions of 3G. They also make chipsets in virtually all CDMA devices. Anyhoo...

Other interesting Apple tidbit...the GUI interface was invented by Xerox, not Apple. They bought the IP from Xerox when they decided not to commercialize it. Xerox "parc", invented the PC, ethernet networks, email and a bunch of other cool stuff that they failed capitalize upon.

bigmac
05-27-2008, 11:38 AM
The guy, if he existed wasn't that clever. He could have found out in numerous research reports, and on a number of websites who made the components for iphone.

Further, Qualcomm(QCOM) makes more money from cellular than anyone else, as they receive royalties on virually everything to do with the various versions of 3G. They also make chipsets in virtually all CDMA devices. Anyhoo...

Other interesting Apple tidbit...the GUI interface was invented by Xerox, not Apple. They bought the IP from Xerox when they decided not to commercialize it. Xerox "parc", invented the PC, ethernet networks, email and a bunch of other cool stuff that they failed capitalize upon.


Apple didn't invent hardly any of the technology found in computers today, but in most cases were the first to envision the enhanced functionality that various inventions and technology could bring to the personal computer market. They took existing technology, refined it, put it together into a functional and attractive chassis, marketed it well, and sold it at a premium price. Still do. Seems to be working well for them.