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gkarris
May 23, 2008, 02:01 PM
Zune starting to loose foothold...

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

May 23, 2008 11:37 AM PDT

Can anything beat the iPod?

Posted by Don Reisinger 1 commentThe 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. And 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 which 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 that 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 number two 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.



alphaod
May 23, 2008, 07:22 PM
Is this kind of old news?

iPods have been dominating the market for several years now.

bloodycape
May 23, 2008, 11:00 PM
yeah, but the ipod has also slowly been loosing shares to mobile phones that can play music.

There are few mp3 players that offer better all around product over the ipod. Just that the companies either have no need to market their device as they are making most of their money in their other business, or the company doesn't have a large budget to spend on marketing.

SkyBell
May 23, 2008, 11:24 PM
I think one day the iPod will lose the top spot, to some competitors other offering that beats the iPod in every way. So I hope Apple enjoys it's #1 spot while it lasts.

PlaceofDis
May 23, 2008, 11:43 PM
I think one day the iPod will lose the top spot, to some competitors other offering that beats the iPod in every way. So I hope Apple enjoys it's #1 spot while it lasts.

well once you have the #1 spot the only place to go is down. ;)




but in reality the reason apple doesn't have to worry right now is that everyone else lacks the innovation currently. they're not coming out with new ways to do it, or make it easier, or something new and desirable. they're just copying one another and the ipod and trying to improve upon the current set of standards rather than push for something 'new'. and i wonder, what do we need thats new at this point? apple has already anticipated that mobile music and phone world converging and are moving forward with that in terms of the iphone. again another area others are playing catch up on.

mckyvlle
May 24, 2008, 08:43 AM
but in reality the reason apple doesn't have to worry right now is that everyone else lacks the innovation currently.

Here's my take:

There are so many tech companies run by bean-counters or politicians now. Tech companies have to realise that unless they have a engineers running the show, their products will be a compromise to satisfy the ledgers of bean-counters. In simpler terms: major suckage to consumers.

For example, just look at Sony. They used to make very desirable consumer toys. But after they bought movie studios and music labels, their toys became saddled with anti-consumer crap. Would you buy a Sony these days?

Closer to home, Apple also has their share of letting bean-counters running the company into the ground. Remember John Sculley and Gil Amelio?

bloodycape
May 24, 2008, 03:02 PM
I would beg to differ about Sony. That use to be the case. Once they left their own propriety software to UMS/MTP, they are much better in terms of easy of use(at least in transferring music). I just recently bought a Sony A728(8gb flash) mp3 & I am very surprised how good it is. The screen is nicer than the Nano & the Classic. The sq blows away my Mini, & my friend's Nano. Size is a little bigger than the Nano, but has has a screen the same size as the Classic. Not a downside for me, but I know it is for others is the fact you can use itunes to transfer music & video. You are required to work & drag the music yourself, which I way easier in my book. I was going to get a the Nano, because my sister wanted it, but once she saw the Sony, & the fact that it has 33-36 hours of audio she was sold. Now if Sony market their products well, showed they dropped the connect format, people would see the ipod is just a solid product with not real advantages over the competition. And to the people saying that the competition has no innovation just look at the Classic line, it has stagnated for a while now(in design and features). At least the competition adds features via firmware, like Samsung adding flac via firmware, or Cowon adding flash support. Then again Samsung is doing a lot via bluetooth, like connecting to a phone for dialing, & answering calls when listing to music.

JacobC
May 25, 2008, 01:23 AM
iPod's are just getting more and more popular by the day. I have friends that don't own Apple stuff purchasing iPods, they are really popular, and I don't see anything surpassing them. Apple is always one step ahead.

GSMiller
May 25, 2008, 11:17 AM
I imagine the iPod giving up its number one spot eventually, and it going to the iPhone. That is if more carriers than just AT&T ever get it.

alphaod
May 25, 2008, 10:35 PM
I imagine the iPod giving up its number one spot eventually, and it going to the iPhone. That is if more carriers than just AT&T ever get it.

The iPhone is a phone; it's not a music player; it has an iPod built in, but it's marketed as a phone; the Touch is the music player. Also that's expecting everyone to buy an iPhone. I for one would never buy an iPhone again.

GSMiller
May 25, 2008, 11:58 PM
The iPhone is a phone; it's not a music player; it has an iPod built in, but it's marketed as a phone; the Touch is the music player. Also that's expecting everyone to buy an iPhone. I for one would never buy an iPhone again.

But look at how the Walkman dominated the portable music department until the portable CD player came along. People wonder how Sony went from being number one to only occupying a small percentage of the portable market and it's because newer technology came along and they just couldn't keep up. From the looks of it, all-in-one devices seem to be the direction of the market and if Apple can keep the ball rolling, the iPhone or its successor may be the best selling next-generation portable music player.

nishishei
Jan 20, 2009, 06:20 PM
But look at how the Walkman dominated the portable music department until the portable CD player came along.

Hehe you forgot the Sony Discman. Everyone and their mother had one in the 90s. Don't diss Sony man, they still make some of the best televisions. And I'm seriously considering buying their new mp3 Walkmans now that they got rid of the DRMs, because their sound quality is simply better.

ajvizzgamer101
Jan 20, 2009, 07:26 PM
Overall... NO!

In general some people may want a cheap MP3 player with an actual Screen unlike the shuffles. Or a Zune because they might just like Microsoft or something w/e the case is people have the only prefences and apple know how to hit most of there needs.