View Full Version : Can The iPod Keep Leading The Band?
Nov 2, 2004, 02:30 PM
Category: News and Press Releases
Link: Can The iPod Keep Leading The Band? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20041102143026)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug
Nov 2, 2004, 02:32 PM
... my band marches to a different beat. :) So I guess it really depends on who's band you're referring to.
Nov 2, 2004, 04:23 PM
It seems to me that they will have to eventually open up some aspect of the iTunes system, whether that's the iPod's "guts" or their DRM software. For now, Apple's innovation has sustained them, but it seems to me that one lucky shot from a competitor could make it all come down in a hurry.
Just my opinion...
Nov 2, 2004, 05:29 PM
It takes more than a lucky shot to change mindshare, though. It takes more than a top-quality product too.
Apple has some staying power now even if there ARE some real challengers.
Licensing the DRM seems the wisest choice.
The thing that keeps the iPod selling isn't the DRM, it isn't because it's made by Apple, it isn't because of iTunes, it's because the iPod is cool. It looks cool, it works cool and it just is cool. That's all most iPod users care about.
Therefore I don't see the harm in releasing devices that are "iPod compatible," because people that want iPods are still going to buy iPods. Apple can keep their UI, their design and the iPod brand. Because Apple are making so little on the music store, they might as well allow other companies (such as Real) to produce their own "iTunes compatible" stores (with a healthy licensing fee, of course). Again, Apple can control to what level they are allowed to use iTunes-alike software clones. It may well be that all these devices and all these stores have to go through the iTunes app. But regardless, Apple would call the shots.
I bet a load of companies would pay Apple to license their technology in this way - and what's more, it would further cement their lead, probably making it unassailable. As it stands, most of these companies have had to go with Microsoft, or done something boss-eyed like Sony.
One thing's for sure, there is no way Apple can maintain their market domination indefinitely if they don't allow others to license it. It's just not possible, as much as we'd all love it to be. Although from an economic viewpoint, the HP deal might help Apple spread the building costs, to consumers it makes little difference - you're basically talking about the same product. I honestly think the range of iPod-compatible devices needs to grow.
Sooner or later, one of these "iPod Killers" will deserve the title, and Apple needs to guard against that, since "iPod cool" is what's driving take-up. But if it controlled the technology used by this IPod Killer, it'd still profit from it.
Nov 2, 2004, 06:17 PM
These add-ons not only draw customers to the iPod instead of rivals, they could also lock them in for the long haul -- just as the availability of thousands of Windows programs helped bury Apple in PCs.
This won't be nice for people that aren't actually aware that the iPod accessories only work with the iPod platform (WOW... did I just call it PLATFORM? ;) )... But anyway, most people who own iPods must be aware that it's a closed system, and even if they weren't, the overall experience is hopefully good enough for them to want to stick with the iPod. Maybe if they get used to the Apple approach, they can eventually buy a Mac or two in the future.
And btw, while I'm at it, I think Apple and IBM must get their act together, to shut up all those naysayers that think the iMac G5 is a failure. If the supply issues with ALL Apple products were solved, the world would be a better place :D . They could finally make some decent advertising for the Mac without being afraid of running out of stock. Apple has a great innovative vision, but they are either afraid, or, most likely, IBM is failing completely... Oh, and IBM is not alone, hard-drive manufacturers aren't doing that great too. They're to blame if there is a shortage of Minis this X-mas :rolleyes:
Nov 3, 2004, 02:45 AM
I really don't see what the issue is with having a "closed system". What on earth does that have to do with anything when you're talking about a music player?
So I can only use my iPod with iTunes? Who cares? What else would I want to use it with? Does Real offer the EXACT same music at the EXACT same price? Pretty much. There just isn't enough product diversity to justify such concern over a closed system. In the end, it is just music. And it is my music. It isn't like the Mac platform in '84 when people were using PC's to create documents that they wanted to SHARE. I don't need my music player to be compatible with anyone elses, coz what difference would that make?
I have no concern with the way things are running at the moment. Apple absolutely has the best and most popular hardware and software, and the ipod has a ridiculous percentage of the accessory industry, so I don't see much cause for concern. Just think about how many people have purchased music from iTunes music store? And how much bigger that number will be by the time a true iPod killer come around.....maybe 300million? Now what is going to happen to those 300million songs that people have bought? They will obviously stay with the iPod in the future, as long as it is a good product (which i have no doubt about considering how much work Apple puts into the iPod). People are going to have a hard time convincing themselves to forget about all the digital music they've bought from iTunes in order to buy a non-compatable player, so why should Apple make those players compatable?
Nov 3, 2004, 06:53 AM
What are MS, Real, Napster, Dell and other players waiting for?
Do they hope some people to sell their iPods and forget the iTMS and change to those crappy *choices*???
The iTunes market share will increase until they keep the customers at some 90%, the other 10% may be the employees of those companies and some relatives (e.g Son of ballmer :p, even if he cries every X-mas ) ...