iPod Is Doomed

Timek

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 24, 2001
11
0
Let's see. Currently the iPod can only be used with a Mac with Firewire. And from what I have read in this forum, the people to whom Apple is marketing this "revolutionary" product think it sucks. You have to wonder what kind of research and test marketing Steve and the guys did for this. Even when the iPod is made compatible with a PC it is going to be shelved in Apple section of CompUSA or Circuit City and it will be buried. There is almost no market for it today, and things arent't going to get much better.

I'm not going to discuss the quality of the product. I'm sure it's great. Most Apple products are, but if there is no market it just doesn't matter. When you combine this with the price the analogies to the Cube are scary. Some will buy the iPod. Some will buy a new Mac so they can get an iPod, but if Steve was counting on the iPod to be a breakthrough, he is sadly mistaken.

I love Apple. I love the quality of the hardware and the elegance of the OS, but I'm afraid that the clock is ticking for my favorite computer company. They do need a real breakthrough product soon. I honestly hope Steve and the boys have something else up their sleeves.
 

spikey

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2001
658
0
im sensing a negative attitude.
I think its pretty kool from what i can tell, but i wont fully judge it till i use one as im a bit worried about sound quality.
Apple couldnt make the iPod compatible or as compatible with the PC because it wouldnt make marketing sense, the iPod is meant to part of Apples "digital hub" not any PC manufacturer. It is meant to be a part of what makes up Apples digital hub.

And the thing up their sleeves i think will be the G5, hopefully some price reductions will come with it. cos that is what scares away alot of PC buyers.
 

Timek

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 24, 2001
11
0
Spikey,

You make some good points, but what you say bolsters my arguement. The iPod, or any other future "breakthrough" digital device, can't just be for the Apple hub. There just isn't the market for it. The market won't support it. Again, the quality, "coolness", or technical aspects of the iPod will not determine its future. The market will determine its future.

The iPod is an expensive niche product in an expensive niche market. I'm not questioning the quality of the product. I'll let others do that. (And from what I'm reading, there seems to be plenty to question.)My point is that Apple needs a product or product line that has a broader appeal. The next time Steve rolls out a "breakthrough" with a resolution in mind, he better do a better job than iPod.
 

Foocha

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2001
588
0
London
I think your missing the point here. Apple is the world's only vertically integrated PC manufacturer, producing hardware, operating system and applications. This uniquely positions them to deliver all-in-one solutions. Solutions that take the complexity away by integrating disparate components and combining it all together in a stylish package. Put iTunes, iPod & iBook together and you have the ultimate solution for managing your music collection. The purpose of iPod is to *sell more Macs* not sell MP3 players to Windows users.

I suspect you'll see the price tag come down next year, after Apple has made it's money from the core crowd of Apple early adopters who'll pay anything.
 

SPG

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2001
1,083
0
In the shadow of the Space Needle.
It's just one small product...

The iPod is just one more small product to increase the "Ooooh! look at that!" factor of the Apple lineup.
The very best MP3 player on the market is now made by Apple.
The smallest self powered 5gig file transfer device is now made by apple.
Both of the very best laptops on the market are made by Apple.
The most cost effective digital video editing system is made by Apple.
The most cost effective DVD authoring system is made by Apple.
The easiest to use DVD authoring system is made by Apple.
Yes you can do all those things with PC's, but not as easily, and I don't think nearly as well. More people will realize this and what Apple hopes is that more people will come over to the Mac camp to take advantage of it. That's where Apples vertical integration really pays off, making it all work together really well.

All the people I know who have PC's only use them for email, word proc, 1/2 can burn cd's, and a couple of games. Everyone I know who has a mac and a cmaera has been able to at least play around with digital video editing and some have made some really good stuff. Nobody I know has been able to edit video on their Windows PC, even the people who bought the software intending to do it.
 

Timek

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 24, 2001
11
0
Foocha. I like the debate.

I don't miss the point. I know what Apple is trying to do, but unless the products have a wider appeal, it's not going to work. I think the Cube is the perfect example. Great design, great concept. But nobody purchased them, even after the price was cut. Prices normally come down when demand starts to dry up. If the demand for a product is high at the beginning and it stays high the price will not come down. That is until the product is revised and the company wants to clear out old inventory.

The problem for Apple is that the customer base for the iPod isn't excited about the product. Read the message boards. There is just way too much negative reaction from the Mac community to support the product and its future. And since there is no market outside the Mac community at the present there is no where else to turn. Does anyone think that someone is going to buy a Mac just so they can get an iPod?

My original point is that if the iPod would have been a truly breakthrough revolutionary product then what you are saying would hold true. The Mac faithful would be climbing over themselves to get one (regardless of the price), AND, if there is a broader appeal (hint: it's not a Mac), then the product has a greater chance at success.

 

Timek

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 24, 2001
11
0
SPG,

Again, good points. Concerning Apple and the quality of its products, I cannot disagree. Apple makes the best computers-period. And the OS will always be superior. Windows is improving, but it will NEVER equal the Macintosh experience. I just don't think it is possible.

However, the iPod is another matter, and maybe I just don't get it. If you can do all of the things on a PC that you can do with a Mac, but not as easily, why doesn't Apple give these folks an opportunity with a new device that will give them that taste of the Apple? I'll repeat it again and again. There is not enough of a market to support the iPod. It will fail, not because of the quality of the product, but simply because not enough people are going to buy it.

It's interesting that the some of the messages I have read in support of the product, even these folks have expressed a reluctance to actually buy it. Doesn't sound good to me.

 

igordi

macrumors newbie
Jul 14, 2001
26
0
I'm Still Torn...

I got caught up in all the hoopla on the forums leading up to the announcements and when it was actually announced I was crushed. The thing is though, Aple didn't crush my spirits, it was all of us dreamers. Everyone is acting like Apple built this thing up but the only thing they said was "breakthrough digital device". Everyone seems to be getting the wrong idea about who it was a "breakthrough" for. It wasn't for us, it was a breakthrough for the industry, was it not? No one has ever made this type of product with this much potential. Isn't that the breakthrough we were promised?

Of course this is a damn expensive MP3 player but from all the posts I've been reading there are some really cool ideas for this thing in the future and I'm sure that Apple has thought of them all. We just have to realize that the average Joe doesn't know what his computer is capable of so we have to start slow and give people time to learn and be inspired.

The sad part is the price though. If nobody buys the first one they might not build the second.
 

Timek

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 24, 2001
11
0
Igordi,

There's a couple of important points to be made in regard to your post. Most importantly, Apple created the hype for this event. Make no mistake about it. Though know very well that Mac users are unique, and as a rule, are always looking for the latest rumor. If people didn't read the rumor sites, there wouldn't be any rumor sites. They sent out a special invitation that just begged for people to be jumping out of their skin with anticipation (myself included). The only problem is that it didn't work. This product just didn't do it, and it's not going to.

If it was a breakthrough product for the industry it would have been shown to a bunch of engineers whereever it is that these folks hang out. You are fooling yourself if you think this event wasn't planned for consumers. That's the only reason why any company does anything.

I'm sure that Apple has quite a few things under development. I just hope they are truly revolutionary and breakthrough. As far as Apple having thought of them all, I leave you with two words—Think Cube.
 

hinkhous

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2001
40
0
iPod is not doomed...

if iPod does not sell, it might not be because people don't like it or want it. every day there are thousands of people being laid off from their jobs, the stock market has plunged, and the September 11th tragedy all have put us into an economic recession. Most people have less money to spend on "toys", and many have given that money to charities toward the relief efforts.

That being said, Apple has created this product:

1. a 5 GB external hard drive
2. firewire connectivity that is extraordinarily fast
3. sleek compact design that will fit into your hand
4. a method to quickly and easily transfer huge files from any firewire enabled pc (ie movies, cd images, iDVD files, etc)
5. the coolest MP3 player I have seen to date.

So, instead of buying a regular external hard drive, you buy an iPod because it is also an MP3 player. Instead of buying an Iomega 2 GB Jaz drive, you buy the iPod because it has more capacity and much faster. Instead of buying any old MP3 player you buy the iPod because it is just better!

What Apple has done is introduced a product that most view as "old hat." We've all seen MP3 players, hard drives and firewire devices. But what Apple has also done is incorporated a strategy that people have been begging for them to do for years--target profitable markets. Apple has entered a commodity market and has immediately created a product that gives its users the most bang for their buck. I think if people were going to buy an MP3 player before, now they will buy an iPod...I think it will be a success and be a product line that will be around for quite some time...any thoughts??

(one last note--the name stinks)
 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
timek, you are objective

timek, what you are saying makes good sense but you are trying to argue against arguments which are not well thought out and very subjective and contradictory in nature

i hope apple had more people like you and not so many people who like to live in apple's glory days of the past

apple cannot exist as a vertical company forever, their stock is doing very bad, they need regular breakthroughs, not just one

and apple cannot exist on cool alone

like i always said before, and caught hell for it...

apple is a business and has to market to the masses (including pcs) to do well like they did with the imac (to the masses) instead of marketing to the cool like the cube (which was really more revolutionary but maybe too far ahead of its time)

i don't think anyone really read what you said when you said that you believe apple products are good


hey everybody,

please re-read timek's post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Timek

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 24, 2001
11
0
hinkhous,

You probably have made the best case for the future of the iPod. I just wish Apple would have said some of the things about the device that you are saying. For a company that is so great at developing great computers, I will never understand their approach to marketing. In today's world, first impressions are the only impressions. If your message doesn't do it the first time around, there is no second chance. Just ask the Newton guys.

If the iPod is going to be PC compatible at some point, it should have been so from the beginning. If it is a multi-purpose device, EVERYBODY should know. Other than the people who read Mac web sites, how many people who own a Mac will know of the uses of the iPod besides it being an MP3 player?

I think the one thing that upset me the most about the release of the iPod is the suggestion from Apple that the iPod is not a Mac. Technically, this is correct. The iPod is not a Macintosh computer. But when you think about it, it only works with Macs, it uses iTunes, you can use it to start-up a Mac. O.K., it's not a Mac. But you can't use it with anything else.

jefhatield,

Thanks for the comments. I couldn't agree more. The iPod announcement frustrates me on so many levels, but more than anything I am becoming more fearful that Apple's days may be numbered.

I was reading the article about the new PC cube today. (On a side note-This machine is a piece of crap and cannot be compared to the real Cube.) The inteesting thing about the article is not the machine it is the disdain that the author holds for Apple. And this disdain is pervasive. There is a certain amount of respect for the Apple's quality, innovation, etc. But when you get on the sales floor of CompUSA or Circuit City, Apple is not treated as a serious computer alternative. The tone of the article is the way many, many people feel about Apple. They don't like it. I don't understand it, as do just about everyone who owns a Mac. But I do understand it's a reality. And it's a reality that Apple has to address if it is going to survive.

And this is why the iPod is doomed. It is just another piece of Apple hardware. Nothing more-nothing less. It will treated that way because that is it the way Apple decided to market it. The iPod will not share shelf space with the rest of the MP3 players. It will be stuck in the puny Apple section and it will go nowhere fast. Even it is modified in a couple months to work with PCs (Why is that such a bad thing anyway?) it will still be sold with the Apple products, and I can almost guarantee that if it is on the the shelf with the other MPs players, the highly knowledgable sales person at CompUSA will say when asked, "Oh that. That only works if you have a Mac."

It's a business folks. It's brutal and ugly. It's the marketplace. Sometimes the best doesn't always win. And from my experience it's that second, third and fourth best, do a better job of marketing and selling.



 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
it is business

it is weird being a techie who went to business school instead of engineering school

i keep on trying to explain to my engineer peers who are obsessed with making good product at any price and are not interested at all in if it will sell or not

apple's culture has been that way from the start and has, on one hand, produced the great products of the field...Apple IIe, Mac 128k, performa, and the iMac

but on the other hand, its stupid business practices has let microsoft steal the business operating system market, let palm steal the pda market, let the pc world and console giants steal the gaming market, and lose out by avoiding intel and amd totally and missing out on that market

apple is the best company out there right now the way that webvan was the best dot.com but a complete ignoring of the bottom line (balance sheet) could possibly kill apple

but i have hope, HOPE!... that even if apple falls to one percent of the market share and that they have to lay off most of their employees, they will still exist on some level as long as there is some demand out there for macs

so maybe apple's days as a major silicon valley player are numbered (some already say they are not sitting at the big table) ...but the company will still serve us mac faithfuls for many years to come
 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
re: business

and many of you know that i am sometimes critical of steve jobs

but former ceos emilio and that "soda guy" did not exactly choose the best business directions for apple either

sometimes i wish guy kawasaki and the woz would come back, and not in a class reunion sort of way, but these two early apple icons have done very good in the business sector unlike the other former and current heads of apple who, as a group, have lost more money for apple than they made

PS - and don't believe the rumors you see on tabloid tv shows/tv movies about the woz being broke or have taken some vow of poverty...he is doing quite well the same way paul allen is doing well (they are just low key guys)
 

Scab Cake

macrumors member
Jul 26, 2001
81
0
Just so everyone knows, I was at the Chandler Apple Store last night.

Mwahaha.

Just kidding. But, I was there and I spoke to a couple of sales reps. They said that the response to the iPod has been overwhelming. The guy I spoke to told me that at least 50 people a day have been coming in ready to purchase one. So, just because you think the product is going to fail because you don't want it, or you think that nobody on this board is going to want it (for the current price), don't make assumptions about the public. I mean, after all, they do pay almost $200 for the Windows OS. I probably wouldn't pay $20.
 

spikey

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2001
658
0
Although apple is the only vertically opposed computer company it doesnt necesseraly mean its a bad thing, it just means its hard to grow. Being like apple is means it has a loyal fan base and will never stop selling computers but it does mean that it is hard to tap into a different market (PC users).
What apple doesnt do well at is it doesnt make its products versatile enough, Macs arent compatible enough with PCs for the average user, iPod is firewire and i dont know many PCs which are firwire etc etc.
I think making iPod mac only isnt a bad idea, what apple needs to do to attract consumers whilst still being vertically opposed is to make macs cheaper, more available to buy, more versatile (which OSX does), and most importantly macs need to be more compatible with PCs for the average user to use as this would lure buyers to apple.
 

spikey

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2001
658
0
So i suppose what i am saying is its the centre of the digital hub (the macintosh) which is the problem as it isnt easy for consumers to live with.
But the digital products that stem off the macintosh are ok and are what make apple unique to other PC comapnies.
 

MacKixAzz

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2001
1
0
Apple's "Revolutionary Product"

Ok,
This may have been mentioned earlier, but this is my opinion of Apple's iPod. I have very little doubt that it is a "revolutionary product" however, as it has been stated, it will be buried by other cheaper options that have less features but a better pricepoint and PC compatability. Apple enjoys wonderful brand loyalty though so it may in fact see a fair share of what it expects to sell. The thing that few people have picked up with the iPod is the fact that its TINY. Its PDA sized yet has 5gb of drive space. Few people would be able to dream of a way to use 5gb in a PDA but still, I have a feeling this is going to be a break for Apple into the PDA market which it actually started so many years ago. I know that the many many mac users out there would LOVE to have an apple logo on their PDA, and certainly the Newton was so very far ahead of its time (i know because i still use one and have no problems with it so many years later and it suits my needs still). This is just my opinion of course the fact that i work at MacWarehouse Technical Support (no flames please) has no way of providing me inside info :)

Talk to ya later folks
 

Timek

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 24, 2001
11
0
Scab Cake,

I understand your point. However, you haven't sold me. People coming into the Apple Store is one thing; when they start doing the same thing at Circuit City, then I will agree with your point.

Also, please don't make assumptions about the people who have been critical of the iPod in this thread. If I'm wrong correct me, but I don't think anyone here has said they did not want or did not like the iPod. I have been critical of Apple's marketing approach to the iPod and their overall marketing approach. I will say it again-I am not questioning the quality of the iPod. Read my earlier posts.

Concerning the public, I think I can make a pretty safe assumption that in the next year 90% of all computer purchases will be Windows machines. Do you think the iPod is going to change that in any significant (or even insignificant) way? Will a lot of Mac people buy the iPod? Sure. But don't measure the reaction to the product based on what is happening the first couple of days after release at an Apple Store.

 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
vertical

the vertical setup, which spikey mentions, may be the reason for a higher price, but maybe not...i am just guessing here

but...lower price does bring in business since new computer users, and that's still half of america and most of the world, have no idea that macs are better, they just are watching their wallet

now that i have been watching the iPod posts, if it is any indication, there are some mac die hards who will buy the iPod which at least will give this product a fighting chance

i called about the iPod at my local store and i was one of many that day so that is a good sign...especially since people ordered it sight unseen!
 

Microsoft_Windows_Hater

macrumors member
Oct 4, 2001
50
0
Well....

As a new mac fan, I love the iPod, but I just wish that it wouldn't break my visa if I bought it. It is fantastic, that is granted, but can I afford it? Bring it down to 300 and then that is more like it, but 400 is way too high even for a removable HD. That said, I don't have an MP3 player and the idea of the iPod sounds cool. Most of my friends agree to that point too, none being mac fans.

Apple is looking like it is on its last legs unfortunately. I wish it was not the case, and I would do anything to help. I think that there is one thing that can be done to help Apple, and that is the new iMac. An iPod is cool, but no PC user is going to buy a mac because of it. Personally, I would buy n iBook for it, but that is a different story.

Apple needs the home and business market to open up to it. Then we will see more iPod says and whatever new iDevice that comes along.
 
P

poop

Guest
Did anyone know that Apple owns the domain names "ipod.com" and "ipad.com"? iPad sounds like an Apple PDA name
 
C

ceastwoo

Guest
I visited my campus bookstore today and asked about the iPod. I expected the sales people to tell me that they hadn't heard of it, or they hadn't had any requests for it, or sales, or whatever. After all, I've been here for awhile and this was the reaction to the Cube (although I must admit that I loved the Cube). Surprise, surprise! Apple is offering a student discount on the iPod and it is selling like eggs (you need eggs for every hotcake after all)! Our bookstore has had several inquiries and quite a few sales.

Maybe this thing will be a hit after all.

I think that the techies understand that a) Archos, Creative, and other mp3 devices sound awful (no offense to those without fragile ears) and Apple's 32-bit audio technology beats the competitors sonically, and that (b) this thing is update-able.

Time will tell, but if my campus is any indicator, the iPod was/is a good idea.
 

Foocha

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2001
588
0
London
Huh?

I really don't get this "Apple is on it's last legs" nonsense. Even if the iPod is a complete flop (which it won't be) Apple can take the hit - it has bags of cash right now. The fundamental thing is that Apple now has a industry beating operating system which can reach out way beyond their tired old locked in audience of creative professionals. This is UNIX with Microsoft apps and a world leading user interface - no one else can beat that - not even Microsoft themselves. Add to that some fantastic hardware - I've not seen a notebook that beats Powerbook G4.

I'll understand peoples' concerns if Apple doesn't come out with a fantastic G5 desktop line up next year, but some guys on this thread are over reacting about iPod - it's no big deal.

Big up for Apple!