Pundits sound iPod death knell


iGary

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May 26, 2004
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They've been saying the iPod will die for three years now, and it keeps getting bigger.

Let me repeat myself for the bazillionth time:

When another company offers player, jukebox and music store in one package, maybe they can start ringing the death bell. Until then, just go ahead and shut up. :rolleyes:
 

dsharits

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Jun 19, 2004
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iGary said:
They've been saying the iPod will die for three years now, and it keeps getting bigger.

Let me repeat myself for the bazillionth time:

When another company offers player, jukebox and music store in one package, maybe they can start ringing the death bell. Until then, just go ahead and shut up. :rolleyes:
Very well said, iGary. Now, if we could only get a major news agency to pick up on your words. :D
 

gwuMACaddict

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Apr 21, 2003
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agreed... this is lame... walking through the streets of dc, exercising in the gym, etc- i see a million iPods a day... everybody has one. and not just old ones... most people are carrying the new ones- not sure if they always upgrade or what, but this iPod phenomenon isn't going away until somebody else smokes it out of the water... apple has created an icon, those don't just go away, it's a status symbol almost
 

mpw

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Jun 18, 2004
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Pundits sound iPod death knell - Another misleading thread title?

What the article said as I read it is that Apple will, one day in the future, lose the market lead in this field.
I would imagine that economists clever than me will be able to produce a formula that proves this inevitable to any leading company in any field so I can't see this as wildly innovative thinking.
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
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The article is a pretty good summary...but their sources just aren't very believable. Like iGary said, it's the software integration that keeps iPod going - nobody has managed to duplicate that yet. Yet, the article makes no mention of this...killing any hope of it influencing me in one stroke.
 

Stella

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Apr 21, 2003
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Apple should license out Fairplay. Apart from microsoft, not many other companies maintained their lead through proprietary technology.

I would not call AAC 'weird' just because its not microsoft format. AAC is an open format and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I can imagine that consumers get frustrated, in reality you should be able to buy music from any store and have it work on any digital music player.

Apple's reluctance of licensing out Fairplay will *definitely* come back to haunt them in the future. Apple will not maintain its 80% market share indefinitely. When Apple do decide to license out Fairplay i hope its not due to desperation, because, then, it'll be too late.
 

ham_man

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Jan 21, 2005
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It points to Windows-backed services such as Yahoo's music subscription service, and criticises the iPod (which possesses 80 per cent of the hard drive music player market) for not supporting these.
I criticize other MP3 players for not supporting the iTMS format. What a bunch of hipocrates...
 
well, the article isn't arguing about integration, etc.

They are saying-

Apple has a closed system
Closed systems have one company innovating, instead of many
One company cannot try as many things as a whole bunch of companies can
Trying things leads to innovation

Therefore, apple will innovate less, and die.

Thing is, there's a major premise they dodge, because it is hard to back up. The premise is, that the greatest level of innovation leads to market domination. This is extremely hard to prove, or to disprove for that matter. First you must show that it is innovation that makes people buy products, rather than compatability with what they already have (and they already have itunes/ipod), advertizing, etc. Then, they didn't state it, but the implied argument is that apple should open up, to stay on top. Assuming the open platform is the innovative one, and innovation directly corresponds to market share, you still have to show that the open system will benefit the company that started the ecosystem, rather than just make more money for other players who get their innovation right.

In sum, I agree with them-open standards lead to the most innovation, and probably the most growth in the buisness. But would it be better for apple if they opened it up? I don't think so.
 

space2go

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Feb 5, 2004
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LOL if Steve would get a cent for every "Apple / $AppleProduct is gonna die!11" he could could hand out all products for free and still make a nice profit.
 

Nickygoat

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Dec 11, 2004
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The report doesn't predict any imminent mortality for Apple's business in the sector, but describes the company losing its grip on the market as "inevitable".
Talk about keeping your options open -no time frame, very little evidence. Has anyone ever heard of this particular bunch of analysts?
ATM Apple doesn't need to license FairPlay but it does need to innovate. As the market for digital music matures they will need to consider it (I'm sure they are already) as people realise the restrictions placed upon them by all digital formats.
 

Keynoteuser

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Jul 7, 2003
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they miss one thing

They miss one HUGE thing here...there's already an eco system that consumers love...it's called ACCESSORIES. Sure, some other manufacturer can't build a different iPod, but you can buy an iPod and get: a case, a sleeve, a pouch, a lanyard, a car charger, a dock, an audio boombox or audio dock, an underwater case, a wall dock, a mic adapter, a camera download adapter...I could go on. heck, you can run Linux on it!

What can you get for the other guys? uh...a set of speakers with a headphone cable...

You tell me which one most people would go for?
 

Yvan256

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Jul 5, 2004
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mpw said:
Pundits sound iPod death knell - Another misleading thread title?

What the article said as I read it is that Apple will, one day in the future, lose the market lead in this field.
I would imagine that economists clever than me will be able to produce a formula that proves this inevitable to any leading company in any field so I can't see this as wildly innovative thinking.
Economists have been predicting the death of Apple for what? About 20 years? They only get "numbers" and don't understand why people buy Apple's hardware and software.
 

nagromme

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May 2, 2002
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Stella said:
Apple's reluctance of licensing out Fairplay will *definitely* come back to haunt them in the future.
Defintely? So you think the time for them to do so has already come and gone? And it's now so far too late that the mistake will come back to haunt them?

I think the most strategic time to help other player-makers in this way may very well not have come yet.

It's a one-way move I can see being a smart one, MAYBE, if done in the right way at the right time. But it's a move I'd make VERY cautiously if I was Apple. Too soon could be as bad as too late.
 

otter-boy

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Jun 21, 2003
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Fort Worth, TX
dontmatter said:
well, the article isn't arguing about integration, etc.

They are saying-

Apple has a closed system
Closed systems have one company innovating, instead of many
One company cannot try as many things as a whole bunch of companies can
Trying things leads to innovation

Therefore, apple will innovate less, and die.

Thing is, there's a major premise they dodge, because it is hard to back up. The premise is, that the greatest level of innovation leads to market domination. This is extremely hard to prove, or to disprove for that matter.
I agree that they make a large leap at the end. Look at Microsoft. Despite Windows being available on computers from many manufacturers, Windows is not an open system. Having the industry dominated by one OS has not led Microsoft to innovate more, but that hasn't stopped them from raking in the profits and contuing to sell minor upgrades to consumers. In fact, the closed OS ecosystem has most likely led to greater profits for Microsoft.

Will MS eventually be out innovated? I believe it already has been.

Will people switch OSes? some already are.

Is MS afraid? no, and why should they be--they have more income than many countries.

Will Windows die . . . eventually? probably, but MS has the money to adapt and change its product offerings. It may not be as successful in the future, but how many years would it take your average software company to even earn the amount of money in MS's war chest?

Maybe Apple is taking a page from Microsoft's book--dominate until you can't then take all the money you've made to buy your way into whatever's big. It's not a bad business strategy, even if it's not the best for consumers.

Of course, what people forget when they attack Apple for its closed system is that we'd be trading it for another in Windows Media since there are no viable DRM alternatives that are open standards and the media companies aren't going to release their products without any DRM. Oh, and Windows Media DRM is designed to work best with . . . Windows. At least we can play fairplay AACs on Windows computers though we can't legally play many Windows Media files on any OS besides Microsoft Windows. Imagine the power that would come from controlling the OS and all of the DRM on files (be they music, movies, or even Office documents).

When the majority of people leave Windows due to its lack of innovation, we can start talking about the death of iTunes, iTMS, and the iPod.
 

Stella

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Apr 21, 2003
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I didn't stay that, you need to re-read - i said definitely some time in the future. I hope, when they DO, its not a matter of desperation because if it is, it may be too late.


nagromme said:
Defintely? So you think the time for them to do so has already come and gone? And it's now so far too late that the mistake will come back to haunt them?
 

shamino

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Jan 7, 2004
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otter-boy said:
Is MS afraid? no, and why should they be--they have more income than many countries.
Actually, MS is scared to death of losing their Windows monopoly. That's why they've spend so much money on anti-Linux (and before that anti-OS/2) advertising.
otter-boy said:
Of course, what people forget when they attack Apple for its closed system is that we'd be trading it for another in Windows Media since there are no viable DRM alternatives that are open standards and the media companies aren't going to release their products without any DRM. Oh, and Windows Media DRM is designed to work best with . . . Windows.
And, as every Mac user knows, the Mac versions of Windows Media Player still has no support for any DRM'ed file.

All those pundits who are telling Apple to support WMA are also telling Mac users to throw out their computers. Because you know Microsoft will never ever add the DRM features to non-Windows versions of WMP.
 

shamino

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Jan 7, 2004
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The original articles are hysterical. And full of flat out lies.
...and Apple's latest iteration, the iPod shuffle, has met with limited success
I guess selling a million units a month is not considered successful these days. Any one of Apple's competitors would love to have this kind of "limited success".
Why don't more companies launch ecosystems? Because doing so requires faith that the market is a better judge of innovation than any one company
A vibrant ecosystem may ensure vibrant development of the technology, but it promises nothing to any individual company. IBM created the PC market and lost control of it (due to some clever reverse-engineering by Compaq, not because IBM wanted to give up total control). Sure, the PC market took off like wildfire, but IBM ended up being an insignificant player, and ultimately was forced to bail out altogether.

Getting back to iPods, Apple doesn't give a rat's behind about how widespread a "standard" is adopted if Apple isn't going to profit from it. Corporations are not charities, spending money on abstract concepts. They exist in order to make money, and it's hard to do that when you're deliberately giving all of your product secrets to your competitors.
...just as the brilliant Macintosh computer ceded market leadership years ago to IBM's dowdier -- but more accessible -- personal computer...
Wow. That's a lot of revisionist history. The Macintosh was never a market leader. And IBM got booted out of the ecosystem it created.

The last computer Apple had that might've been considered a market leader was the Apple II series. And Apple deliberately killed it (despite very strong sales) because it was actually killing sales of the fledgeling Macintosh.
it “rips them in that weird format” that only iTunes uses.
So, an industry standard, AAC (invented by Dolby and accepted by MPEG as an international open standard) is "weird", but a Microsoft-proprietary format is not? OK. Go ahead and keep smoking your crack.

And of course, as the MacWorld citation noted, iTunes can rip into MP3 format. Or maybe that's also too weird for the Wall Street Journal.
some consumer-electronics companies that offer both hardware and content – such as Apple Computer Inc., creator of iPods and iTunes, and Sony Corp. – are trying to lock consumers into their products by making devices that play music and movies only in the formats that the companies sell.
A flat out lie. iTunes and iPods can play music in four different industry-standard formats: MP3, unprotected AAC, WAV and AIFF. And (through a little bit of conversion) it can also play unprotected WMA. The only popular format it can't play is Microsoft's proprietary protected-WMA format.

Apple's "lock in" is exactly the opposite. They sell songs that can only be played on Apple players. They do not make players that only play Apple music. Anybody who thinks these two claims are identical needs to take a basic class in logic.

Of course, Sony is different. They have made several players incapable of playing MP3 format. But they always included software to convert the files to ATRAC, so there's no real "lock in" taking place here either. And today, they are selling MP3-compatible players as well.
 

BGil

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Feb 13, 2005
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Oh, and Windows Media DRM is designed to work best with . . . Windows. At least we can play fairplay AACs on Windows computers though we can't legally play many Windows Media files on any OS besides Microsoft Windows. Imagine the power that would come from controlling the OS and all of the DRM on files (be they music, movies, or even Office documents).

That's total bull. Microsoft doesn't license their Windows Media format and DRM directly. They do it all through third parties. As a developer you can license Windows Media and all of its DRM's for every platform.

There are more than a few linux based players for Windows Media and its drm

Palm is supporting Windows Media DRM also.
http://handhelds.engadget.com/entry/1234000597051042/
 

hulugu

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Keynoteuser said:
They miss one HUGE thing here...there's already an eco system that consumers love...it's called ACCESSORIES. Sure, some other manufacturer can't build a different iPod, but you can buy an iPod and get: a case, a sleeve, a pouch, a lanyard, a car charger, a dock, an audio boombox or audio dock, an underwater case, a wall dock, a mic adapter, a camera download adapter...I could go on. heck, you can run Linux on it!

What can you get for the other guys? uh...a set of speakers with a headphone cable...

You tell me which one most people would go for?

Exactly, I'm crafting a pithy response for Fast Company about this particular nugget. Apple's iPod has managed to create its own ecology between Kensington, Bang&Olufson, Griffin, and about a zillion other companies that make everything from car-chargers, battery-packs, cases, speakers (purses with speakers!), camera connectors, media readers, microphones. The iPod does a few tricks very well, but with all these other things you can connect your iPod and control it with your Alpine stereo, record lectures with a microphone, and even charge the iPod with solar panels. I can't believe that Fast Company doesn't see this, the only thing the iPod can't do is play WMA.
However, at some point Apple should license FairPlay and help to license AAC, so that as iTMS over-shadows the iPod (it will someday) the store remains relevant and indeed becomes the central point of digital music. By shepherding other companies into using AAC, Apple can become the dominant influence in digital music (and movies?) as Microsoft is in operating systems now.
Adding in WMA defeats this strategy and Fast Company should be able to figure out that right now it is in the least of Apple's interests. And a FM tuner? Really? You can buy like 4 different kinds, why would it benefit Apple to stuff one in?
 

narco

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Dec 9, 2003
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Personally, I think if anyone will kill the iPod, it'll be itself. Some people will get bored with it, the market will get flooded, and they'll want something new and "cool" just how it always happens, time and time again.

Fishes,
narco.
 

treblah

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BGil said:
That's total bull. Microsoft doesn't license their Windows Media format and DRM directly. They do it all through third parties. As a developer you can license Windows Media and all of its DRM's for every platform.
Thats funny, I thought MS made Windows Media Player 10.
 

nagromme

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May 2, 2002
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Stella said:
I didn't stay that, you need to re-read - i said definitely some time in the future. I hope, when they DO, its not a matter of desperation because if it is, it may be too late.
I see. When you said it definitely WILL come back to haunt them, you made it sound like that was a certainty, too late to be avoided.

I don't want them to do it too soon, NOR too late :)