Size Matters

Size Matters

Summary: Doc replies on IT Garage...Steve Gillmor takes issue with the preceding post, Why we need an iPod competitor.

Doc replies on IT Garage...
Steve Gillmor takes issue with the preceding post, Why we need an iPod competitor. To say the least. So I'll anwer him, point by point...
and I anwer him back...

My point is that Apple will have all the fun, because they have theright mix of design, size, and VOLUME. While PlaysForSure fragments ina thousand pieces and the carriers do the same in the name of silostrategies (watch Verizon lock out all but approved content from theirphones), the iPod continues to proliferate.

90% of the MP3 market? On small devices but not all devices. So what ifCES folx nod vigorously; Doc, you're a spokesmodel for WaggenerEdstrom's party line. Sure, something resonates about the line. Here'sanother one: Winston tastes good like a cigarette should. Shouldcigarettes taste good? I'm not sure that's a good thing. Apple has 100%of the iPod market, and 90% of the look-alikes. The lock-in (theMicrosoft part) is about their DRM model, which makes it difficult forusers to download quality-reduced versions of songs and move them frommachine to machine. I don't do that. I buy records and rip them tomachines at will.

But podcasts work great. No DRM crap at all. The Shuffle gives meeverything I want or need in the car, where a UI is a distraction atbest and a danger in any case. And my main point is that I give a hugedamn how much volume these things sell. Low volume means no margin, andno margin means no sales, 'cause no profit means no product. The longtail doesn't work with hardware, or it does work with high volume, byreducing the cost of the razor to be given away for the blades. Andplenty of companies for niche hardware? On what planet? Show me one andI'll show you roadkill from cloners with ties to viral markets. Lookhow TiVo the company is getting cloned out of existence.

We don't need alternatives on the hardware side... We needalternatives on the content side, where you rule, Doc. And hey, what itdo you mean is the market for talk radio. It's all about radio, andsmall it ain't. Your turn.

Topic: Apple

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  • Hubris

    The present adoration of the iPod is OK, but the long term outlook is bad.

    Set your way-back machine to 1979 and the introduction of the Sony Walkman. The Walkman fundamentally changed the way people listened to music and for a while, Sony OWNED the market share with the competitors a pale shadow of a true Walkman. All the cool people had SONY WALKMEN, it was was hip to have one.

    A few years went by, the prices dropped, the allure of Brand faded, and Sony completely lost the edge in personal audio players. Competition in the marketplace took over and price & features took over.

    Now Sony is a bit player in the personal audio arena. And in time, so will Apple.

    Fanboys will argue about how great an iPod is, but history shows otherwise. All hardware become commodities, all prices drop, and market dominance in the hardware business is near impossible to maintain.

    I just hope Mr. Jobs is socking away his iPod profits for a rainy day.