Thursday, September 08, 2005

Over-Hyped Apple Ipod Nano ... now in stores ...

Ok, I'm gonna get thrashed for this, but I stand by my guns that Apple's portable music line, iPod, is both over blown (in terms of feature set) and over-priced (for equal players). Case in point, everytime Apple release a new player, such as happened today with the iPod Nano, it hits the airwaves hard, like no other portable music player. It even gets mentioned on CNN everytime something new about it comes out. I don't know if this is just paid advertising or what (I don't think so), but it is almost annoying everytime I hear something about Apple (who have a large chuck of the portable music market in the USA, but not in Asia or Europe ... and who were late into the market, and certainly haven't out innovated iRiver or Creative.

Hats off to the Apple Marketing Team -- I think nobody on the planet is as good as them as producing so much hype and driving so much interest out of products that have existed for some time.

Back to the Nano ....

It does, unlike the Shuffle, seem pretty cool -- small form factor, thin, and with 4GBs of space, it seems Apple may just have launced a REAL death blow to the other portable music player makers ... unlike prior hype, maybe Apple is for real this time. Guess I'll have to buy one to find out :-)


Piers Fawkes said...

Here's another angle: How many companies will be affected by yesterday's news that Apple have dropped the iPod Mini? The launch of the iPod range has created an 'iHalo' - an armada of peripherals and accessories provided by 3rd parties. How many of these 3rd parties will be left with iPod Mini related stock they're unable to shift?

Anonymous said...

I live in the uk and travel a fair amount in Europe due to work. I can tell you that Apple has definitely captured a majority market share just be the number of iPod's I see and the number of people I know here who has one.

David Stennett said...

Good point Piers ... this is obvioulsy gonna burst the bubble of some companies, but I guess this is the risk you always take when you ride the (large) coat-tails of another company. This could hurt Apple in more ways than one, but with the amount of hype Apple ALWAYS gets, then again, I doubt it.

David Stennett said...

Well, maybe the UK is iPod nutz too, since they're affected by the same silly English language marketing (and sensationalism) that the US market is ... I really don't see iPod madness in Germany, Russia, Czech Republic, and other EE countries (in my area) ... it's obviously a "price" sensative market where I live, so it's hard to justify to people to spend MORE on a device that does no more (and in some cases less) than alternatives from iRiver or Creative -- Central/East Europe just doesn't fall as easy prey to branding as us suckers from West Europe and North America.

Jason Kratz said...

I always love seeing these types of posts whenever something new comes out in the iPod line and again its from someone who just doesn't get it. It's not about the number of features and price. For crying out loud get over the feature comparisons already. Its about three things only one of which you've touched on.

1: marketing which you've already pointed out. Apple does a wonderful job of marketing these devices.
2: design. The iPod is dead simple to use and always has been. Plus they look good. these two things are keeping the ipod in the lead.
3: iTunes Music Store. It's the most popular and you can't play the songs on other devices.

I also question why someone would really care so much about what other people are buying. Is it really that annoying to you what brand of mp3 player people are buying (regardless of brand)? Might want to question why that is.


David Stennett said...


I don't care what people buy, but nothing is more annoying for ME (as a tech guy) than listening to some tech dilettante talking about "how great XYZ is" when there have been others that are better but don't get the same attention. I guess I'm too enthralled with device meritocracy instead of device ochlocracy. What is so great about iPod design? Even so, there are more than 20 different knock-offs now available, so I guess the cheaper ones are better? And for iTunes, I don't see how that's an advantage, when it's proprietary and not open? At least Real's Rhapsody is more open to other players (and is a superior sevice IMHO) and formats.

Apple's marketing team is good, but also because it dwells in the viper's nest of Sillicon Valley, all of the hungry writers there need to produce content and give Apple a big boost, even if it is not warranted. In the case of the nano, I must admit I'm a bit impressed, but this will be a first for me and Apple for almost being impressed.

As for marketing -- sure, it makes it successful, but marketing is generally hot air -- you most certainly don't want to say a product is BETTER because it can blow more hot air ... or do you?

Jason Kratz said...

Point me to the device that has a better design than the iPod. What makes the iPod design so great? Its simple to use. Same thing happened in the PDA market with Palm.

The knock-offs aren't iPods and they don't play stuff from iTMS. Thats why the price is irrelevant.

As to being open you've got to be kidding me. Rhapsody (which I used to have a sub to and loved until I made the mistake of moving to Yahoo Music Unlimited) uses WMA DRM. How is that any better? It's only open to other players because those other players all use WMA. Rhapsody, Yahoo, etc. are all just as proprietary and closed as iTMS. It has to be that way because the music industry (most of it anyhow) just isn't going to allow non-DRMed music. In the end what is preventing you from burning iTMS-purchased music and reripping to mp3? Nothing. Apple makes that pretty damn easy while still giving the music industry what it wants (WMA-based services are no different with burning).

And no I'm not saying marketing makes a product better. But the iPod is better.

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