February 6, 2006 10:40 AM PST

Dell bids adieu to hard-drive music players

Dell is dropping high-capacity music players from its roster of consumer electronics products, a company spokesman confirmed Monday.

The company will, however, continue to offer its 512MB flash player.

Dell will discontinue the 5GB Pocket DJ, 20GB Dell DJ20 and 30GB Dell DJ30 music players, said Liem Nguyen, a Dell spokesman. The company has decided to focus on the flash memory DJ Ditty player as a way of streamlining its MP3 products, he said.

Like other hardware makers, Dell has been unable to compete with Apple Computer's success in the MP3 player market. Several have tried--notably Sony, Samsung and Creative Labs--but none have hit on a combination of hardware and software as winning as Apple's wildly popular iPod and iTunes, said Richard Doherty, principal analyst at The Envisioneering Group.

"If there were 100 million music players shipping a year, which we think will happen by the end of the decade, people might go with Dell," Doherty said. But products like the Dell DJ got lost in a sea of iPods and other competitors. "Dell never broke out of the 'everybody else' category," he said.

Dell launched the DJ Ditty last September. The basic player costs $99, and special bundles with armbands, FM radios and protective cases are also available. The DJ Ditty uses flash memory rather than small hard drives to store songs, making it more durable and suitable for exercising.

PC companies have had mixed results in their push to enter the consumer electronics market. Dell and Hewlett-Packard have had the most success selling digital televisions, but have not translated that accomplishment into musical harmony. At one point, Dell attempted to compete with the iTunes store through a partnership with Musicmatch, but it has not made significant headway against Apple in the two years since. It still bundles the Musicmatch software with some of its PCs, but downplays the store.

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110 comments

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They're all going the wrong way.
Apple iPod is a really simple mp3 player, that can also work as a portable hdd. Now, that it's capable of playing video, it has become something even more powerful.

But, there are plenty of competitors that offer similar, if not more features than the iPod. However, people buy the iPod because of Apple's brand recognition. People who have owned Apple pc's don't kick and curse at their computers like Windows users do. I'm not picking sides, I use both. But, I can't think of the last time I heard an Apple user say, "this p.o.s. and "F" Steve Jobs and his Tiger OS." Usually all those compliments are saved for Mr Gates.

So, considering that Apple users are proud of their computers, regardless of wheater they are faster or slower than a Windows based. The OS is elegant. And all that was transferred to the iPod. That's why people use the iPod. It's simple, elegant, and delivers. Sure it has batteries, scratch-prone, and other issues. But, people who've owned them, would buy another without hesitation. Why ??? "It's simple, elegant, and it delivers"© This slogan has been trademarked.©

I haven't even mentioned iTunes store yet. Get the point Michael Dell, Bill Gates, and all you other competitors who get lost in the maze of confusion and bitter jealousy. Find out what makes the iPod so popular, and then start to compete. "Build it and they will come" doesn't always work.
Posted by Dead Soulman (245 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That does confuse me
This evidence is antidotal at best, but I have the same number of friends who have had massive hardware failure from their Apples within the first few months as I have had friends with Dells. Why is it only the PC people were irate about it?
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
Link Flag
Marketing
The iPod is a good product but the marketing behind it is even better. How many people out there even knew Dell made an MP3 player? Rob is right that the competitors must make a great product and user experience first in order to compete but without having the marketing behind it afterwards, nobody will know about it.
Posted by Charleston Charge (362 comments )
Link Flag
I would hesitate
I've owned 6 iPods, but, contrary to what you say, I hesitate to buy
another one. In fact I won't buy another one until Apple fixes the
scratch problem and improves battery performance. The scratch
issue has been around since the first generation of the iPod, and
Apple's competitors deliver much better time between charges.
They don't make products worth buying, but they do have better
battery usage.
Posted by nicmart (1829 comments )
Link Flag
They're all going the wrong way.
Apple iPod is a really simple mp3 player, that can also work as a portable hdd. Now, that it's capable of playing video, it has become something even more powerful.

But, there are plenty of competitors that offer similar, if not more features than the iPod. However, people buy the iPod because of Apple's brand recognition. People who have owned Apple pc's don't kick and curse at their computers like Windows users do. I'm not picking sides, I use both. But, I can't think of the last time I heard an Apple user say, "this p.o.s. and "F" Steve Jobs and his Tiger OS." Usually all those compliments are saved for Mr Gates.

So, considering that Apple users are proud of their computers, regardless of wheater they are faster or slower than a Windows based. The OS is elegant. And all that was transferred to the iPod. That's why people use the iPod. It's simple, elegant, and delivers. Sure it has batteries, scratch-prone, and other issues. But, people who've owned them, would buy another without hesitation. Why ??? "It's simple, elegant, and it delivers"© This slogan has been trademarked.©

I haven't even mentioned iTunes store yet. Get the point Michael Dell, Bill Gates, and all you other competitors who get lost in the maze of confusion and bitter jealousy. Find out what makes the iPod so popular, and then start to compete. "Build it and they will come" doesn't always work.
Posted by Dead Soulman (245 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That does confuse me
This evidence is antidotal at best, but I have the same number of friends who have had massive hardware failure from their Apples within the first few months as I have had friends with Dells. Why is it only the PC people were irate about it?
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
Link Flag
Marketing
The iPod is a good product but the marketing behind it is even better. How many people out there even knew Dell made an MP3 player? Rob is right that the competitors must make a great product and user experience first in order to compete but without having the marketing behind it afterwards, nobody will know about it.
Posted by Charleston Charge (362 comments )
Link Flag
I would hesitate
I've owned 6 iPods, but, contrary to what you say, I hesitate to buy
another one. In fact I won't buy another one until Apple fixes the
scratch problem and improves battery performance. The scratch
issue has been around since the first generation of the iPod, and
Apple's competitors deliver much better time between charges.
They don't make products worth buying, but they do have better
battery usage.
Posted by nicmart (1829 comments )
Link Flag
Other companies need to...
stop trying to make an iPod clone. They need to do something new,
to get people interested
Posted by wpholmes (38 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Other companies need to...
stop trying to make an iPod clone. They need to do something new,
to get people interested
Posted by wpholmes (38 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apple has it, Dell doesn't
The iPod was the first portable player to get it right (although it
took a couple of years to become an overnight success). But
once it did Apple's elegant design became THE player to have.

Dell didn't stand a chance when their customers were faced with
people saying/thinking:

"Dude, couldn't you afford an iPod?"
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dell has it when it comes to computers and Apple doesn't.
Dell has it when it comes to computers. They just weren't willing to invest large amounts of money to improve their product. Microsoft should get into the music player market. They could afford to lose billions before they dominate the market.
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Link Flag
Dude W.E.
It is not THE player to have. Once it linked up with culture it became iconic, which doesn't make it the best. The VW Beetle was not the best car on the market, but it was the car to have at one time. Are there any air-cooled, rear-engined 60 HP cars out there? Were there ever?
I loved my Dell DJ 30 until my movers stole it.
Good sound, solid build, easy to use. Go drown yourself in Itunes, I wouldn't be caught dead with a Pod.
Posted by DoughboyNJ (77 comments )
Link Flag
Apple has Marketing, the others Don't
It is the best marketed player. When was the last time you have seen a Dell DJ commercial on TV or Creative Labs? What lifted iPods were the teen following. If you look at who's buying Creative's, Samsung's, Dell DJ's and iRivers are adults. Sure there are some adults that purchase iPods, but they too were sucked into the hype. iTunes is a very restrictive playcenter, and Apple is still not licensing FairPlay (that's not fair), to anyone else. Real Networks hacked the FairPlay scheme, so now iPod users can buy Music from other than iTunes. Now Apple is filing a lawsuit. You think they would have learned their lesson from the Macintosh vs PC wars (Remember when Macintosh had a 40% marketshare in personal PC's). Ancient History. Let them keep their same arrogance with Fairplay, and you will eventually see buyers shop elsewhere. Hang in there Creative, iRiver, Archos, Samsung et al, Apple will will reap it's arrogance.
Posted by eewhiz (8 comments )
Link Flag
Apple has it, Dell doesn't
The iPod was the first portable player to get it right (although it
took a couple of years to become an overnight success). But
once it did Apple's elegant design became THE player to have.

Dell didn't stand a chance when their customers were faced with
people saying/thinking:

"Dude, couldn't you afford an iPod?"
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dell has it when it comes to computers and Apple doesn't.
Dell has it when it comes to computers. They just weren't willing to invest large amounts of money to improve their product. Microsoft should get into the music player market. They could afford to lose billions before they dominate the market.
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Link Flag
Dude W.E.
It is not THE player to have. Once it linked up with culture it became iconic, which doesn't make it the best. The VW Beetle was not the best car on the market, but it was the car to have at one time. Are there any air-cooled, rear-engined 60 HP cars out there? Were there ever?
I loved my Dell DJ 30 until my movers stole it.
Good sound, solid build, easy to use. Go drown yourself in Itunes, I wouldn't be caught dead with a Pod.
Posted by DoughboyNJ (77 comments )
Link Flag
Apple has Marketing, the others Don't
It is the best marketed player. When was the last time you have seen a Dell DJ commercial on TV or Creative Labs? What lifted iPods were the teen following. If you look at who's buying Creative's, Samsung's, Dell DJ's and iRivers are adults. Sure there are some adults that purchase iPods, but they too were sucked into the hype. iTunes is a very restrictive playcenter, and Apple is still not licensing FairPlay (that's not fair), to anyone else. Real Networks hacked the FairPlay scheme, so now iPod users can buy Music from other than iTunes. Now Apple is filing a lawsuit. You think they would have learned their lesson from the Macintosh vs PC wars (Remember when Macintosh had a 40% marketshare in personal PC's). Ancient History. Let them keep their same arrogance with Fairplay, and you will eventually see buyers shop elsewhere. Hang in there Creative, iRiver, Archos, Samsung et al, Apple will will reap it's arrogance.
Posted by eewhiz (8 comments )
Link Flag
Creative Labs has the best chance vs Apple
Creative Labs has a great player. It has a 8gb hard drive, FM radio, and wma support. That means it will hold 4 times as many songs as a 2gb Nano. I love the 6gb mini (and own one) but the nano sucks. The Creative Labs player is sold out on Best Buy online.
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Disagree on the Nano
I think it is awesome. I'd rather have a 4 gig flash player than an 8
gig hard drive-based player. Just my preference. As for an FM
tuner, I have no interest.
Posted by Thrudheim (306 comments )
Link Flag
I'm waiting
to get the Zen Vision: M. It has 30gb, FM, voice recorder, video including divx format, and if I remember right it comes with an FM transmitter. You can buy it online but not in any retail stores yet. The Creative players suit me better as I will often use the extra features such as voice recording and FM radio.
Posted by Charleston Charge (362 comments )
Link Flag
Samsung
Also don't forget Samsung, they have some good quality players out there. I have a YH-925GS and it is awesome.
Posted by (20 comments )
Link Flag
Creative Labs has the best chance vs Apple
Creative Labs has a great player. It has a 8gb hard drive, FM radio, and wma support. That means it will hold 4 times as many songs as a 2gb Nano. I love the 6gb mini (and own one) but the nano sucks. The Creative Labs player is sold out on Best Buy online.
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Disagree on the Nano
I think it is awesome. I'd rather have a 4 gig flash player than an 8
gig hard drive-based player. Just my preference. As for an FM
tuner, I have no interest.
Posted by Thrudheim (306 comments )
Link Flag
I'm waiting
to get the Zen Vision: M. It has 30gb, FM, voice recorder, video including divx format, and if I remember right it comes with an FM transmitter. You can buy it online but not in any retail stores yet. The Creative players suit me better as I will often use the extra features such as voice recording and FM radio.
Posted by Charleston Charge (362 comments )
Link Flag
Samsung
Also don't forget Samsung, they have some good quality players out there. I have a YH-925GS and it is awesome.
Posted by (20 comments )
Link Flag
Apple had an instant market with iSnob customers
Apple had an instant market with their iSnob customers. It doesn't matter that the first iPods weren't that great. With the Apple faithful and their religious zeal, Apple was always better to them even when they really weren't. Apple was lucky that they had that base to start with so they could improve the iPod and make it what it is today.
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Reply Link Flag
yeah..
isn't it interesting.. that in a few years, you have at least the best
product.

With Microsoft, people have been with them for a long time and
they are yet to deliver a secure operating system. :)

Don't just base the comment on the iPod. It's just not that one
product, it's the combination of iPod and iTunes Music Store
(along with iTunes interface to integrate both seamlessly) that
made this success. So, even if the others had a single product
or music store, it doesn't matter. No single player has all the
three togther. That's why they can't stand the competition from
Apple.
Posted by S R (85 comments )
Link Flag
Apple markets, Dell merchandises.
and there's a huge difference. Apple has created & innovated while Dell just packs togethers old ideas in a cheaper version. Show me anyone who has brand loyalty to Dell. They'd buy from anyone with a lower price, knowing that ther'd be no real difference in what they were getting. So please, don't think I'm a snob: I've used Apples since 1987 and I KNOW that they are superior products. My Macs run my business without crashing and without needing calls to a help desk. Personally, I'd rather buy from the innovators, not the cheap knock-off guys. That's not snobbery, it's having the brains to recognize quality & the guts to not need to join the crowd.
Posted by (4 comments )
Link Flag
Another uninspriring Sundling post.....
... but what's new?
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
ha
you're an idiot.
Posted by (4 comments )
Link Flag
iSnob?
Seems to me that the majority of iPod owners, and users, don't own Apple computers, at least as the beginning of LAST year.

So not only was your comment completely off-the mark, but just flat out ignorant.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
Relax, iSnobs...
Maybe Bill can't afford to purchase an iPod.
Posted by Michael G. (185 comments )
Link Flag
Dell has too much dependency on other software developers
First off, I own a Dell DJ20 Gen. 2. I like the hardware and user interface but I think Dells use of Musicmatch was a big part of their mistake. Now that Yahoo! owns them we will not see any real development in that software. Now that podcasting is really taking off, the lack of any kind of seamless integration from Musicmatch really makes the process clunky (I download to iTunes and then scan the location and pick up my podcasts. Most non-technical uses will not do this.). I also believe the shift toward Microsoft DRM hasnt helped matters either. They (Dell) could have someone create good software to wrap around this thing but then again as others have pointed out, that would require some amount of innovation
Posted by dssykes (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dell has too much dependency on other software developers
First off, I own a Dell DJ20 Gen. 2. I like the hardware and user interface but I think Dells use of Musicmatch was a big part of their mistake. Now that Yahoo! owns them we will not see any real development in that software. Now that podcasting is really taking off, the lack of any kind of seamless integration from Musicmatch really makes the process clunky (I download to iTunes and then scan the location and pick up my podcasts. Most non-technical uses will not do this.). I also believe the shift toward Microsoft DRM hasnt helped matters either. They (Dell) could have someone create good software to wrap around this thing but then again as others have pointed out, that would require some amount of innovation
Posted by dssykes (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The DJ ... RIP ... boy that lasted long
eom
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The DJ ... RIP ... boy that lasted long
eom
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Integration
The reason that Apple's iPod is more successful than Dell, Creative Labs, Sony or other rivals is because of integration. How many of these other MP3 players have an online service that can compete with Apple's iTunes? Sony has Connect, but that's not too popular. iTunes is the innovative standard, when it comes to offering podcasts and video online, as well as the selections of music it has to offer. Musicmatch and other rivals simply can't compete. If Dell wants to compete online, they have to come up with both the MP3 player and a superior online service to iTunes. The DJ Ditty alone isn't going to cut it in competition with Apple.
Posted by Michael G. (185 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Couldn't turn up the volume on the DJ
...and I'm not referring to adjusting the sound levels. Dell just
couldn't ramp up sales of the DJ despite undercutting the iPod
on price.
The debate over whose player is superior is now a moot one as
Creative, Dell, Sony, Rio, iRiver, and Microsoft know. Even iPod
lovers must admit that for the past 2 years iPod's competitors
offered more features, longer battery life, and (slightly) lower
price on their products. But in the past year, the market (with
the help of word-of-mouth and slick commercials) determined
that iPods' ease-of-use and simple design was worth a $20-$40
premium. The market also determined that 6-8 hours of battery
life was enough and the FM transmitters and voice recording
were superfluous.
The window for competing on the basis of tech specs has
closed. Apple now has the upper hand because of economies of
scale; they sell many more units than their competitors now and
have pricing power against the competition. Whereas iPods
initially sold at a premium price, they're now price-competitive
because of VOLUME. Dell's DJ was relegated to the figurative
clearance bin. They were "on sale" - cheaper than the iPod by
about $50 - but still ignored.
The original plan was to undercut the iPod's price enroute to
selling millions and millions of DJs. But Dell couldn't turn up the
volume. R.I.P. DJ
Posted by stanshih (28 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apple has Marketing, others do not try
It is the best marketed player. When was the last time you have seen a Dell DJ commercial on TV or Creative Labs? What lifted iPods were the teen following. If you look at who's buying Creative's, Samsung's, Dell DJ's and iRivers are adults. Sure there are some adults that purchase iPods, but they too were sucked into the hype. iTunes is a very restrictive playcenter, and Apple is still not licensing FairPlay (that's not fair), to anyone else. Real Networks hacked the FairPlay scheme, so now iPod users can buy Music from other than iTunes. Now Apple is filing a lawsuit. You think they would have learned their lesson from the Macintosh vs PC wars (Remember when Macintosh had a 40% marketshare in personal PC's). Ancient History. Let them keep their same arrogance with Fairplay, and you will eventually see buyers shop elsewhere. Hang in there Creative, iRiver, Archos, Samsung et al, Apple will will reap it's arrogance.
Posted by eewhiz (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apple does what it should...
License Fairplay???? why? Every iPod-like device has it's own
proprietary format to go with it's music service. That's no
problem, There is more than enough conversion software
available to solve anyone's format shifting needs.

You don't like Apple? No sweat. Don't buy an iPod. Don't use
iTunes. Don't use the Apple Music store. That should be simple
enough. The iPod competitors should be capable of meeting
your needs without your having to complain about Apple.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
"Apple will will reap it's arrogance"...
Let's see... I've been hearing that same line since 1986, when I went to buy my first Mac.
Posted by (4 comments )
Link Flag
RE: Apple has Marketing, others do not try
Apple has more than just marketing muscle! And the first person I knew to have an iPod (1st Gen) was an adult. As for the Macintosh and market-share; it never had 40% market-share ever. The best Apple mustered in regards to market-share and the Mac was about 13%, which happened to be the most out of any computer maker during the short stint in the early '90s. Of course no one can hold a candle to Commodore (not even Dell) in regards to market-share champions of old.

And as far as FairPlay is concerned; PlaysForSure is just as proprietary no matter how many Windows-only 3rd party developers you license it to; at the end of the day, you're still glued to Windows when using Microsoft's DRMed WMA format! At least iPod/iTMS/iTunes works on both Mac and Windows, while the other guys (Napster, Yahoo Music, etc...) are Windows-only; locking the consumer in at the computer platform level, giving no real choice in the market beyond 60+ digital media players that provide no significant differentiation in features/function.

The arrogant one would be that of Microsoft maintaining its Windows-only strategy with its PlaysForSure initiative that delivers a falsehood of choice to consumers who should have learned by now that Microsoft only cares about Microsoft and all the licensed roads leading back to Windows!
Posted by JuggerNaut (860 comments )
Link Flag
iTunes and iPods are flexible
I have over 29,000 "songs" managed with iTunes. All of them
were obtained legally and only about 20 were purchased from
Apple's store. All of them can be transferred to an iPod in
various formats and file sizes. So what is the problem?

You don't like Apple's file protection scheme? Then don't buy
from the iTunes music store. I download MP3s from eMusic,
which are also usually higher quality than Apple offers, cheaper,
and they are not restricted in any way. (On the other hand,
eMusic does not feature many currently popular artists.)

The restrictions that Apple puts on its files is much less harsh
than most of their competitors, whose downloads are not even
available to people who use operating systems other than
Windows.

I think Apple is making a mistake by not licensing FairPlay, but
they stop nobody from buying music from other sites and
loading it onto iPods. Even when the files are initially
incompatible with the iPod, they can be easily altered.

The usually unspoken gripe is that Apple doesn't fully support
Microsoft's file format. Now isn't that a darned shame?
Posted by nicmart (1829 comments )
Link Flag
Creative quality control
Dell was buying their players from Creative who apparently have monster quality control issues with their players. You can find tons of refurbished players out there(both Dell and Creative) and 2 friends bought almost identical Dell and Creative players and both died within 3-6 months. Dell will never admit to bad business decisions and this is apparently one of them.
Posted by (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bad Creative Headphone jacks anyone??
Not only does Creative have quality issues with the headphone jacks (check out the forums on the Zen Micro), but the customer service sucks. No toll free number and you have to wait for a long time on your own dime. What company in this day and age doesn't offer a toll free number?? I guess this means that Creative customer support doesn't want to deal with your problems...
Posted by dddave40 (55 comments )
Link Flag
Creative quality control
Dell was buying their players from Creative who apparently have monster quality control issues with their players. You can find tons of refurbished players out there(both Dell and Creative) and 2 friends bought almost identical Dell and Creative players and both died within 3-6 months. Dell will never admit to bad business decisions and this is apparently one of them.
Posted by (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bad Creative Headphone jacks anyone??
Not only does Creative have quality issues with the headphone jacks (check out the forums on the Zen Micro), but the customer service sucks. No toll free number and you have to wait for a long time on your own dime. What company in this day and age doesn't offer a toll free number?? I guess this means that Creative customer support doesn't want to deal with your problems...
Posted by dddave40 (55 comments )
Link Flag
But where is Creative's ecosystem of partners???
This is where Apple beats EVERYONE hands down: it has a legion of accessory making partners, including well-respected brands like JBL/Harman-Kardon, etc... and even Denon/Marantz building iPod direct connectors into their higher-end receivers. Creative cannot even TOUCH the power of Apple's ability to develop and nuture a legion of add-on makers around their products. And, Apple's panache for industrial design drives their partners to be just as innovative in their offerings that work with Apple's products.

Creative, Sony, Dell, Toshiba, etc. cannot beat Apple at this game. They'd be better off making their money on accessories for Apple's platform versus trying to own the platform themselves. Apple OWNS the market for the whole portable digital music platform: the device, the software, and the add-ons to go around it. Until somebody matches that, Apple will continue to dominate.

I know some will say, "well, look at the PC world that Apple lost!" Well, everyday consumer electronics are NOT PCs... it takes more than tech specs to win the hearts of everyday consumers. This is why Apple owning the whole platform and ecosystem around it makes the iPod experience so compelling for that everyday user. I am honestly waiting for Microsoft to work the magic it did in the PC world: collaborate with Intel so tightly that it created a comparable "platform" experience to Apple. Maybe if Microsoft did that with Creative or someone else versus just making generic "me too" software for media, there might actually be success at de-throning Apple.
Posted by (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
re:
I remember reading a story a month or so ago about MS getting a committee with its media partners to come up with a standard "dock" thing. One reason why companies are unwilling to develop for non-Apple players is that there are so many of them and they would lose money pumping out different versions of all of their accessories that would use the dock. Personally, I think Apple will LOSE any customers to the WMA players, because it won't be an easy job moving the media to the new player (you would have to burn it to a CD and then rip it again to get rid of the encoding).

They have to go after the people that haven't bought devices. Additionally, since there are so many manufacturers, I don't think one company will emerge as a big seller. It will sort of be comparable to the PC market, with (hypothetically) Creative having say 4%, iRiver %3, etc.
Posted by darrius3365 (98 comments )
Link Flag
But where is Creative's ecosystem of partners???
This is where Apple beats EVERYONE hands down: it has a legion of accessory making partners, including well-respected brands like JBL/Harman-Kardon, etc... and even Denon/Marantz building iPod direct connectors into their higher-end receivers. Creative cannot even TOUCH the power of Apple's ability to develop and nuture a legion of add-on makers around their products. And, Apple's panache for industrial design drives their partners to be just as innovative in their offerings that work with Apple's products.

Creative, Sony, Dell, Toshiba, etc. cannot beat Apple at this game. They'd be better off making their money on accessories for Apple's platform versus trying to own the platform themselves. Apple OWNS the market for the whole portable digital music platform: the device, the software, and the add-ons to go around it. Until somebody matches that, Apple will continue to dominate.

I know some will say, "well, look at the PC world that Apple lost!" Well, everyday consumer electronics are NOT PCs... it takes more than tech specs to win the hearts of everyday consumers. This is why Apple owning the whole platform and ecosystem around it makes the iPod experience so compelling for that everyday user. I am honestly waiting for Microsoft to work the magic it did in the PC world: collaborate with Intel so tightly that it created a comparable "platform" experience to Apple. Maybe if Microsoft did that with Creative or someone else versus just making generic "me too" software for media, there might actually be success at de-throning Apple.
Posted by (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
re:
I remember reading a story a month or so ago about MS getting a committee with its media partners to come up with a standard "dock" thing. One reason why companies are unwilling to develop for non-Apple players is that there are so many of them and they would lose money pumping out different versions of all of their accessories that would use the dock. Personally, I think Apple will LOSE any customers to the WMA players, because it won't be an easy job moving the media to the new player (you would have to burn it to a CD and then rip it again to get rid of the encoding).

They have to go after the people that haven't bought devices. Additionally, since there are so many manufacturers, I don't think one company will emerge as a big seller. It will sort of be comparable to the PC market, with (hypothetically) Creative having say 4%, iRiver %3, etc.
Posted by darrius3365 (98 comments )
Link Flag
The War is On!
With Dell axing it's hard-drive based players, I feel we are about to
see a war brewing for the market in flash memory players, because
let's face it flash memory is more durable that hard-drives. Apple
fired the first shot with the nano. I am excited what Sony/Creative/
Dell/iRiver have against the nano (and shuffle).
Posted by hoshie (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The War is On!
With Dell axing it's hard-drive based players, I feel we are about to
see a war brewing for the market in flash memory players, because
let's face it flash memory is more durable that hard-drives. Apple
fired the first shot with the nano. I am excited what Sony/Creative/
Dell/iRiver have against the nano (and shuffle).
Posted by hoshie (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You are so right.....
I'm a mac guy who has owned 5 iPods since their debut in 2001.
What sold me? The simple elegance and simplicity of the
MacOS in my hand! These machines are as easy to use and
dependable as the company that builds them! Apple makes the
hardware and the software and they work together EVERY TIME!
My G4 1 Ghz boots and recognizes my iPod(s) every time I plug
them in. I use my iPod every day and can't wait to upgrade to the
new video models!

Marketing, my a**! If Bill Gates or Mr. Dell can bring this level of
consumer satisfaction (or customer loyalty) to their products,
then WHY the hell haven't they done it?
Posted by gwats1957 (117 comments )
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You are so right.....
I'm a mac guy who has owned 5 iPods since their debut in 2001.
What sold me? The simple elegance and simplicity of the
MacOS in my hand! These machines are as easy to use and
dependable as the company that builds them! Apple makes the
hardware and the software and they work together EVERY TIME!
My G4 1 Ghz boots and recognizes my iPod(s) every time I plug
them in. I use my iPod every day and can't wait to upgrade to the
new video models!

Marketing, my a**! If Bill Gates or Mr. Dell can bring this level of
consumer satisfaction (or customer loyalty) to their products,
then WHY the hell haven't they done it?
Posted by gwats1957 (117 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dell had an MP3 player?
Dull little mp3 player called the DullDJ doing Dull little tasks inside
a Dull little box...

Fits Michael Dull's persona to a tee...

RIP DullDJ...
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
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