100 Million iPods and Not surprised.

I do not want to sound like a jerk, but I am not impressed by Apple selling 100 million iPods. I know some people are falling over themselves saying how great this is, comparing it to the adaption rate of Television.

I am impressed that Apple has been able to keep such a high market share, but I am not impressed at the rate of adaption of mp3 players. I think there are a ton of opportunities that Apple was able to capitalize on. Apple did an amazing job staying on top of the heap and seeing 100 million units without the MP3 player becoming a commodity. We have to recognize that Apple has things in iPods favor that other devices do not have.

1) Fifteen Years of Sony Walkmen: - Growing up in the 80s, the walkman was the gold standard of personal electronics. Everyone wanted one and everyone had to have one. Most of my life headphones have been a part of it. No one had to convince me that a portable music player was a good way to spend my money. I was about 30 when the iPod came out. It was not a hard sell to me or anyone else under 30.

By the time the MP3 player came around I was ready to get rid of my old CD walkman. The CD walkman was too large and too hard to carry music around for. Even my Creative Nomad was a big improvement of the CD walkman.

Gadgets are in - Between Cell Phones, Game Boys, PDAs, DVD players, and game consoles, This has been a gadget decade. Gadgets are feeding America's need to buy thing. There is not two ways around it. Best Buy and Circuit City are two of the biggest retail chains in America for a reason. Apple was able to cash in on these trends.

The Price is right - In consumer electronics $300-200 is the golden range. It is the range where people can buy the product without having to ask their spouse. It is in that some one special (spouse, child parent) gift range. I think that a decade of items like the Playstation has helped set this range. Once the iPod hit this range people went right out and bought big.

Don't get me wrong. Apple did a lot of things right. I think iTunes, the iPod Mini, adding more features each release, and the iPod nano all helped Apple keep their market share. If they would have done something wrong another company would have picked up the slack. Apple worked hard to keep the killer market share. I am still not impressed how how fast 100 million MP3 players have sold.


Popular Posts