Backstage: Sony’s music confusion officially tiresome
I’ve been busy with other things, but Sony can always catch my attention by firing its key executives, seriously demoting PlayStation and PlayStation Portable “father” Ken Kutaragi, or announcing yet more supposed iPod competitors. The first two are rare enough, but it seems like three months can’t pass these days without a couple of new iPod missives from Sony.
So at this point, rather than just saying “Sony, STFU already, you don’t get it,” some helpful pointers might be in order. If you’re an analyst, investor, or Sony product planner, you might want to consider these few concepts before you suspect Apple will have anything to worry about from any product with the Walkman name.
Didn’t You Hear? Price Matters. When the market leader is selling a 512MB device for $99, a fourth- or fifth-placed player can’t enter the market with a $140 512MB player (the NW-E105) and expect people to care unless the new product is dramatically better.
“Better?” What’s That? Let’s see - the NW-E105 specs say you need to supply your own batteries, carry a USB cable if you want to plug it in to a computer, and - oh wait - there’s no FM tuner, and you need to use Sony’s software. I won’t even get into the whole “no one wants Sony’s music downloads” issue. Not only isn’t this thing better than the iPod shuffle in any really important way (don’t even quote that BS battery life number) - it’s actually worse. And for the record, I’m not a big fan of the shuffle. But I know why it sells so well. Do you?
What About The Cool One With The OLED Screen (NW-E405)? Yeah, iPod killer number four hundred and five is indeed cool. And it’s also $170 at today’s exchange rates for a 512MB version. Apple makes an iPod for about the same price - you might have heard about it; it’s called the iPod mini. And its screen has more than 3 useless lines. The day I spend $170 for a 512MB Sony MP3 player is the day it’s a PlayStation Portable with a memory card, and doesn’t just play MP3s.
Are any of you guys and gals tired of hearing about these ersatz iPod competitors yet? Should we keep posting the news stories just so you can vent on them, or skip the “new competitor” stuff altogether unless something really important happens?
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- iLounge Weekly coming Monday, subscribe now
- Cook: Apple Watch ‘designed to be able to replace car keys’
- Apple again under fire as Ericsson escalates legal action
- Apple announces ‘Spring Forward’ event for March 9
- Brikk unveils opulent Apple Watch line priced up to $75,000
- Apple Maps adds new third-party data providers
- Apple ordered to pay $532.9m in iTunes patent infringement case
- Apple reportedly streamlining Genius Bar experience
- Report: Apple acquires Camel Audio
- VISA ‘tokenization’ may speed Apple Pay EU deployment
- Mobile Home Siri remote
- Olloclip Macro 3-in-1 Lens, Telephoto + CPL Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- ExoLens Professional Photography System for iPhone 6
- Incipio offGRID Shine for iPhone 6
- Seidio Obex for iPhone 6
- RooCase GlacialTough for iPhone 6 Plus, VersaTough for iPhone 6 + 6 Plus
- CM4 Q Card Case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- iWalk Extreme Trio 10,000 Universal Battery
- NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- Incipio Clarion and Faraday for iPad Air 2
- How do I quickly erase all of the contacts on my old iPhone?
- How do I disassociate my phone number from iMessage?
- How do I stop Siri from randomly waking up?
- How do I cancel a print job on iOS?
- How do I make my camera LED flash when my iPhone rings?
- How do I re-sync contacts to my vehicle after switching to a new iPhone?
- How do I move away from a shared Apple ID for iMessage?
- How do I consolidate iTunes purchases into a single account?
- How can I more easily Handoff a web page from my Mac to my iPhone?
- What can I actually share with Family Sharing in iOS 8?