News | iLounge

2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

News

iPod creates ‘word-of-mouth wildfire’

  • November 22, 2004
  • Apple

Piper Jaffray raised its target price on Apple stock to $100 from $52, citing a “halo effect” from satisfied iPod users. The firm said that in a survey of 200 users, 6 percent were former PC users who have purchased a Mac after becoming an iPod owner, while 7 percent were former PC users who plan to buy a Mac within the next 12 months. “We believe that the remarkable satisfaction with the iPod creates a word-of-mouth wildfire that generates new customer interest in Apple products,” Piper Jaffray said.

iPod: Walkman or Betamax of 21st century?

  • November 15, 2004
  • Apple

While Apple CEO Steve Jobs calls the iPod the “Walkman of the 21st century,” Microsoft and its allies are hoping to make it the Betamax of the 21st century, according to a report in the New York Times. “The iPod dominates its market in a way that no Apple product has done in a generation, raising the possibility that the company is becoming more than just a purveyor of computers with high design and low market share. If Apple continues to ride the wave of consumer electronics products, it may become the Sony of the 21st century. For that to happen, however, Jobs must do what he failed to do last time: prevail over his old nemesis, Bill Gates, who sees entertainment as Microsoft’s next great frontier. Microsoft is working hard to make sure that the iPod is less like the Walkman and more like the Betamax, Sony’s videocassette format that was defeated in the marketplace by VHS.”

Rate products at iPod store—just not Apple’s

MacMinute reports: “Apple’s new iPod Store has added product ratings, allowing customers to submit reviews and rate products from one to five stars. Strangely, users can only review third-party products—all Apple gear is automatically given a ‘5-Apple rating’ because the company says “we think they’re great.” In the frequently asked questions of the reviews program, Apple tells why customers can’t rate Apple products: ‘Would you trust us to display less than perfect ratings on our own products? We didn’t think so!’”

Apple posts QuickTime video of music event

Apple has posted a QuickTime stream of today’s music event starring Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs introducing the new iPod Photo, Special Edition U2 iPod and more. “Steve Jobs, Bono, and The Edge invite you to watch a special event at the California Theatre in San Jose, CA.” Bono and The Edge performed “Vertigo” and another new song from their upcoming album “How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb” due November 23.

Apple launches iPod Store

MacMinute reports that yet another sign that the iPod is quickly becoming the main focus at Apple, the company has launched the online iPod Store. Similar in design as the online Apple Store, the dedicated iPod Store features the iPod family (iPod, iPod mini, iPod Photo, U2 iPod), iPod accessories, iPod Top Sellers, shopping guides (car, home, Mac or PC, on the go), and much more.

Apple announces special music event with U2

MacMinute reports that Apple has sent out an invitation to select media announcing a special event to be held next week at San Jose’s California Theater. The event appears to be music related as the invite reads: “Steve Jobs, Bono and The Edge invite you to a special event.” Bono and The Edge are of course members of the popular rock band U2, who are featured in Apple’s latest iPod+iTunes commercial performing their new single “Vertigo.” The song is also available exclusively through Apple’s iTunes Music Store. During Apple’s fourth quarter conference call last week, CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that Apple and U2 would be working together more “in the coming weeks.”

Apple announces “mini” retail stores

“Apple today unveiled its new “mini” retail store, a stunning all-new design featuring stainless steel walls and seamless white floors and ceilings. The mini store is half the size of Apple’s smallest store to date, which will allow it to be placed in a variety of new locations to introduce Apple’s innovative products to even more customers. Apple will open its first six mini stores this Saturday at 10 a.m. in Palo Alto, CA; San Jose, CA; Santa Rosa, CA; Tukwila, WA; Bridgewater, NJ; and Rockaway, NJ.”

Apple ships over 2 million iPods

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2004 fourth quarter ended September 25, 2004. Apple shipped 2,016,000 iPods during the quarter, representing a 500 percent increase in iPods over the year-ago quarter. Apples’ Q4 financial conference call with financial analysts and press also mentioned several iPod and iTunes related highlights. (Source MacMinute.com)

  • Music based revenue grew 370%
  • 2,016,000 iPods shipped, up 500% ($537 million)
  • $98 million from iTunes Music Store and other iPod-related services/gear
  • HP-branded iPod accounted for 6% of all iPods sold
  • More European stores coming this month

Steve Jobs concentrates on the “really important” creations

Apple CEO, Steve Jobs was interviewed by BusinessWeek on the subject of innovation. Many companies have tightened their belts and cutback R&D, but not Apple, it forges ahead.

Q: With the iPod, Apple moved beyond the PC into consumer electronics. But you’re still considered a niche player that picks its spots in bigger markets. Will you try to expand to become a more full-line player, like a Sony or Samsung?
A: The fact that you’re comparing us to Sony is a statement in itself. I’m flattered. We really respect those guys and what they’ve accomplished over the years. But we’re just trying to make great products. We do things where we feel we can make a significant contribution. That’s one of my other beliefs.”

“Gapless Playback for Apple iPod” online petition

  • September 8, 2004
  • Apple

iPod user Michael Barca has started a “Gapless Playback for Apple iPod” online petition. Gapless playback has been heavily discussed within our own forums and Michael hopes that Apple will take notice. Gapless playback is the playback of long songs or DJ mixes in a continuous stream without audible gaps.

“We, the undersigned, are requesting that gapless playback be integrated into the iPod via a firmware upgrade in the near future.

We want to show you, Apple, that there exists a large amount of iPod owners and possible future iPod owners, who desperately want this to be supported in iPod.

Perhaps you don’t realize how important this is to iPod owners, but by this petition we hope to show you how essential this feature is to any digital audio player.”

Hacker cracks Apple’s wireless music streaming technology

“The Norwegian hacker famed for developing DVD encryption-cracking software has apparently struck again—this time breaking the locks on Apple Computer Inc.‘s wireless music streaming technology.

Jon Lech Johansen released on his Web site—defiantly named “So Sue Me”—a software key that helps to unlock the encryption Apple uses for its AirPort Express, a device that lets users broadcast digital music from Apple’s online iTunes Music Store on a stereo that’s not plugged into a computer.

Some security consultants say that with the key and another program he released, Johansen, also known as DVD Jon, has helped pave the way for other software applications other than Apple iTunes to work with AirPort Express.”

The real reason Apple’s mad about Harmony hack

John C. Dvorak for CBS MarketWatch explains that RealNetwork’s recent iPod song compatibility hack for its Harmony jukebox software is screwing up Apple’s plan to put iPod technology into Motorola cell phones.

“This grand scheme only works if the platform is secure. You can’t sell an iPod phone and lock in all this easy money if people can buy from just anyone or just use bootleg music, can you? So along comes the RealNetworks hack, which screws up this scheme. Suddenly the iPod looks a lot like any other MP3 player except for its good looks, and those go away when it’s in the phone.

This explains why Steve Jobs and Apple wouldn’t let RealNetworks license any of its technology when asked last April. You can be certain that the Apple-Motorola scheme hatched before that and probably right after Ed Zander, Jobs’ friend, took over Motorola in January. With this scheme they had to keep the iPod locked down and that meant no licenses for interlopers and potential competitors.”

Get Well Steve

MacMinute is reporting that Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs is hospitalized and recovering from successful surgery for pancreatic cancer. Using a PowerBook to e-mail from his hospital bed, Jobs wrote to tell Apple employees that, “I had a very rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, which represents about 1 percent of the total cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosed each year, and can be cured by surgical removal if diagnosed in time (mine was). I will not require any chemotherapy or radiation treatments.” Jobs will return to his Cupertino office in September, presumably after the Apple Expo in Paris.

iLounge wishes Steve the speediest and fullest of recoveries, and invites our readers to leave a “get well” message for Steve in this comments thread, which we will forward to Apple. (Negative messages will be deleted and their posters banned; please use good judgment in leaving messages for a man recovering from cancer.)

Apple upset over Fuse silhouette ads

“Apple Computer is outraged over new advertisements by upstart music channel Fuse that resemble ads for the iPod, Apple’s popular digital music player, The Post has learned.

Apple lawyers have been calling Fuse and threatening to sue unless the ads which went up in outdoor locations in New York City on Monday are taken down.

Not only do the ads resemble Apple’s iPod ads, but they also are quite risque: one depicts a man masturbating, while another shows a woman pole dancing.”

Apple: 860,000 more iPods in Q3, new iPods soon?

Apple today announced financial results and sales statistics for its fiscal 2004 third quarter ended June 26, 2004. Of interest to iPod lovers: 860,000 iPods were shipped during the quarter, representing a 183 percent increase in iPods over the same quarter last year. By comparison, Apple shipped 876,000 Macintosh units, representing a 14 percent increase in CPU units.

For the quarter, the Company posted a net profit of $61 million, or $.16 per diluted share. These results compare to a net profit of $19 million, or $.05 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the quarter was $2.014 billion, up 30 percent from the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 27.8 percent, up from 27.7 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 39 percent of the quarters revenue.

On possible future iPods: A tantalizing first possible bit of information on new iPods was dropped casually during Apple’s financial results conference call with analysts. Eleven minutes into the conference call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer mentioned that a “higher mix of iPods” is planned for the September quarter, with a commensurate decrease anticipated in Apple’s gross profit margins. Apple was not asked and did not clarify whether its lower margins would be attributable to lower iPod prices, more expensive components, or greater shipments of iPod minis relative to third-generation iPods.

On current models: “the [iPod] mini demand far exceeds the supply,” in the United States is “staggering,” with overseas ordering “unprecedented.” On possible partnering with another company to secure additional iPod mini Microdrives: “We will do what is necessary to increase the supply to try to get closer to demand.” Supply of iPods this quarter is expected to be “significantly higher” than previous quarter, but demand is expected to visibly outstrip supply through the end of the year. Based on surveys and anectodal evidence, Apple currently believes that users having great experiences with iPods are coming to Apple to buy computers, as well. 

On iTunes generally: “We couldn’t be happier with all the success we’re having…” The iTunes Music Store generated a “small profit” overall, and is the market leader in the United States. iTMS Europe is “by far the leading music store in U.K., France and Germany,” and European customers were attracted by Apple’s “total solution” (hardware and software) to their music needs. “As the Music Store launched, iPod sales began to move with it. There’s a definite correlation there[.]”

Apple posts new iTunes + iPod video

During Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference Keynote on Monday, Steve Jobs introduced a new promotional video touting the success of iTunes and iPod. The iPod, iPod mini, musicians, music video snippets, Airport Express, Airtunes and the recent BMW iPod integration are featured.

Jobs hopes to lower iPod prices, iTunes to sell 5% of US music in 2 years

The Wall Street Journal’s Walter Mossberg interviewed Steve Jobs at the D: All Things Digital conference in Carlsbad, California. Mossberg talked with Jobs about the success of iTunes, Mac’s future, and movie piracy, during which Jobs casually mentioned he would like to the lower the price on iPods. “I mean, we’re not happy with iPods costing $300 and $400 and we want to keep driving the prices down on them so we’re working very hard on that.”

Walt Mossberg: You’ve been the leader in legal music downloading. Where does it stand today?

Steve Jobs: We have about 70% market share of the legal downloads, which is great. But if you look at everybody together—100% of the legal download market—we’ve gone from pretty much zero a year ago to about 2% of the legally sold music in the U.S. That’s not a giant number, but if you look at it and say it’s been accomplished in a year and you look at the trajectory, it’s not inconceivable to see it breaking through 5% in the next 24 months as an example, maybe sooner.”

iPod market share “may be overblown”

MacMinute reports Apple’s iPod is a hit, but analysts’ belief that it commands 25 percent of the global market may be overblown, Alex Salkever writes in his latest “Byte of the Apple” column for Business Week Online. He says this is because “very little good data exists on international sales of consumer electronics.” “According to one of those chipmakers and to industry analysts, worldwide shipments of digital-music-player chips hit about 15 million last year,” Salkever writes. “An April, 2004, report from investment bank CIBC on this market estimated global sales of flash and hard-drive music players at 17 million. If that’s true, then the 1.5 million iPods sold in 2003 gives Apple 8 percent to 10 percent of the global market.”

Mac OS X 10.3.4 update released - now supports iPod USB 2.0

Apple today released Mac OS X 10.3.4. We don’t normally announce operating system software updates, but this particular update makes mention of USB 2.0 support for iPods. iPods connected via USB 2.0 are now recognized by iTunes and iSync. The update is available via the Software Update preference pane.

Cringely on new iPod division

In his latest column for PBS, Robert Cringely has written an editorial on why Apple recently created a separate division for the iPod. “Apple is essentially getting out of the business of making its own products… Why would they take someone used to producing products like the G5 workstation and turn his attention to little music players? It’s hardly a comparable challenge… I think it comes down to a combination of structural changes in the industry and Apple trying harder to cut costs, which really means raising profit margins.”

Shop for Accessories: Cases, speakers, chargers, etc.