MacMinute reports that Apple’s iPod is still king of the digital music world despite increasing competition, according to a new report from the NPD Group. The research company said in a report released today that various versions of the iPod account for 92.1 percent of the market for hard-drive based music players, up from 82.2 percent a year ago. NPD said Creative and Rio were a distant second and third, with 3.7 and 3.2 percent of the market, respectively.
One of the many features listed for the new HP Digital Entertainment Center z500 series computers includes: “Choose, organize and enjoy digital music from 10 feet away with HP Tunes, part of the Digital Entertainment Center’s compatibility with the Apple iPod from HP. HP Tunes works with Apple iTunes(4) to give consumers access to their music collection and play lists via a remote control.”
MacMinute reports “Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said today that based on a survey of 600 teenagers, Apple’s iPod is dominating “mindshare and market share.” Munster said in a research note that of all the high school students surveyed, 16 percent currently own an iPod and 24 percent plan to buy an iPod within the next year. Munster also noted that the iPod ranked fourth on the teens’ holiday wish list—behind clothes, money, and a car—even though the iPod was not an answer option and had to be written in as a response.”
You’re standing by and enjoying a bonfire and listening to your iPod, suddenly a friend approaches and scares you. Your iPod fumbles between your fingers as it quickly descends into a firey grave. After the fire clears, you find your iPod burnt to a crisp… but it still turns on. The hard drive creates a loud “this can’t be good” sound and the outside of the iPod looks similar to a toasted marshmallow. The moral of the story… fire + iPod = bad.
“Speaking to an exclusive gathering of press in London on a number of issues, such as security, Steve Ballmer didn’t pass up the opportunity to take several digs at his company’s arch rival Apple. [...]
Billing Microsoft as the good guys and Apple the villains of the piece - at least as far as corporate America, rather than users, is concerned, Ballmer said: ‘We’ve had DRM in Windows for years. The most common format of music on an iPod is ‘stolen’.’”
Apple has posted a job seeking a RF Hardware Engineer with “knowledge of communication circuits and interest in physical principles utilized in modern radio communication devices, thorough knowledge of modulation methods, coding, compression or encryption.” Could this mean the possibility of a future iPod with radio capabilites?
“Citing ‘numerous sources in Asia,’ Thomas Weisel analyst Jason Pflaum said Apple will use SigmaTel’s controller chips for a player it’s planning to launch this Christmas. [...]
Unlike Apple’s hugely popular iPod and iPod Mini players, the new player would use solid-state flash memory, which has less capacity but can make for a lighter, cheaper player.”
Gregory Ng of AppleMatters writes: “A generation is dying and there’s nothing I can do about it. There comes a time when one must face the inevitable: the passing on of someone near and dear to their heart. A generation that set the standard for all that would follow. A generation that changed the world. A generation that is slowly dying off. I’m talking of course about the 1st and 2nd generation iPods. ...”
MacMinute reports that digital video recorder maker TiVo is offering a 20GB “Limited Edition Apple iPod” to members of its TiVo Rewards program, which combines points for user referrals and use of a TiVo-branded MasterCard. Collect 20,000 TiVo Rewards points and get the special iPod, which TiVo explains is unique because “the TiVo logo is etched on back!” (Okay, their choice of punctuation may be a little dramatic, but sure, it’ll be a collectors’ item of sorts.)
Citing comments from research and investment house Susquehanna Financial Group pertaining to memory maker Lexar Media’s sales of NAND flash memory, CBS Marketwatch reports that “Susquehanna… added that the popular Apple iPod also uses the NAND type of flash memory and that demand is strong, with Apple and Hewlett-Packard planning to ship about 1 million iPods per month starting in October.”
If accurate, the projected volume of shipments would represent an increase of approximately three times known monthly sales of iPods for the preceding quarter, and suggests that Apple and HP anticipate a banner holiday season for iPod sales.
Eliot Van Buskirk, Section Editor, Technology for mp3.com has discovered that Apple is not responsible for designing the Scroll Wheel. “I’d always assumed that this bit of design genius sprung from Apple’s R&D labs, but, in fact, I discovered that a company called Synaptics, which primarily makes touchpads for laptops, actually designed this little piece of navigational heaven, in accordance with Apple’s stringent design requirements.” Synaptics designed and manufactured the Scroll Wheel/Touch Wheel and the current Click Wheel.
“The store’s owner, 50-year-old Takeyuki Ishii, recommends plugging an iPod into an FM transmitter, such as Griffin Technology’s iTrip, and listening to music through the speaker of an antique radio.
Ishii believes there is aural magic in the combination of the very old with the very new. Playing an iPod through an old radio or tube-driven amplifier gives it a special warmth and atmosphere, he says.”
Alpine has launched a Flash site titled “Take your iPod for a drive” with additional details about how the iPod interface works, an interactive demo, and a dealer locator.
Apple has posted and began airing another new TV spot for iPod + iTunes titled “Saturday Hip Hop” featuring the song “Saturday Night” by Ozomatli. The new ad is similar to previous ads featuring silhouetted dancers on colored backgrounds.
Larry Angell of MacMinute.com writes “In an obvious move to gain new Mac purchasers, Apple is heavily promoting the similarities between the iPod and the new iMac G5. The main tagline on Apple’s homepage says it best. “From the creators of iPod. The new iMac G5,” the page simply reads, showing an iPod and iMac side by side. It appears Apple is hoping that the cross-platform success of the iPod will help the company to convince Windows users to make their next computer purchase an iMac. ‘Just like the iPod redefined portable digital music players, the new iMac G5 redefines what users expect from a consumer desktop,’ said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing.”
During the opening moments of the Keynote at Apple Expo Paris, Vice President of WorldWide Marketing, Phil Schiller told the audience that the iPod has captured 58 percent share of the digital music player market since June 2004.