“It is a bit emasculating to admit this, but portable electronics have replaced sidearms in our culture. I draw upon the Japanese katana for my analogy for several reasons. First, the katana was much more than a mere weapon or cutting tool. It was a portable symbol of status, power, and class. The warrior class, the Samurai, were actually quite numerous. At their height they were nearly 10% of the population of Japan. Before 1876, wearing the katana conveyed to the casual observer that the wearer of the long and short swords possessed a rank and status of an elite group.
The simple fact that people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars more for an iPod, when equal technology is available in a less impressive-looking package, points directly to this analogy. People will pay more for a status symbol, and in doing so, they have made the iPod one of the most important cultural icons today.”
“Back in 1999, researchers at Compaq designed a 30 Gbyte portable music player that weighed 9.5 ounces, could fit in your pocket and had 10 hours of battery life. The Personal Jukebox - aka PJB - went on sale for more than $500, and Compaq received a handy patent for its work.
But the PJB is not all that interesting in and of itself. Plenty of companies were busy working on their own music players at the time. The demand for such devices was pretty clear, as consumers rushed to organize their music on PCs and wanted a way to carry the tunes around. [...]
The only explanation for HP’s iPod lust is that it was the easy way out - the road least invented. [...]
HP’s decision to pick up Apple product points to nothing less than a failure of the company to capitalize on its own invention. In addition, it shows HP’s unmatched readiness to ignore in-house IP at the very moment a fledgling market looks promising.”
Apple has posted a new iPod TV commercial for viewing at Apple.com which features “Channel Surfing” by Feature Cast. It had been shown for the first time during Steve Job’s Keynote speech at Macworld San Francisco.
“Apple UK achieved excellent results during the last (December) quarter, with one-in-six iPods sold over the Christmas period worldwide shifting in the UK market, Macworld UK has learned.
It appears that in the region of 125,000 iPods were sold in the UK
“Hundreds of desperate shoppers missed out when the new portable digital music players vanished from the high street before Christmas.
And it doesn’t look like its popularity is on the wane - not only are they still flying off the shelves, Apple also has a new mini version on sale in the US, which is set to hit the shops here in April. [...]
“They’re like hot cakes. We get them in stores and they sell out immediately. We’re working really hard to get more stock,” says Kellie Evans, spokeswoman for Dixons.”
“HP’s move to release an own-branded digital-music player based on Apple’s iPod and to ship iTunes pre-installed on all HP PCs - has angered Microsoft.
General manager of Microsoft’s Windows digital media division David Fester has suggested that iTunes’ emerging dominance would be bad for consumers, because it would limit them to the iPod.”
MacMinute reports: A news story on Channel 4 in the U.K. last night reported on the issue some users are having with their iPod’s battery. “The iPod, by Apple, can cost anywhere from
“Contrary to reports, Hewlett-Packard will not be supporting Microsoft’s Windows Media Audio format in its forthcoming HP-branded iPod. [...]
“We’re not going to be supporting WMA for now,” said Muffi Ghadiali, product marketing manager for HP’s digital entertainment products group.
“We picked the service that was the most popular (Apple’s iTunes Music Store),” said Ghadiali. “We could have chosen another format, but that would have created more confusion for our customers.”
Tech TV’s The Screen Savers will be reviewing an iPod battery replacement kit tomorrow night (7 pm EST). This is the first time I’ve seen a TV show review the kit, and their analysis is usually spot on. Should be interesting to see their take on the issue.
Connected Home Magazine’s Paul Thurrott predicts the recently announced Apple/HP partnership will bring Microsoft’s WMA format to the iPod.
Ellen Lee for Contra Costa Times has written an article about the cottage industry which has spawned from the creation of the iPod - well known accessory makers DLO, Ten Technology, and Speck Products were mentioned.
As noted by MacMinute, Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has unveiled the new iPod-based “HP Digital Music Player” at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The device is light blue in color and has an “HP” logo on the back. Firoina said it is “the first and only one” in existence. HP and Apple announced a partnership yesterday to deliver an HP-branded digital music player based on Apple’s iPod, which is expected to ship this summer. CNET has a short video of Fiorina introducing the device at CES.
“‘Apple will manufacture the player, which will not have the iPod name but will have the same design and features as Apple’s third-generation iPod players, Phil Schiller, senior vice president at Apple, said in an interview. Also, the HP music player will come in “HP Blue,” he said.
“The way we look at it, HP will be reselling an iPod device,” said Schiller, who noted that the device will display the Apple logo at start-up and will work with all of the accessories made for the white-hued Apple varieties. [...]
The deal with HP involves only the traditional iPod design and not thenew iPod Mini models, which use a 1-inch hard drive that has 4GB of storage, Schiller said; though, he added, that’s “obviously something we can look at in the future.”
Schiller would not say whether Apple may look to craft similar deals with other computer or electronics makers. While that part of the deal is not exclusive, Schiller said HP’s promotion of the iTunes Music Store through its PCs is a “multiyear, exclusive” deal.”
It seems another lawsuit is on the horizon regarding iPod batteries - this time out of Florida.
“In the last year, many iPod owners got bad news after their iPods
“Macheads witnessed a Cube moment the other day at MacWorld San Francisco when Jobs trotted out the new iPod mini as a highlight of his much anticipated keynote speech. It’s an iPod that comes in many bright, funky colors. The miniPod, as it’s already being called, has far less capacity than the previous versions, but it costs about the same (only $50 less the previous lowest-price model). And it weighs just three ounces less than the heftier iPods. [...]
Even Jobs’s Jedi-esque powers of reality dispersion can’t alter the unfavorable math behind Apple’s new offering. Here are the hard numbers. The new miniPod will cost $249. That’s about $100 more than the rumor sites had posited. It will offer 4 gigabytes of capacity on its hard drive. By comparison, the entry-level iPod now costs $299 and has 15 gigabytes of disk space. The miniPod’s cost per gigabyte is $62.50. In the entry-level iPod, it’s about $20.”
“In a world increasingly absorbed by digital entertainment, an electronic phenomenon called the Apple iPod reigns as king of right-in-yer-ear mobile music. Its significance is not in the clarity of its pop tune delivery but the speed with which it has created a series of flourishing new enterprises.
Suddenly there is a new multibillion-dollar industry. More than 50 accessories are available for the tiny white MP3 music player - skins as funky as those made for mobile phones, ear buds, holsters, microphones, FM transmitters - and much else.”
Editor’s note: The Age states iLounge attracts 4 million unique visitors per month, but it should read 3.5 - 4 million page views per month.
“That fact was borne out in the results of Ad Track, USA TODAY’s weekly consumer survey. While iPod has a somewhat narrower potential audience than many products, 19% of consumers familiar with the ads like them “a lot,” about the Ad Track overall average of 21%. And 20% consider the ads “very effective” vs. the average of 21%.
The ads’ appeal ranged across age groups. Though they were most popular with 25- to 29-year olds (29% like the ads “a lot”), 19% of consumers ages 50 to 64 gave them the top mark. Just 2% of those over 65 like the ads “a lot,” however.”
“The biggest advantage DJs have already discovered is the iPod’s size. “Vinyl” DJs have to lug heavy boxes containing hundreds of albums. But many are taking up the iPod music player, which can hold 1,000 digitised albums in a package smaller than a cigarette packet. [...]
But does the iPod embody the future of DJing, given that unlike vinyl, it is supremely portable yet unshowy? Mr Gower is circumspect. “It’s an alternative - both this and vinyl can exist simultaneously,” he said. “A few years ago people said vinyl was dead, but we’re actually seeing more being pressed today than then.”
But with the number of iPods and other digital players doing nothing but rise, it could be that at future raves, the man or woman at the front will be waving a white gadget in the air as it plays. And you could never have done that with a record.”