“Apple’s popular MP3 gadget is at the front lines of a battle for digital rights. Can the government, the entertainment industry and Microsoft stop it?
The phenomenon known as the iPod is emerging from the shadows of Napster and the Mac to become a force unto its own. As a designer toy, it offers the promise of mobility, the allure of 21st Century Art Deco and the gratification of impulse buying.
But behind the scenes, Apple Computer’s MP3 device is the bulwark of an increasingly serious battle for digital rights versus the virtual law firm of Achcroft, Valenti and Gates. With the help of an increasingly pliable Congress, Microsoft has moved rapidly to encapsulate digital content in a digital-rights-management layer of protection.”
“‘We’ve been running around for the past couple of days trying to find it,’ said 16-year-old Joey Balinski, looking downcast after coming up iPod-less at another store. ‘I would have asked for it for Christmas a couple of years ago, but I figured by now it would be easier to find. [...]
‘It still beat our overestimating expectations,’ said Kawika Holbrook, assistant manager at the Apple Store at Westfield Shoppingtown Valley Fair, noting his store had sold thousands since Thanksgiving. Plus, fate may have conspired against a few iPod lovers. A large FedEx MD-10 airplane that caught fire Thursday in Memphis had a load of iPods on it, Holbrook said. ‘The picture was being passed around the Net, and we were like, ‘No!’ ‘Apple has not said whether any iPods were damaged, or whether that affected late-season availability.”
“When Apple Computer Inc. chief executive Steve Jobs takes the stage at MacWorld next month, analysts expect him to unveil smaller, cheaper iPods and hope he will detail the company’s strategy to move into the digital living room.
The lower-end iPods, which are expected to carry a price tag of about $100 and will hold 400 to 800 songs, are a necessary answer to the bevy of MP3 digital music players now on the market that cost $100 or less, analysts said. [...]
In addition to the lower-cost iPods, the Cupertino, California-based Apple is also expected to unveil them with different colors and even in stripes, as well as variously colored cases for Apple’s traditional iPods, according to Enderle and Mac rumor Web site Thinksecret.com.”
“John Lewis had also sold out of the iPod, and was warning customers they may have to wait until mid January to get their hands on the product. Dan Knowles is the company’s director of buying for electrical goods.
He said: ‘We have sold over 2,500 iPods in the run-up to Christmas, which is a lot for such a highly priced product. It just seems to have that cool factor somehow, it’s a truly iconic product already. I don’t think there is a secret to it, it’s just a really, really good product.’
However, those in the industry are unsurprised by the success. Gadget magazine Stuff voted the iPod its number-one gadget from a list of 100 products. Gary Parkinson, deputy editor, said: ‘There has been phenomenal interest in the iPod. I don’t think we have ever experienced anything like it for a gadget.’”
An anonymous reader at SlashDot reports that law firm “Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo LLP is investigating a potential class action against Apple Computer, Inc. on behalf of iPod owners whose batteries have died or lost their ability to hold their charge.” The firm has posted an online form stating; “If you’ve experienced these or simliar problems and you are interested in helping us in our investigation, please fill out the form below.”
Editor’s note: The page is no longer available.
MacMinute reports - “According to sales figures documented in Apple’s annual filing with the SEC, approximately 1.79 iPods were sold every minute in fiscal 2003. Apple said it sold 939,000 iPods for US$345 million in net sales this past year. The iPod is the number one-selling portable digital music player on the market, accounting for 29 percent of all units sold worldwide. The device holds 54 percent of the market share in terms of revenue.”
MacMinute reports Apple’s Friday filing of its annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission indicates the iPod continues to be a big winner for Apple.
“Mike Khalfey, central buyer for electronics at John Lewis department stores, said so many people wanted an iPod they were having to take orders for delivery after Christmas.
‘The demand is certainly outstripping supply,’ he said, adding that the most popular model was the middle of the range 20GB iPod for
The following job posting has just appeared on Apple.com:
Just as an Apple job posting in early 2003 for a developer of iTunes for Windows was a clear confirmation of that product’s arrival (which came six months later), this posting seems to demonstrate very clearly that the iPod is heading toward video.
“Round Rock-based Dell Inc. stopped reselling Apple’s iPods in mid-November, about two weeks after the company launched its own competing MP3 player.
“We’ve stopped selling them permanently,” said Mary Fad, a Dell spokeswoman.
Both Apple and Dell declined to explain why the two companies scrapped their reselling agreement.”
iLounger Alex Horvath reports that Apple Store Canada has raised its iPod prices. “For some reason the price of the iPod has jumped quite a bit in Canada. The 10GB model is now $454CDN ($342USD) from $439CDN ($331USD) and (here’s the whopper) the 20GB model has jumped from $579CDN ($437USD) to $604CDN ($455USD). The 40GB model has jumped to $754CDN, but I can’t remember the original price ...this sucks since I am in the late planning stages of getting one for myself.”
‘As soon as we began to review the results for this year’s poll it became clear that there was one standout winner: the iPod and iTunes, along with the revolutionary iTunes Music Store. So many people wrote in saying that these products had “changed the way they live’, or they “can’t imagine life without them” that we imagine Apple will use just such a slogan in an upcoming ad campaign.
We have awarded the Best Product award jointly to iPod and iTunes (including the iTunes Music Store). As one reader said, “Even without the iPod or the iTunes Music Store, iTunes is a truly-awesome application, throw in the other two and it’s unstoppable.’”
Good news for all you people that want something new for your iPod. Now you can change the color by going to Colorwarepc.com. They offer many different colors. Especially since it’s almost Christmas now you can give that special someone something they’ll always remember. They can do it with the new 10, 20, and 40GB iPods. I think they can do the docks as well. Im not sure, but you can find out yourself.
“Danionics supplied polymer lithium-ion batteries for the current Apple iPod, but according to Niels Kryger Anderson, Danionics’ managing director, Apple has now chosen a prismatic (fluid based) lithium-ion battery for upcoming iPods.
Implications/advantages of changing from polymer to fluid based Lithium ion based batteries is unclear.”“
“Unlike 99% of campaigns, the creatives’ job here is simply not to blow the product’s cool.
The campaign is simple and iconic, a subtle evolution of Apple’s tried-and-tested formula. The only innovation is that it uses neon hues, rather than the traditional white backdrop.
Apple supremo Steve Jobs - who takes a hands-on approach to marketing - needed a little persuading to make even this revolutionary step, according to TBWA agency head Lee Clow.”
USAToday reports “on Tuesday, Amazon.com (AMZN) was out of stock of the two cheapest models of the popular iPod digital music player, the 10GB and the 20GB. Target.com was out of all three models. Apple had no comment.”
“It is easy to see why it has become scarce. The sleek, pocket-sized iPod, priced from
“In a new online consumer survey conducted by New Media Strategies (NMS), 54% of respondents say they will spend more this holiday shopping season than they did last year. [...]
NMS projects that Hollywood should have another stellar year as movie DVDs dominate wish lists for Electronic Gifts at 43%, followed by video games at 29%. Apple’s iPod (6%), stereo equipment (6%) and plasma TVs (5%) round out the Top Five Electronic Gifts on Holiday Wish Lists for consumers.”
“PortalPlayer, the company behind the hardware, software and processor technology that powers Apple’s iPod, will soon launch a upgraded version of its chip/firmware combo that paves the way for a Photo iPod.
PortalPlayer Photo Edition will support synchronising digital photos between portable devices and host PCs, along with on-device playback, according to CEO Gary Johnson,interviewed by EE Times.”