Apple rivals plan onslaught on iPod, iTunes | iLounge News

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Apple rivals plan onslaught on iPod, iTunes

Billboard’s Antony Bruno has written and an article looking at the growing threats to the iPod and iTunes that Apple faces. He says that while analysts expect Apple to have another great holiday season, the company’s reign as digital music king may last “only another 12-18 months before the playing field levels out.”

Bruno says that Sony, Samsung, MSN and others are planning their attack. “Anticipated developments include a music subscription service and subsequent advertising blitz from MSN Music, the long-anticipated relaunch of the Sony Connect store, several new MP3 devices and the introduction of mobile music services from several wireless carriers,” Bruno says.

Bruno says, however, that Apple won’t go without a fight. “It is expected to introduce a video-capable iPod in September and finally unveil its iTunes-compatible mobile phone with Motorola,” says Bruno. “It is also rumored to be working on a subscription service with the help of a former Xbox Live executive.”

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Comments

1

As long as iTunes only offers the now so-outdated 128 kps rate, they will be screwed. People want CHOICE. At least, offer the ability to chose between 128 or 192, and between a couple of different codecs, aac/mp3/ogg etc., whatever. I’ll bet you dimes to dollars the MS site will offer varying degrees of resolution. Upgrading to 192 from the 128 ITMS standard would require little effort. I know that the iPod ads wouldnt be able to claim they hold as many songs anymore or that the batteries hold their charge as long, but so what?

Posted by angry_black_man on August 22, 2005 at 10:04 AM (PDT)

2

I don’t want a whole slew of choices as much as I want just one higher resolution standard. 

We mostly talk about the iPod here, but to me a bigger factor in Apple’s success is iTunes. 

If these other guys wanna take a shot at Apple they need to come up with better software.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on August 22, 2005 at 10:46 AM (PDT)

3

I think that there is going to be a considerable upgrading of the innards of the iPod, probably before Christmas, with improved capabilities and radically improved battery life. Once that is in place and what with improving broadband speeds I suspect that a move up the bit rate scale may well follow in due coarse.

As the opposition feel they are closing the gap the time approaches for a big move forward and they are but dust again.

Posted by spyinthesky on August 22, 2005 at 11:26 AM (PDT)

4

Do they realize that all it would take is for Apple to either (or both) open up their DRM or allow the iPod to play other formats? Then they’d ALL be SCREWED!

Posted by ahMEmon on August 22, 2005 at 11:28 AM (PDT)

5

Apple continues to state that the iTune music store does not make any “real” money. If so, why not open the iPod to any and all formates.


If you want songs with higher bit rates, check-out ALLOFMP3.

Posted by pds6 on August 22, 2005 at 12:01 PM (PDT)

6

The real danger for Apple will come next year when Microsoft comes out with its new Windows Vista OS.  Microsoft will make a big push for WMA.  It will be the default setting for Windows based media players.  They will try to further the notion that AAC is a ‘non-standard/Apple’ format and all new PC’s will have Windows Media Player as their primary player out of the box.

They will give away songs with the purchase of new computers.  They will do their buy 1, get 10 free promo again.  But, this time it will work.

Of course this scenario depends on the introduction of some hot players by other manufacturers.  Sony could be a big player if they give up on ATRAC.  Creative could be a player if they give up on some features to make their machines less cumbersome.  Dell could be a player if they come up with a name better than ‘Dell DJ’ (Sorry Mr. Dell, but you’re not Steve Jobs.  Your name and image are not synonymous or even closely related to anything as hip as the iPod.  You gotta forgo the branding of the Dell name on this one and come up with something better).

All the companies trying to steal business from Apple would do themselves a lot of good if they would forgo having their own media players and rally around Windows Media Player.

Thankfully, this scenario will also probably mean the end of Real and Napster.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on August 22, 2005 at 12:10 PM (PDT)

7

Apple has hit ‘critical mass’ with iTunes and the iPod. Apple will rule audio (and most likely video soon too) for the next 5-10 years.

MS will HAVE to play with Apple in 18-24 months or risk its WMA format becoming more obscure than it already is (it is the #3 format behind MP3 and AAC/MP4). 90% of all computers sold over the last 4-5 years have come with Windows Media Player as the default audio player (first version of WMP for WinXP actually didn’t even support MP3 - so we all know how the MS effort to squash MP3 went - and MP3 had NO multi-million dollar advertising like iTunes does!!!) which hasn’t slowed iTunes/iPod market penetration. Over that period (2001+) iTunes/iPod growth has been double and triple digit!

I have been reading about MS and gang (creative,dell, napster etc.) stomping out this pesky iTunes/iPod thing for over two years now. There has been iPod killers touted weekly; the Dell DJ was going to kill the iPod because Dell was the king of PC’s and NOBODY could beat Dell!, then Napster was going to kill iTunes, everybody knew tghe Napster name - how could Apple compete?? then MS was going to kill iTunes with its ‘Plays for sure’ campaign, then Sony was going to kill the iPod and iTunes with its new walkmans and its Connect store, then it was Creative who was finally going to end the iTunes/Ipod domination with their new players. Yikes! What actually happened? Apple increased its market share and revenues by leaps and bounds and my $25 000 Investment has turned into nearly $150 000! w00t!

These articles about the demise of Apple’s iTunes and iPod aren’t worth the electricity used-up to post them. I mean, what the HELL does some clown at Billboard know about technology and consumer electronics trends??? Yeah yeah, Apple is going down and I should sell my shares….
WAIT WAIT maybe I should read what Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray has to say first, he’s been the only analyst that has been right on spot about iTunes/iPod from the start - thanks for the thousands of $ Gene! Glad I didn’t listen to all those other yahoos and glad most others did! What’s that? I should BUY MORE Apple stock!

Posted by Duh on August 22, 2005 at 3:34 PM (PDT)

8

The headlines that read “iPod Killer!” are much too salacious to be taken serious.  But, there definitely is the potential for the demise of Apple’s music initiative to resemble a slow death by attrition as opposed to a David & Goliath moment.

I love what Apple is doing for the most part, but I think others will also get the hang of it.  I think the music business will be vastly different in five years.  I think that Apple has a great advantage and a great group of people pushing the envelope, but these other companies aren’t dumb either.

Microsoft’s advantage in the number of desktops it controls can’t be denied.  Whether they can capitalize on it still remains to be seen, but I think they will make a big, effective push when their next OS comes out.  They will need to do a lot of work on Windows Media Player to make it as streamlined as iTunes.  I doubt they will top iTunes in functionality, but they may come close to matching it.

My bet is that for a long time the iPod will be regarded as the best MP3 player, but that they will not be the best selling at some point.  Other dominant products have had this happen to them too.

As for investing in tech companies.  Apple is definitely a winner in recent times, but I wouldn’t throw away any Microsoft or Yahoo stock either.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on August 22, 2005 at 6:49 PM (PDT)

9

I love ipods,and apple.  but, with apple releasing the ipod video around the same time the xbox 360 is.. is a bad move.

i have a bad feeling about this year for apple ipods.  right now the only thing apple has going for them is the ipod because it fules the company when the ipod dies.. apple is just going to be some computer brand thats frowned upon

i want a mac badly due to the success of an ipod.. i just have a bad feeling about this year.

Posted by Ryan Imhof on August 22, 2005 at 9:20 PM (PDT)

10

I guess the big money shot is to be the one who predicts the “demise” of the iPod.  I guess that’s why every quarter we hear the same threat.  Last quarter it was cell phones, this quarter its the Microsoft mafia of mediocre mp3 devices.  Next quarter it will be something else.  In the meantime, Apple will continue to report strong sales as it has for the past 12 quarters.  This is used to be entertaining to watch but now it’s just tiring…

Posted by Frank Z on August 23, 2005 at 1:34 AM (PDT)

11

Ryan-

My buying schedule calls for an XBox 360 the day it comes out.  It’s gonna be hot, dude.  I’m not in a position where I would have to choose one or the other, but the jury is still out for me and a vPod.  I’m sure it will be hot, but I’m not totally married to the idea of taking video everywhere with me.  My TiVo at home seems to be satisfying my video needs.

As for getting a Mac (I assume you’re a PC user like me) I would definitely wait til early next year when Apple switches to Intel chips.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on August 23, 2005 at 11:41 AM (PDT)

12

well, just look at digital music market. Apple ITMS has dominated about 80%. there is already no contest anymore. I just wonder how other mp3 companies will have better plans to break it. advanced one is itunes software which integrates with beautiful mp3 music player ipod. there are no company which makes great deal both for hardware and software like Apple.

subscription model sounds good as long as you pay to keep it. otherwise you will never keep those music for yours. I prefer to have my own music rather than subscription.

Posted by Edward Ryu on August 24, 2005 at 7:03 PM (PDT)

13

pds6

I do go to allofmp3.com, but I am convinced that many of their so-called 256, 320 mp3s are really up-sampled 192’s. The quality there is hit-or-miss. I dunno ....

Posted by angry_black_man on August 24, 2005 at 9:50 PM (PDT)

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