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Creative CEO: iPod shuffle is a joke

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Saturday, January 15, 2005
News Categories: iPod

Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo has offered some harsh words for Apple’s new iPod shuffle.  “Actually, to me it’s a big let-down: we’re expecting a good fight but they’re coming out with something that’s five generations older,” Wong Hoo said. “It’s our first generation MuVo One product feature, without display, just have a (shuffle feature). We had that—that’s a four-year-old product.”

“So I think the whole industry will just laugh at it, because the flash people—it’s worse than the cheapest Chinese player,” he added. “Even the cheap, cheap Chinese brand today has display and has FM. They don’t have this kind of thing, and they expect to come out with a fight; I think it’s a non-starter to begin with.”

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Comments

41

This thing looks more like a fashion item to me. That said, I might even end up buying one. Although i do agree that a display would be useful the simpicity of this player makes it much more aesthetically pleasing than any of the other players in its class. Sim Wong Hoo must be feeling threatened seeing as the shuffle will more than likely sell.

Posted by iLove iPod on January 16, 2005 at 6:45 AM (PDT)

42

The shuffle having a screen and fm would be contrary to it’s simplicity and that is why it will sell. Besides that is why we bought ipods right? To listen to our own music not some other playlist that wasn’t made by us in a digital environment. Besides why do you need to see that the player is playing and you loaded the songs so you should know the names. Quite honestly I haven’t listened to fm in probably six months, why bother when I have 60g in my own music.

Posted by Wraith in OK on January 16, 2005 at 7:30 AM (PDT)

43

the shuffle will allow me to play the superior AAC format

Why do people say stuff like this? AAC sounds at best equivalent to LAME MP3 at similar bitrates… and limiting the FairPlay AACs to 128 Kbps makes for terrible sound. If the SHuffle could play Vorbis then it would sound clearly superior.

http://www.rjamorim.com/test/multiformat128/results.html

http://www.rjamorim.com/test/multiformat128/plot18z.png

Posted by Demosthenes on January 16, 2005 at 7:42 AM (PDT)

44

DING DING DING !!!
patkelly got the excact point ! ! !

The ipod shuffle is for a target group who just want a simple music player, and of course they would prefer a ipod, in this case the ipod shuffle.

Apple want’s to make money. And as you see, their strategy is perfect, it works - and it will keep on working.

##########################
I’m expecting a iPod video with the ability to Play High Def Videos. Not ONLY to watch on the screen but with the ability to connect it to your TV…

And maybe a small HD Video Camera from Sony that fits the iPod design or at least has an option to connect your ipod with.

Remember or note what Jobs and Sony’s CEO where saying while holding an audience about iMovie HD at the MacWorld San Fransisco…
“The year of HD Video..” etc..

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/mwsf05/


Let’s cross our fingers smile

Posted by Marki on January 16, 2005 at 7:44 AM (PDT)

45

i think the shuffle is pretty cool.  why do you need an FM radio in a digital music player anyway ?  shoe horning extra crap into music players and phones is what drives the price up and makes them break down more often.  i bought an ipod so i could have all my music with me and listen to what I want rather than some chavvy, obnoxious dj (chris moyles, for all in the uk) is told to play by the record companies so their latest no talent artist/band can get to number one.

to the creative ceo: try coming up with something that isn’t a blatent rip off of the ipod ie the zen micro. 

Posted by Ritchie_S in UK on January 16, 2005 at 8:21 AM (PDT)

46

Woo is clearly underestimating the Shuffle. Four year old technology yes, but what is wrong with selling something basic? It does exactly what a uesr on the go wants, it plays only the songs they LOVE.

Apple is smart because while everyone is trying to come out with hard drive driven players that hold thousands of songs,  they remember that their main consumer target is young, tech savy, and also active. I certainly wouldn’t have a problem changing out the songs on my Shuffle when I got tired of them. I usually only listen to the On The Go playlist on my iPod anyway. When you think about it the iPod can be overkill when all you’re really after is the ablity to listen to your favorite songs convieniently. This product will be a huge hit for Apple.

Posted by intern_mike in Orlando on January 16, 2005 at 9:27 AM (PDT)

47

Look, the real reason the shuffle has no screen is not anything to do with this crapola concerning user interface, or better dynamics, or anything like that. It’s a simple attempt by Apple to boost the margins on the sales of the shuffle by making it as cheap as possible to produce.

The problem is that the iPod in general, and the shuffle in particular, deliver much lower profit margins than Apple’s (still!) core product: the Macintosh PCs. So anything that shaves a few dollars off the net margins for the iPods is a winner. Apple’s margins have been generally eroding for several years now, and its percentage of profits eaten by sales costs has risen from 17% to 22% (mainly because it usually takes a lot more labor and retail fluffiness to sell iPods).

http://www.fool.com/news/commentary/2005/commentary05011404.htm

if everyone else has a screen, how do you compete? Easy: You order them to “fuhgeddaboudit” at a gala Macworld unveiling. You tell them screens are for squares, Daddy-O. You say, “We’re different from that.” You compensate for your austerity plan by naming the thing “Shuffle” and by convincing the masses out there that they don’t need no stinkin’ screen. You’ve got plenty of consumer capital to spend because the iPod is a megahit and the press adores you. Bingo—you turn a problem into a feature. Very clever.

Posted by Demosthenes on January 16, 2005 at 9:42 AM (PDT)

48

I don’t know, I like it. I mean, there’s a wide range of iPod options available now, from the Shuffle all the way up to Photo. I think it’s smart in the sense that there’s something for everyone now.

Personally, I have a 20G 2nd gen iPod, and I’d feel a lot more comfortable taking a Shuffle into my night shift job than the 20G. Holds plenty of music for an 8 hour shift, fill it with my favs rated songs and I’d rarely be dissapointed with what comes up.

I mean, would you rather loose your 20G on a plane flight / jog / taxi / etc. or a Shuffle? And as far as FM, who cares? I can’t remember the last time I listened to the radio.

No display? Defeats the purpose. It’s NOT intended as a dedicated player. It’s made to put a bunch of favs on and shuffle them. Your own personal best-of FM radio player in a sense. Not for poking around with searching for songs or DJing a party.

I have a “Best Of Library” playlist on my 20G, and I set it on random and let it do it’s thing. Do I even touch the iPod much less look at its display? Nope. A display on the Shuffle would be overkill and frankly, pretty useless given it’s small size.

iPod has always been about simplicity and doing one thing and doing it well. Cramming it with features you’ll never use is the job of other companies in the false assumption that people will be bedazzled by bright flashing lights on their electronics. Apple doesn’t do that.

Posted by Gregg in Maine on January 16, 2005 at 10:19 AM (PDT)

49

So what Mr Creative CEO man, it’s gonna sell like hot cakes and take over the flash market. Regardless of if it has a screen or not, the iPod name will pull through.

Posted by iPodNod in London, UK on January 16, 2005 at 11:23 AM (PDT)

50

Bad times for creative, iPod just ownes your @ss.

Posted by FluidG4 on January 16, 2005 at 11:54 AM (PDT)

51

I thinik creative is under estimating the shuffle.  I was checking apple’s website and the shipping times for the shuffle jumped from one week to three or four weeks, not to mention the 20,000 they sold in less than four hours and the reports that they are selling out in the apple stores as soon as they get them. But hey I am no economic expert, so what do I know.

Posted by jlb2003 in Cincinnati on January 16, 2005 at 1:19 PM (PDT)

52

Let’s not forget (like the Creative CEO) that people don’t care so much about specs as they do about how you use the darn thing.  It’s the iTunes playlist simplicity that makes the Shuffle great.  Oh, and it just looks simple and cool. 

This guy is just being a sore loser since Apple knows how to build and market the whole package.  And that’s what people want to buy.

Posted by m. sherman in Northern VA on January 16, 2005 at 4:03 PM (PDT)

53

“It’s amazing how judgmental and mean-spirited people are in these discussions—maybe feeling superior is part of the fun?”

As you will quickly learn, most of the people that post here are a**holes.

The CEOs dumba** comments have virtually sealed Creative’s fate.  The iPod shuffle will be a runaway success.  Bye, Bye Creative.

Posted by Quoth_the_Raven in Herndon, VA on January 16, 2005 at 4:57 PM (PDT)

54

The branding is the foot in the door, indeed, but somehow this discussion of ‘features’ vs. ‘sticking to basics’ reminded me of Newton OS vs. Palm OS, anyone agree?

Posted by VaughnSC on January 16, 2005 at 6:38 PM (PDT)

55

Mmm, ppl get pretty angry and cut up over this stuff, don’t they?

Firstly, Mr Sim Wong Hoo’s comments, even if they are true, don’t mean the thing won’t start to dominate the flash market, so I think he should have chosen his words a bit more carefully.

Yes, it doesn’t have a screen etc., but I think the iPod shuffle marks a turning point in Apple and the iPod’s history, because rather than outdoing the competition with a high end product that is beautiful, has heaps of great features and costs a packet, as they have done in the past, they have created a product that is small, has nice clean design but offers absolutely NOTHING new, apart from being white and saying iPod. But they are, for once, separating themselves from the competition by selling them cheap! $99 is VERY CHEAP for a 512MB player that’s a good brand and will work.


The iPod shuffle will take off because it looks good, is easy to use, it’s an iPod and it’s cheap.


If you think about the screen issue, Apple couldn’t really have put a screen in without making it bigger, more expensive and complicating the controls. For it’s purposes, it doesn’t need a screen. If people wantr something bigger and more expensive, they can buy an iPod. I’m not saying I like the iPod shuffle, all I’m saying is that it will work and has been a good move for Apple.

Posted by Nuke666 in Melbourne, Austalia on January 16, 2005 at 8:57 PM (PDT)

56

Oh, and by the way, the Creative equivalent, the MuVo N200 (i think that’s what it’s called) looks ugly as hell, has a tiny screen you probably can’t read, sure it has FM radio, line in recording etc. but this target market doesn’t need that. And they retail at: 256MB $99, 512MB $129, 1GB $199.

iPod shuffle will slaughter these things when people see that they see them both next to other, one is white and says iPod, the other has lots of fiddly controls and is ugly, and one is $50 cheaper than the other.

Posted by Nuke666 in Melbourne, Austalia on January 16, 2005 at 9:10 PM (PDT)

57

The only reason it will sell is cause it’s Apple.. and everyone knows Apple is “cool”.. it could be a polished turd and Apple manics would buy it if Steve Jobs told them too.. 

There have been basic cheap Flash MP3 players out for years so this is no different except of course its made by Apple.
iRiver, Creative, Rio, they don’t currently have a MP3 player for this ‘market’, theirs are more expensive cause they have more features and that’s their ‘market’ so it’s comparing Apples to Oranges 8-P when you try and compare a iRiver 900-series to a Apple iPod Shuffle.

Posted by ipod shuffle on January 16, 2005 at 9:20 PM (PDT)

58

I’m one of the idiots that will be buying one of these for three reasons.

1. iTunes is the interface rather than the various convoluted button sequences and/or tiny screens that I can barely read WITH my glasses and have no hope without. I think the iPod scren is about the minimum acceptable size.

2. I can use it places I wouldn’t take my 3G/30GB iPod, like to my work in a paint store/warehse.

3. I don’t need line-in, voice recording, can’t get decent FM reception in the building and hate messing with AAA batteries.

The Shuffle offers what I have been looking for in a flash player: simplicity, capacity and price.

Posted by JeffW in Texas on January 16, 2005 at 10:03 PM (PDT)

59

It’s smaller and cheaper than most players. The screen is the tradeoff that makes that possible.

Different products will appeal to different people.

Posted by Nagromme on January 16, 2005 at 10:24 PM (PDT)

60

Creative CEO, as well as a few ozer people hasn’t got the main explaination of the iPod success story (and the future for the Shuffle): symbiosis with iTunes more than everything else!

Posted by frenchfab in france on January 17, 2005 at 4:13 AM (PDT)

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