While the PC-impressed press is fawning over Microsoft’s second-rate late to the gate Zune, the iPod Shuffle is tearing up the marketplace.
Yes, whilst reports state that Zunes are sitting on shelves across America, retailers CAN’T KEEP THE SHUFFLE IN STOCK!
It’s all about price and perception.
You might be under the illusion that kids read the newspaper and watch TV news, but if you don’t know that most kids get their news from the Web, turn in your marketing badge. And the news on the Web is bad, VERY bad. The Zune is a dud. Doesn’t matter that you want a viable Apple competitor, the Zune has been imbued with a stink matching its brown color. Even ROLLING STONE trashed the Zune. NOBODY who knows anything about tech, nobody who needs his friends to feel good about him, NOBODY except an Apple hater would buy a Zune.
Yes, there are Apple haters. Which is why the Zune will encroach upon SanDisk and Creative’s market share at best. Impact on Apple? Not exactly Elvis Costello’s less than zero, but close. Because Apple has got the market cornered on cool. Which is quite the feat if you think about it. The market leader, the DOMINANT player, is the cool one. In a business where ubiquity KILLS acts, one can only marvel at Apple’s marketing job here.
They did it by creating a phenomenal product. As opposed to the public perception that every CD only has one good track.
And the product comes in elegant packaging. And with a minimum of additions. Do we really need MORE info in tiny CD booklets or a simplified package at a cheaper PRICE!
Price. That’s the real point here.
The original iPod Shuffle arrived before iPods were ubiquitous. All we heard was it didn’t have a display. Before Sony released a similarly-sized product with a window that failed. The Shuffle is an ON THE GO product. But it looked like a Pez dispenser.
The Shuffle looks like a Pez dispenser no more. And is even CHEAPER!
The iPod Shuffle is suddenly the coolest iPod, the MUST HAVE! The Christmas gift of the season, the Tickle Me Elmo of 2006. Parents who’ve been nagged for eons can pop $79 for a Shuffle, if they can find one.
And it’s not only newbies. People who ALREADY own iPods are scarfing up Shuffles, to run with, to travel with, to LOOK COOL WITH!
Lose your full-sized iPod and your insides cry. Lose your Nano and you feel just about the same, it’s a tiny jewel. Lose your Shuffle and shrug…JUST GO OUT AND BUY A NEW ONE!
That’s if you can find one.
We’re RACING towards CD marginalization. The tipping point is on the horizon. It will be reached with a certain level of iPod penetration. And we’re rapidly approaching that number. Buy someone a CD as a gift for Christmas 2007? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??
The labels are about to go through turmoil heretofore unseen. And Apple’s not gonna cough up a buck a unit, and even if the company does, it won’t make up for lost revenue.
As opposed to complaining that MP3 players/iPods are filled with stolen tracks, Doug Morris has got to figure out, QUICKLY, how to get paid for the music on those devices. And it’s not by bitching at those who make the players, after all, that’s been litigated, that’s totally LEGAL!