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Summary:

Rashmi Bansal, a journalist based in Bombay has started a blog focussing on Indian youth, and appropriately calls it Youth Curry. Given that India has more young people than old people (ala US in the 1950s) this is a good spot to monitor the trends there, […]

Rashmi Bansal, a journalist based in Bombay has started a blog focussing on Indian youth, and appropriately calls it Youth Curry. Given that India has more young people than old people (ala US in the 1950s) this is a good spot to monitor the trends there, and how possibly they impact the US companies. (More on this from Business 2.0). In her debut post, Bansal argues that iPod is unlikely to find much market in India. Not even the cheaper iShuffle. instead Indian kids will be listening to their bhangra riddims on their cell phones.

iPods may be objects of curiosity – even desire – but at a price band of Rs 19-25,00 ($430-550) the Ipod is still a a tech toy for Pajero puppies (rich kids) and celebs who need something to talk about in interviews. Although young India wants to buy into cool, it is unwilling to pay the kind of premium for it that’s acceptable in other countries … is apparently releasing a 512 mb version called the “shuffle” for Rs 7000. But in my view, unless it adds on a phone capability (like the Palm has done in response to PDA enabled phones) most young people in India will go for Mp3 cellphones.

  1. What the F@!#$. I was just in india and i had my iPod with me and every single cousin of mine wanted to take the iPod.

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  2. It’s the coolness impulse versus functionality. The iPod’s real competition is devices that bundle un/semi-related functions. She’s right – add phone capability.

    I would personally wear headgear in public if it replaced my laptop, phone, and mp3 player. Then someone could make neon billboards to shape consumer preferences and make everyone think it was cool.

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  3. One thing that is easily missed when talking about iPods and similar devices is the almost ubiquitous PCs in the US, which are far from being so in India, and the broadband penetration that is minuscule if at all, which make iTunes-iPod system to work, not to mention availability of iTunes for Indian music (I’d love to have this myself!). These infrastructural impediments may be bigger than Indians’ willingness to pay for iPods. On the other hand, the cell phone solves this very elegantly – it’s available to almost everyone who wants them, provides connectivity / downloadability and with ongoing integration of more and more memory into these devices (A Sanyo cellphone with 5GB hard-drive is coming soon, or may already be out). Need for syncing is obviated, and this is an inherently closed system, until someone figures out ways to ‘beam’ the songs from phone to phone! According to some analysis that I had done, and looking at trends, wireless broadband and content delivery using cellular / 2.5G+ means may come sooner than wired broadband, if at all, in India. Just an opinion based on some facts.

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  4. i want to buy iPod but i have not come across any online shop based in india. it turns me off. i give two hoots if it does not care to give good services in india

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  5. First of all, forget everything else and think about the musical climate in India. It’s been years since indian classical music was “in”, so-to-speak, but all the music we have, as a people, is basically bollywood engineered and if its not, it sucks. So why would Indian kids buy ipods when all the music they listen to sounds the same? They listen to their parents music, kishore kumar and lata mangeshkar, they listen to ravi shankar and udit narayan, but if you introduced them to the “American” music world, it would blow their minds! All the different genres and artists who are allowed to speak their minds and make whatever music they want. Indian music is still very closeminded, it does not afford many opportunities for children my age (20) to give a crap. I understand it’s good music, but no indian kid is going to buy an Ipod if all their music basically sounds the same anyway. Listening to one cd or another doesnt make a difference, so why would it on a larger scale? I love my Ipod, but you must take into account that i make it a point to know about the music world on a global scale, not just on an indian scale, and thats where you’re going to hit a wall. Unless you start introducing Indians to the rest of the world as far as music is concerned (and just knowing who three doors down is does not matter). Educate them about Simon and Garfunkel, about the Doors, about Pink Floyd, about Marley, about Weezer, etc. Even if they dont like the band, music is cultural, and anything cultural affects everything else, socially, politically, and economically. How do you expect them to buy Ipods when they dont even have good music to listen to?! How do you expect them to care when they’re listening to the same music day in and day out? And its not like Indian music has really changed over the decades, the women still sing with irritating nasal voices and the music is redundant. (i’m indian, so before you think i’m just some american bashing indian music, understand that i make it a point to study my culture and all the others that this world is comprised of). If you want to sell ipods, stop thinking about it in a marketing frame of mind, look at it on the larger scale. Ipods are meant to be filled with the favorite music of the listener. If all the music sounds the same, why would you buy one device for that much money just to listen to the same crap over and over? That’s the difference right there. If indian music had more variety, believe me when i say that more kids would buy ipods.

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  6. bouku ndem miu dien kihd

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