iPod Shuffle – Yay & Nay

The iPod Shuffle is lame. It’s overpriced. Is it that great?

In recent days these things have been mentioned with more and more frequency (or so it seems through my perusal of the web and rss feeds). Obviously it’s a hot topic, especially for the Apple fanatics out there (just look at the comments on Josh’s recent post). I’m a staunch Apple supporter. I love their products and tell anyone about them who’s willing to give me a few minutes’ time. But I won’t be buying an iPod Shuffle – it fills no void for me.

The size and price are pretty good compared to most of the competition (the competitiion being flash mp3 players and not just plain-jane usb flash memory), although challengers will abound. Tons have already been sold in just a couple short weeks. But let’s be realistic here: what’s the real reason people are buying them?

Gadget freaks, Apple freaks, mp3 player freaks, and the occassional jogger are probably the current consumers of the iPod Shuffle. Don’t get me wrong, that’s all well and good, but these people may not sustain the iPod Shuffle as a hot item.

Gadget Freaks – It’s small, it can be used as flash storage and and mp3 player, and it’s relatively cheap. I’m buying one!
Apple Freaks – it’s branded “iPod” and it’s from Apple. No brainer! I’m getting 2!
MP3 Player Freaks – I know people who collect mp3 players. (why? I don’t exactly know) It’s another mp3 player out there – gotta have it.
The Joggers – this is the group that this product makes the most sense for. Or rather those who work out a lot and want some music while doing it, that comes in a light form factor. Good sense purchase here.

In the end, Apple will sell millions of these things. For an Apple product it’s super cheap! Apple is Apple after all, and people will buy it because it’s branded Apple iPod …I’m sure that’s what they’re banking on (in part at least). We also know that kids are suckers for what their friends have, so soon, I’m sure every kid will have a ‘Shuffle in their pocket, hanging from their backpack, clipped to their A&F hoodie, etc, etc. I’m sure they’ll get their share of the low-end flash mp3 player market if only because they are Apple Computer.

But soon, I’m sure the competition will up their game, people will start comparing features, price, etc, and Apple will have to innovate once again to keep their Shuffle from being a flop. But what am I saying? It’s Apple after all. They’ll Think Different yet again and blow us away in again in a year or so.


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