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The iPod Influence

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Business 2.0: Why Did ROKR fail and RAZR didn’t? Call it the iPod effect. Apple, which has sold 25 million units of its popular music player so far, has had a huge impact on product design in the consumer electronics industry at large. Now, perhaps more than any other industry, the world’s cell-phone makers are using the iPod to inform the design of their latest models. This holiday season, Motorola, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson will each sell high-end handsets that feature a complete design makeover. Sony Ericsson’s recently released W800 Walkman Phone — a palm-size device that includes a great MP3 player and megabytes of storage — features a sleek industrial design that’s helping it fly off the shelves, despite costing nearly $400. Meanwhile, Nokia’s steel-encased 8801, set to launch in the United States later this year, costs more than $650 and, with its brushed-steel exterior and handy slider mechanism, resembles something that came straight from Apple’s design labs. continue reading….

3 Responses to “The iPod Influence”

  1. It’s interesting to see the “phones as fashion” thing starting to catch on in North America. I spent some time in Asia over the past few years looking at the way people use mobile devices. In Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, phones are marketed very much for looks. And marketing is huge. Posters, post-cards, in-mall displays with sound and music shows to boot. On my last trip I brought back about 40 marketing post-cards for Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson phones. Each one for a different model. Each one totally branded and targeted to the target user for each model. By comparison, the North American, “buy the latest Verizon or T Mobile handsets (“oh BTW it happens to be a Nokia”) doesn’t even come close.

    FYI – in the past 6 months, the most lustoworthy items in SEA seem to be laptops and PDAs with WI-FI. They’re everywhere. And fashion phones are slowly becoming old news. Why spend $600 on a phone when you can spend $800 on a laptop with Skype. Enter the Nokia 770…things could get interesting!