Blog Post

Music Phones Vs iPod Debate Still Raging

At the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in Hong Kong there was more smack-talk about music mobiles taking on Apple’s iPods, although the rhetoric has dropped from killing off the stand-alone music player…”Music phones may never kill off the market for the stand-alone music players of Apple, Sony, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, Reigncom Ltd and others, but they could dent the market’s potential.”
There’s a comparison to the introduction of cameraphones in 2000 (which saw the low end of the digital camera market hit hard but the high-end increase to pick up the slack) although the point is made that “adding digital music to handsets will cause a much bigger ripple than photos did, because quality is less of an issue. Many people use their music players while traveling or exercising — where background noise reduces the importance of high-quality sound”.
Apple backers are fighting back with predictions of Apple launching an iPod with mobile capabilities: “The iPod with phone functionality is going to be a category killer,” said Kirk Yang, a managing director and technology analyst at Citigroup’s Asia Pacific operations. He doesn’t mention which category is going to be killed — and I don’t think it will make that big a dent anyway. I’m sure a “wireless iPod” would sell well, but considering the sheer size of the market it has no chance of “killing” it.
The other aspect with that idea is that a major attraction of the iPod is the user interface — which of necessity must be changed for a mobile phone. The only way I can see getting around this is if Apple creates a flip or slide phone with the iPod interface on the shell and the mobile interface inside. Which could be something they’re planning, of course…
Related stories:
Wireless iPod Would Make Sense: Qualcomm CEO
iTunes In Trouble รข