Another day, Another iPod Obit

Everyone somehow has this belief that they can overtake MySpace. And everyone including senior executives are suffering from equal if not grander delusions that they can bury iPod. Nokia executives are pouting and pointing out that stand alone Mp3 players – lets face it, there really is one MP3 player, the iPod – are going to go the way of the Dodo.

Oh really! This coming from a company which whose music phones is spotted as sporadically as the Yeti. Or the same company whose Blackberry killer is yet to hit the market. Fact of the matter is that much as I love my Nokia phones – and I love them all, they are long way from killing off iPod.

I tried using N70 for a while as an iPod replacement. It didn’t really work, thanks to cheap headphones. Because of that I ended up with a special adapter, and plugged in Ultimate Ears’ ultra fine 5i headphones. Sounded good, up to the point when I got an incoming call. That nearly made me deaf. So I went back to trusted old Nano – plug and play.


The fact of the matter is that iPod is more than a device or an MP3 player. It is a cultural phenomenon, and that just is something neither you can predict, or bury with mere words. The bar has been set so high, that Nokia (or anyone else) will have to make phones which are not just equal but far superior to iPod to beat Apple.

And if that indeed does happen, you mean to say that Apple is not going to do an iPhone? John Gruber, savvy in the ways of Apple told me that Steve uses RAZR, and he can’t be happy with that. And what Steve doesn’t like, he gets Jonathan Ive to reinvent.

Similarly, I find the French desire to get rid of DRM absolutely ridiculous. It impacts Apple and iPod the most, because of their market share. Wired’s Leander Kahney thinks French decision is a good thing, because there is an iLock-in with iPod and iTunes store. To average joe, that iLock-in means – it just works. The iLock-in is really iConvenience.

Even beyond that, iPod is open – you can upload and play MP3 files on it. No body is forcing anyone to buy music from the iTunes. You can go to Virgin megastore and buy a CD and rip it to load it up on your iPod. Or maybe like their own search engine, French Government can start their own online music store which sells Mp3 files. I think by forcing (mostly) Apple to change its business practices is much like forcing famous French chefs to reveal their recipes or asking wine makers to post their wine making secretson the Internet.

Apple should simply withdraw from France. Oh wait, they already did. They moved their European head quarters to London, right behind the fabulous Apple store. Now French fashionistas will drop their francs on iPods in London or New York. …. visualize….Steve Jobs doing a very French shrug!

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