Apple iPod sales surpass 100m
Fastest selling music player in history?
Apple has sold 100m iPods, more the company tacitly claimed, than Sony's equally iconic Walkman personal cassette player had in the first five-and-a-half years it was on the market.
The shiny white music player was launched in a Mac-only, 5GB version in November 2001 - neither the first portable digital music device nor the first to contain a hard drive, but soon the dominant product in its class nonetheless.
"iPod has helped millions of people around the world rekindle their passion for music," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in the company's announcement, and that's the nub of the matter. The growth of the iTunes online content shop is all very well, but the iPod's success was really founded on people going back to their CD collections, ripping them and enjoying songs they probably hadn't listened to for years. All they needed was a good excuse to do so, and the increasingly capacious iPod line gave them that opportunity.
But let's not forget the advertising. Nothing comes of nothing, and without Apple shouting about its player on bus shelters, hoardings, occasionally on TV and elsewhere, it's hard to see the iPod reaching into the public consciousness the way it has done and certainly no rival device has. Apple may have bought its success, but it was the only music player company sufficiently savvy to do so. It certainly wasn't the only one that might have needed to.
Shame FUD can be easily disproven
on user replaceable batteries - http://newertech.com/support has video instructions.
not acting as an external drive without drivers - Sorry, it works fine with bog-standard USB Mass Media storage drivers, just like any USB drive.
Let's see. What else are the usual claims?
Oooh! Oooh! Wanting to use disposable batteries. http://home.speedfactory.net/tcashin/ipodbattery.htm
How about the old DRM complaint? http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/specs.html
MP3, DRM-Free AAC, and even WAV and AIFF if you so choose.
I couldn't find any real numbers on Zune advertising, beyond MS expecting to "lose hundreds of millions of dollars", Apple $287M in 2005 and $206M in 2004, and Creative spending $100M in 2004. I couldn't find any numbers for SanDisk. You'd think that if advertising was the deciding factor, MS wouldn't be in back with Creative.
(The ranking of the Zune and the Zen have been swapping every time I hit refresh.)
Shame. . .
Shame that you can always count on people to bash a popular product not based on merits but instead a dislike of anything too trendy. I guess being unique is once again hating popular things simply because they are popular. I will say this, it's not what you have or do that makes you unique, it's why you do or have those things.
I'd be surprised if it hadn't outsold the Walkman
When the Walkman came out, there was no existing model for people carrying about their own music. Yes you had small transistor radios, but there was no practical means of taking your own music along on the road - unless you consider a large 'getto blaster' on the shoulder to be practical !
Fast forward a couple of decades and carrying your music around is now an accepted thing to do thanks to the Walkman, Diskman, and a whole host of competing products.
With the iPod, Apple shifted the goalposts again, making it simple (though not cheap) to take not just one or two hours, but a whole collection of music along with you. In real terms, the iPod wasn't really more expensive than the early Walkmans - so not surprisingly they went off the shelves like the proverbial hot cakes.
So all in all, I'd expect the iPod to have outsold the Walkman - it's entering an established market instead of building it, and consumer spending power has increased in those two decades !
Shame ipods are quite rubbish really
itunes no thanks, non user replaceable batteries - go away, not acting as an external drive without drivers? Forget it.
Shame the power of advertising and supposed style has sold a substandard product so well.
"... may have bought its success"
With the iPod being a consumer product, Apple needs to advertise it, as do ALL the companies that sell consumer products. Therefore, I find the comment that Apple "may have bought its success" rather strange.
Don't forget that Apple actually makes a profit out of every iPod sold, unlike for instance the game consoles. Sinking billions of dollars subsidizing each console to achieve maket share (or dominance), that's what I would call "Buying success".
Might it not be that, other than being heavily advertised, the product might also be attractive to the buyers? If advertising alone would make a poor product a hit, then the Zune should be a raging success