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iPod Owners Not As Loyal To Brand As Mac Owners

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the chink-in-the-armor dept.

299

Virtual_Raider writes "A survey indicates that iPod owners may not be as loyal to their devices as Mac owners are to their computers, thus opening the possibility for Microsoft's Zune to enter the market. Surveyed people also indicated a high likelihood of buying the much maligned brown device. But that doesn't mean that the market is now at Microsoft's mercy." From the article: "ABI Research believes that a critical factor will be whether or not Microsoft can differentiate the Zune from competing products in some meaningful way. One differentiator, Zune's Wi-Fi peer-to-peer sharing, which Microsoft is playing up heavily, 'isn't all that compelling, at least not now,' notes Wilson. 'There's a lot more you could do with that capability.' But given the results of ABI Research's survey, Apple will need to make some big announcements in 2007 if it is to maintain its edge in the industry. Says Wilson, 'Apple needs a new high-end device that works really well and looks really cool, because other brands are catching up.'"

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so? (0)

thedrunkensailor (992824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702299)

who cares?

Re:so? (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702443)

Those who bought many song on iTunes might care when they will be faced with the choice of either lose their collection or don't be cool anymore because they don't have the new trendy player that all of their friends already have.

Re:so? (0, Flamebait)

thedrunkensailor (992824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702493)

I'm not personally about trading one DRM for another

Re:so? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702557)

Last I heard, Microsoft was planning to put up the money to re-buy your iTunes content so that this isn't an issue in order to lure you in. Though I wonder if they wouldn't be willing to partner up with DVD Jon of all people with his new DoubleTwist thing and take care of that a lot cheaper...

But I seriously doubt that a brown player will ever be described as 'cool' or 'trendy'.

Re:so? (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702651)

If they really want to compete then they need to make the wi-fi do more than p2p and maybe get artist to sign up for the zune store that aren't on the iTunes store, like Led Zepplin. It should have more features that should be standard in multimedia players, like AM FM radio as well as FM broadcasting so you can play the zune in your car without wires. I would like a lyrics feature, so they should team up with a lyrics database and start getting songs to come with lyrics in the metadata. All the things iPod customers ask for, Zune should have in it. Listen to the customers.

Re:so? (1)

Ross D Anderson (1020653) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702843)

Unfortunately, FM broadcasting is currently a bit of a grey area that Microsoft themselves may not want to wade into. Some laws are really out of date. Is broadcasing over 1 metre really harming the music industry? Uuuh, all evidence points towards: No.

Re:so? (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702979)

I'll go to the first store that lets me buy J-Pop and other Japanese music with a US-based form of payment (iTunes doesn't count because it needs a JP credit card for its JP store). Otherwise it's still eMule for me (but my god it takes an eternity for some things to download)

Re:so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16702833)

The iTunes content conversion plan was denied a while ago by Microsoft reps.

Re:so? (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702739)

What's so hard about telling iTunes to convert everything to MP3? Select all, convert to MP3. No problems. Just set a higher bitrate and quality and let your computer churn for however long it takes.

Re:so? (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702463)

well, Apple should, it says "thus opening the possibility for Microsoft's Zune to enter the market", whilst I agree with the other point of the article that it doesn't mean MS WILL take over here it certainly leaves it being more likely than it would be if everyone was clearly aligned to Apple

Re:so? (1)

thedrunkensailor (992824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702513)

I dont think that mp3 players deserve loyalty, it is not a country and there is no "Pledge of iPod Allegiance".

Either way, your mom is a hyperlink

Re:so? (3, Insightful)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702967)

I agree. Though I've never understood why a country should deserve loyalty either. A person sure. An ideal, yes.

But pinning loyalty to a specific country instead of to the ideals that country claims to uphold only means that when the country ends up in the hands of people who are less idealistic, your loyalty will be abused.

Re:so? (1)

thedrunkensailor (992824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703119)

Touche - exactly why my only loyalty is to food.

Unthinkable! (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702301)

What?! Issue the alert for all iPod owners to report immediately to Sector Woz for re-Jobsification [neatorama.com] !

You know, it's crazy when a consumer tells you that if another product is better they would probably switch to it. Pure madness. Everyone knows that when you buy an electronics device, you have committed to a long term relationship to the manufacturer! The world is awash with computing hussies! How many times must we stress monogamous relationships with your MP3 players? And now you can walk down the street and people are just giving it away for free! I try to warn everyone but this is exactly how you get infected [slashdot.org] !

I dated a girl once and she had the gall to own three or for different brands of music players. Yeah, I know it's disgusting. I eventually had to break up with her--I kept having nightmares of her with just ear buds and headphones sticking out of her ears ... and the whole time Bill Gates was standing there with a coffee mug snorting and laughing. I just couldn't look at her the same anymore ... and then when she bought a third party docking station, I just had to break it off. Don't worry, nothing of mine ever touched her ears. Whore.

Re:Unthinkable! (2, Funny)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702687)

Was your ex-girlfriend one of those people who's TV brand didn't match their DVD player brand, which didn't match their surround sound system brand? Those people make me sick.

Re:Unthinkable! (1)

93,000 (150453) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703017)

A setup like that makes in not even worth watching a movie at all. Pathetic, really. Now I'm depressed just thinking about it.

Re:Unthinkable! (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702705)

I know I'll get modded off topic but I just had to say thanks for giving me a wonderful Friday afternoon laugh!

but can Zune become the new iPod? No. (4, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702311)

iPod may be falling victim to its own popularity. Marketing, excellent design, cachet, marketing, cuteness, and marketing gave Apple a great foothold in the portable music player market. iPod is a great product (I don't own one, don't intend to), and captured the imagination of a public wanting the next new cool thing.

Problem is, the next new cool thing isn't new anymore. And with so many owning iPods now, it's almost not even cool anymore. With Apple's continued re-invention of iPod, iPod has managed to keep iPod as "next".

The loyalty for iPod is different from the loyalty for Mac. iPod is more public, more connected to the owner (until there are wearable Macs)... Once the newness and coolness factors wear off owners want the next greatest thingy that shows their hipness.

So, can Zune fulfill that and capture Apple's market? Maybe. But Microsoft has been kicked around so much lately I think any product by Microsoft is likely to scream "I'm cool". To accomplish the deed, the Zune would almost have to be sublime. Microsoft brought some interesting ideas (wireless, community, sharing), but in typical MS fashion appears to be delivering a product so wrapped around the axle and DRM'ed I can't imagine it will catch fire.

Yes, the survey indicates a high number of iPod users could/would switch, but polls and surveys in a commercial setting hardly bring credence to the point. My guess, far fewer would really switch than indicated by the survey.

And I also think we're not far from some kind of Apple "new" iPod with better screens, and wireless... and the new iPod will be compatible with the old line, and you can bet they'll continue to trump MS in usability. For me, "It Just Works" is better than "Plays for Sure" (I know, MS has abandoned that for the Zune, but whatever the new catchphrase, it's code for "only plays with MS stuff).

Time will tell, but I'll continue to put my money on Apple.

Zune does not "only play MS stuff" (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702447)

" but whatever the new catchphrase, it's code for "only plays with MS stuff). "

Why would they even want to claim this? Buried in the specs is the fact that it plays the music-file standard of MP3 files....something far different from the Microsoft controlled WMA etc.

"Buried in footnote 4 of its press release, Microsoft clearly states that "Zune software can import audio files in unprotected WMA, MP3, AAC; photos in JPEG; and videos in WMV, MPEG-4, H.264" (from here [72.14.203.104]

Re:but can Zune become the new iPod? No. (1)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702477)

For me, "It Just Works" is better than "Plays for Sure" (I know, MS has abandoned that for the Zune, but whatever the new catchphrase, it's code for "only plays with MS stuff).
To be fair, FairPlay only works with Apple stuff, for now. A better code for PlaysForSure might be "only works with stuff that doesn't work."

Re:but can Zune become the new iPod? No. (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702507)

I don't think there's going to be a large migration from existing iPod owners to Zune. There's no reason to. It's a case of the iPod being good enough, and Zune apparently really doesn't offer anything better. I'll be the first to admit that I wish my iPod had better features, such as shuffling songs within a playlist (maybe I just haven't played with it enough?) or directly managing my songs on it including 2-way transfers (EphPod supposedly allows this, haven't played with it yet - maybe iTunes will get the hint).

As for those that point to iTunes Music Store as the most compelling iPod source, the total number of iTunes Music store DRM'd songs on my and my friends iPods are way less than 1%. (We all have large collections of music that we already own...) To me the reason for having an iPod is that it's small and it works.

Re:but can Zune become the new iPod? No. (1)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702677)

Go to the main menu, settings, and set the "shuffle" option to "songs".

Re:but can Zune become the new iPod? No. (1)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702561)

Yes whatever will Apple do about the Zune? Microsoft don't include either a cable for syncing or an AC adaptor. The Zune is pretty useless out of the box. If they are both part of that ($99) pack then surely it's because it's not already included. http://www.zune.net/en-us/accessories/zune/zunehom eavpack.htm [zune.net]

Interesting I can't see anywhere on the Zune site where it actually states that the Zune comes with headphones. Does it? If it does include them then what are they like?

Re:but can Zune become the new iPod? No. (3, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702711)

Interesting I can't see anywhere on the Zune site where it actually states that the Zune comes with headphones. Does it? If it does include them then what are they like?

More importantly, where will I be able to get a replacement set of headphones in shit-brown?

Re:but can Zune become the new iPod? No. (1)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702857)

Re:but can Zune become the new iPod? No. (1)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702965)

http://www.apple.com/ipod/specs.html [apple.com]

From that page:

In the box * iPod * Earphones * USB 2.0 cable * Dock adapter for use with Universal Dock * Case * Quick Start guide

Re:but can Zune become the new iPod? No. (1)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703087)

Well, sure since the ipod has been released and has such spec sheets its easy to see its a bunch of crap to suggest they don't include them because there are seperate "packs" which also include them. My point is how stupid it is to assume the zune won't because it also has seperate "packs". In the entire consumer electronics market is there ANYTHING which doesn't have seperate assesory packs (which often include the same items which came with the product)?

Here are the steps required to see the "evidence" of seperate assesories and come to the conclusion those items won't also be included in the base product.

1) Go to a mind wiper and get them to remove any piece of information or memory you have about this market.
2) Chug a few pints of the strongest booze you can find while standing on your head.
3) Get up and spin around as fast as you can until you fall over.

At that point, the argrument MIGHT make some sense to you ;-)

I have no idea what will or won't be included with the zune because I just don't care about those product enough to find out even if the info is available pre-launch, but even I can see the logic for stating they "must not be" because someone is advertising an assesory pack is more than a little dim.

Re:but can Zune become the new iPod? No. (1)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703135)

I just looked at the pictures of the Zune for the first time...does anybody else think that it looks strikingly similar to an iPod, except for the different-colored "clickwheel" and larger screen relative to the "clickwheel"?

Not terribly original, I think.

Also, regarding the "wireless sharing"...it's simply a mechanism where the USERS serve the role of marketers and advertisers for content. There is no true "wireless sharing" here.

From http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/sep0 6/09-14ZuneUnveilingPR.mspx [microsoft.com] :

Every Zune device creates an opportunity for connection. Wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing lets consumers spontaneously share full-length sample tracks of select songs, homemade recordings, playlists or pictures with friends between Zune devices. Listen to the full track of any song you receive up to three times over three days. If you like a song you hear and want to buy it, you can flag it right on your device and easily purchase it from the Zune Marketplace.


Note the reference to "sample" tracks of "select" songs. Who selects them, the user or MS?

And further on down...

To get started with great music and videos out of the box, every Zune device is preloaded with content from record labels such as DTS, EMI Music's Astralwerks Records and Virgin Records, Ninja Tune, Playlouderecordings, Quango Music Group, Sub Pop Records, and V2/Artemis Records.


This reminds me of the desktop on new PCs and laptops, pre-loaded with trial software that repeatedly asks you to buy a license after some sort of trial period. I wonder how long this pre-loaded "content" goes before you have to pay or erase.

The Zune is a marketing tool, plain and simple--a marketing tool paid for by the users, to market to other users. I'll stick to my old 20 GB iPod, TYVM.

Thoughts?

Apple is waiting to do it right, and because they (2, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702321)

Apple still doesn't have any real competition to the iPod. And each "iPod killer" that has come has also, well, gone. There's frankly no reason to believe Zune is any different, especially given the lackluster reviews and ho-hum reception.

And don't worry. Apple's next generation device (with wireless, and so on) is coming:

http://hrmpf.com/wordpress/90/apple-describes-new- interface-for-ipod [hrmpf.com]
http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/10/20061026073 133.shtml [macrumors.com]

Gone? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702367)

"Apple still doesn't have any real competition to the iPod. And each "iPod killer" that has come has also, well, gone"

Each one, gone? I was at a few stores last weekend and found several brands of "Ipod killers" on the shelves along with the iPods. They've not succeeded in their mission of killing the iPod, but they do linger on.

Re:Gone? (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702567)

I'm not saying they all disappeared or got discontinued.

I'm saying that they've "gone" metaphorically, because they rolled onto the scene as "iPod killers" and did, well, nothing. And they're definitely "gone" from any relevance or discussion with regard to the iPod. Zune is now the latest on the scene.

Re:Gone? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702723)

There's that Sandisk player [nextag.com] that looks more appealing than the iPod Nano it competes with. I wonder what might be wrong with it? I have to admit a prejudice against Apple for all those years then their products were known as being twice as expensive, lacking features, and being quirky and hard to use. I know they are better now.

Re:Gone? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703159)

It has a couple of disadvantages, some of them purely subjective:

  • Not as pretty
  • Not as cool
  • The spin wheel isn't, by all accounts I've read, as nice or smooth as the Nano's scroll wheel.
  • Twice as thick, twice as heavy, slightly taller
  • Won't work with iTunes.
  • You'll have a hard time finding someone with one so that they can tell you whether it is worth buying or not.

I'm sure it has some advantages, too, but you asked what might be wrong with it :) It seems to be slightly cheaper, depending on your definition of "slightly"... 10% or so. This is telling since it debuted at the same price point as the Nano. It also has lots more features... probably why it's so much bigger.

that's part of the problem... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702789)

I don't believe any of them were or are "iPod killers", since most of the brands (not models) themselves had mp3 players long before the iPod hit the scene. And again, I really don't think that any of these companies (with the exception of MS, maybe) are sitting around saying to themselves "How do we become iPod killers?"

The term "iPod killer" itself is just a journalism blink tag.

Re:Apple is waiting to do it right, and because th (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702645)

I think what is happening is that the high price (US$150) of a decently-featured iPod nano 2 GB (remember, the iPod Shuffle totally lacks a display, which is a turnoff for many users) is creating a demand for low-cost portable music players.

Remember, Windows XP users can "rip" their CD collection using Windows Media Player 10 and copy the music to various low-cost (but decently-featured) players for under US$100, many of which sport as much as 2 GB of flash memory storage. For example, you can get a Creative Zen Nano Plus 512 MB for around US$40 online, and the Panasonic SV-MP010W 1 GB player for around US$50 online (and this is only scratching the surface for the many low cost models out there).

If Apple wants to keep their marketshare up, in my humble opinion they should seriously consider dropping the price of the 2 GB nano to US$125 and 4 GB nano to US$160-US$175 probably by February-March 2007.

Re:Apple is waiting to do it right, and because th (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703093)

My wife has an iPod. It's pretty nice. The interface is fantastic and clean, and the software for transferring music to it works reasonably well.

That said, I probably wouldn't want one. I'd just as soon have something cheaper, frankly, even if it meant that I couldn't play ITMS music.

And that brings me to the reason that iPods stay in the market: DRM. Apple has created an artificial need to stay with iPod if you use ITMS. Anyone who has purchased music through ITMS loses their ability to play their music on-the-go once they drop iPod (yeah, you can burn and rerip, losing a bit of quality and taking a /lot/ of time--realistically, most people will not do this).

If Zune had a better battery life (something certainly feasible to address) and could use Apple's DRM, it might have a fighting chance. As it is, I just don't see it happening.

Wi-fi sharing (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702333)

'There's a lot more you could do with that capability.'

Like what?

Re:Wi-fi sharing (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702427)

Connect to Urgue (or iTunes Store when the WiFi iPod comes out). Sharing songs is a good feature but the daft three play limit makes the whole thing feel controlled. Like the shop assistant is watching that you don't read the whole comic in the store.

I video iPod with WiFi that had a mobile web browser in it would also be cool.

Re:Wi-fi sharing (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702641)

downloading a song over wi-fi will kill your battery life faster than you can say my battery's dead. So you download a song or two while at the local wifi cafe. big deal, but you just lost a couple of hours of play back on already weak batteries.

Tablet PC's haven't failed due to bad design, or lack of innovation, but because they need to be recharged two to three times in a typical 8 hour work day, and more when the person s on their 10th or 12th hour.

Re:Wi-fi sharing (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702715)

A Pocket PC can certainly download a few MBs worth without hurting the uptime that badly, given that you turn it (the wifi) off afterwards. It's a bit like having a HD in the iPod in the first place, it sucks power, so keep it on only when needed.

Re:Wi-fi sharing (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702755)

downloading a song over wi-fi will kill your battery life faster than you can say my battery's dead.

But downloading a song over wi-fi from someone else's zune won't?

Re:Wi-fi sharing (1)

manastungare (596862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702805)

Many things. Most of which depend on your being a virus writer.

Likelyness? (1, Offtopic)

silasthehobbit (626391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702351)

Is that a made up word?

--
silas
hobbit

Re:Likelyness? (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702469)

No, it's just a misspelled word. It should be "likeliness".

Re:Likelyness? (1)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702685)

No, the word would be "likelihood". Honestly, English seems to be a dying art in "journalism" these days.

Re:Likelyness? (1)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702503)


Is that a made up word?


No .. just misspelt: likeliness [reference.com]

They forgot to add....... (1)

Shadowmist (57488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702375)

the obligatory "Apple Is Doomed" sentence which a requirement for any serious reportage of the folks in Cupertino.

Re:They forgot to add....... (1)

soxos (614545) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703147)

> the obligatory "Apple Is Doomed" sentence which a requirement for any serious reportage of the folks in Cupertino.

Good point Shadowmist. In fact, there should be a new icon for these stories. The Apple logo with a meteor about to hit it.

Want a way to differentiate it? (1)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702385)

Add on outlook. Connect to open access points and allow them to get their emails.

Re:Want a way to differentiate it? (1)

borkus (179118) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702729)

Add on outlook. Connect to trojan access points and allow them to get their malware.

Isn't one of the biggest barriers... (1)

RootWind (993172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702403)

...still not addressed? The problem isn't so much, can any one device beat the iPod, it is can any one device beat the iPod and iTunes.

Re:Isn't one of the biggest barriers... (1)

zip_000 (951794) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702617)

iTunes has gotten so evil and DRM'y that I can't stand to use it anymore. The fact that I can't play my music where I want it is the iPod killer, not the Zune. I've almost completely gone back to just buying CDs and when I do download, it's not from iTunes.

The whole thing turns me off, and many of the iPod owners that I know are frustrated by this as well.

Did you know (0, Troll)

Centurix (249778) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702429)

That Steve Jobs kept the proto-type for the iPod in his underpants for 3 weeks straight? I've heard rumors that he has a little polar neck sweater for his willy. It's like a neo-willy-warmer, so when he's drinking his frappa-chappa-chino and typing on his brand new G6 laptop, he can whip out the old boy, fap like there's no tomorrow and still blend in with the crowd.

iFap.

Re:Did you know (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702653)

That's so ridiculous that I'd almost believe it... particularly the first part. Though my gut reaction is that the first iPod prototypes don't tote around down there nearly as easily as the Nanos do.

How can they not be loyal (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702455)

Ok, I realize that not everybody who has an iPod uses iTunes (i don't) but if people buy iTunes, they can't not be loyal. What's the alternative? Burn all your songs to CD and re-rip to MP3, which loses quality? Throw away all your music and buy it in another format? Break the DMCA in order to transfer music to your new player? It's just easier to buy a new iPod when your old one dies, or isn't good enough. iPods have only been really mainstream for a couple years, but I think people are really going to start to feel the pinch of DRM once the Zune and other MP3 phones start to become more popular.

contradiction? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702485)

"but I think people are really going to start to feel the pinch of DRM once the Zune and other MP3 phones start to become more popular."

Since MP3 is free of DRM, how could someone with an MP3 phone get pinched by DRM???

Re:contradiction? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702545)

Because they want to buy an MP3 phone, but then realize that they can't play any of their already purchased iTunes on it. It's not the player that's the problem, it's the format they have bought their music in. That's why I said it was specific to people who buy iTunes. When they get a new portable music device, it has to be an iPod, or they can't play any of the music they bought.

Re:contradiction? (1)

jcarkeys (925469) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702563)

Since MP3 is free of DRM, how could someone with an MP3 phone get pinched by DRM???

By not being able to play those DRM laden songs they downloaded.

Re:contradiction? (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702619)

MP3 have indeed no real DRM, but on most phones, all you need is to set a "copyright bit" in the file header. Then, downloaded music (or ringtones) cannot be copied back from the phone.
It is also always possible to create a DRMed file format using a MP3 base by simply encripting the MP3 data and then feed a regular MP3 player with the decripted data every time the DRM says it's OK.

Re:contradiction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16702621)

Since MP3 is free of DRM, how could someone with an MP3 phone get pinched by DRM???

Presumably because these people locked into the iPod/iTunes combo won't be able to use their iTMS-bought songs as ringtones on non-Apple phones.

why is this surprising? (4, Insightful)

boredandblogging.com (983263) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702465)

Gung-ho Mac users think Apple has changed their life (for the better). Most people who buy iPods do it because its cool and cute (gag). The same people who bought iPods because they were cool are just going to move on to the next cool thing.

Re:why is this surprising? (1)

AdamThor (995520) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702785)

Hmmm, I agree with you 100%, but without the negative connotation. Please, allow me to restate:

Gung-ho Mac users think of Apple as a philosophy as much as a product. Most people who buy iPods just want a good MP3 player. These people who just want an MP3 player will eventually decide they want another product, and won't accord Apple any special consideration because of it's success with the iPod.

Re:why is this surprising? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702913)

I think you're more or less right. Apple hasn't changed my life, but I do feel like they've changed my computing experience (for the better). (I'm a mac user). I know a lot of non-mac users who still feel like the iPod has changed their life, but there are others who have had mp3 players before and just bought the iPod because they felt it was the best mp3 player out there. If someone puts together a better computer/OS/media store/mp3 player/movie player, I think a whole lot of these people (including me) would be open to using them instead.

However, that still requires that someone actually come out with a better product, which I don't believe we've seen a sign of that happening yet.

Re:why is this surprising? (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703059)

I bought an ipod b/c of how I could integrate it into my car stereo (an Alpine head unit which fully controls the ipod and basically uses it as a HD for the music). At that time I didn't know of any other music players that could integrate so seamlessly with a digital music player. The downside is that if my ipod ever breaks I'll have to replace it with another ipod, but I knew that going in and accepted the risk.

I don't use itms though. I'll just go buy the CD if I want to purchase music.

Methodology (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702475)

Methodology: data contained within this report is derived from a Web-based survey among a nationally-balanced and demographically-representative sample of 1,725 online consumers (age 18 and older). The consumer survey was conducted in October 2006. Respondents were provided a photo and description of the Microsoft Zune device before being asked about their likelihood to choose it over a competitive MP3 player.

Sounds kind of fishy to me. Did they include the price of the unit? Did they also show people a side-by-side comparison of features with other similar MP3 players? You can get people to pretty much say they'll buy anything, but when it comes time to pony up the cash, it's a different story. I wonder how these 1,725 consumers would react if they knew they'd have to repurchase their entire music library, or burn them on to audio CD's and convert them back?

Re:Methodology (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702981)

Especially considering that they don't break out "somewhat likely" from the stronger responses in their statistics. Many people aren't going to completely discount a product the first time they see it - they'll say somewhat likely and then make a real decision when they have more information. The 58% of iPod owners could be 50% somewhat likelies and 8% stronger responses, for all we know.

I'm not saying the Zune won't take *any* business away from the iPod. I'm sure it'll make a dent in the 75-80%. But assuming that the fact that over half of iPod owners won't dismiss it out of hand means that just as many will buy it is kind of silly.

This just in... (4, Insightful)

BadMrMojo (767184) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702479)

Harley Davidson bandana owners not nearly as loyal to brand as Harley Davidson motorcycle owners.

Film at 11.

Seriously... what did you expect?

Harley Davidson and Apple in same business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16702891)

That's right, they're in the same business. How's that, you ask?

They're both in the image business. Die hard bikers, folks who really love motorcycles, think Harleys are peices of crap. But who buys most of the Harleys? Yuppie businessmen and wannbes who want the image of a free spirit "biker" who's bucking the system. It helps them escape from their 8am - 8pm office drudgery.

Who buys Apple? Folks who want the image of a free-spirit artist who's bucking the system. It helps them to escape from their 8am -8pm office drudgery.

The difference with Apple is that you can bring it into your office or cubicle.

BROWN?!? (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702487)

Thanks to the good people at AppleGeeks, I have a new word to describe the brown Zune.

DooDooPod.

Re:BROWN?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16702537)

Wow, that sounds so first grade!!! Did you have to ask permission to use the computer to post that?

Well, duh! (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702497)

- No repair service. (You dropped your $400 iPod and broke it, well, buy another.)
- Battery expires after 18 months (See repair service comment above)

I mean, Apple's telling you that you've got a short-lived device, so naturally people will look for alternatives.

Re:Well, duh! (1)

weave (48069) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702811)

My 10gig first gen ipod still works fine. To be fair, I rarely listen to it so it hasn't exceeded the number of recharge cycles on the battery yet.

If you use an ipod everyday, discharge it fully and recharge it daily, then yeah, it's only going to last like around a year. You also got a heck of a lot of use out of it too.

Re:Well, duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16703065)

If you use an ipod everyday, discharge it fully and recharge it daily, then yeah, it's only going to last like around a year. You also got a heck of a lot of use out of it too.
And you'd get a lot more use out of it if the design allowed you to replace the battery. To hell with the customer, though. That's the Apple way.

Isn't this sort of a no brainer? (2, Insightful)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702525)

Mac owners are there for the OS for the most part, iPod owners are there because it is "THE MP3 Player" (Often they don't even know wth an MP3 player is, they only know that it is an iPod).

MacOS is something that is substantialy different then other things like it (windows/linux/etc), where as most MP3 players are relativly the same (UI being the big thing that iPods stand out with).

Just think about it, try and get a windows/mac/linux usser to switch to another OS. Hard, often futile.
Try and get some one to use a different CD Player/VCR/DVD player? If you can just go "look, it is more efficent and costs less" and tadah, they switch (Assuming they need a new device).

meh.

If some one can create a device that is better and/or cheaper, people will switch.

Re:Isn't this sort of a no brainer? (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702719)

Get off your high horse. Most people who use an ipod know full well what an mp3 and an mp3 player is. This whole "joe sixpack knows nothing" is bullshit.

Re:Isn't this sort of a no brainer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16703029)

If some one can create a device that is better and/or cheaper, people will switch.
Such device has been created: it's Archos Gmini 20GB mp3 player [archos.com] , it's better, cheaper AND smaller than Ipod, so I switched. Works with GNU/Linux out of the box too.

Who thinks the Zune is cool? (1)

pubjames (468013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702539)


Who here thinks the Zune is cool?

The iPod is a design classic.

Microsoft have essentially copied a classic. Which would you prefer, a VW Beetle or a copy that looks similar to it and has a couple of extra features? A Harley Davidson Sportster or a similar looking bike.

The big mistake Microsoft has made with the Zune is copying. It's a music player - there are any number of physical forms it could come in, why did they just copy the iPod?

Re:Who thinks the Zune is cool? (1)

DarkManaX (527621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702675)

Well, I'm a mac owner and I think the Zune is pretty cool... the three-time/three-day song share, while some may dislike it, is a pretty neat idea, I think. I've used PC and mac for years now, and Microsoft hardware has usually been top-notch. Software is another thing =P

Re:Who thinks the Zune is cool? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702819)

The Harley analogy is quite appropriate. Many would prefer the copy (Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki) to the original because of improved handling, reliability, and support. Some prefer functionality over image. Not that the iPod isn't functionaly, I just think it's a bit over-rated.

Re:Who thinks the Zune is cool? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16702855)

A VW Beetle actually hasn't had a real copy made, though Volkswagen's updated version looks like a poor knock off. I wouldn't touch it.

Honda and Suzuki both make cruisers that start off looking *much* better than comparable Harleys. They're half the cost, more powerful, more reliable, and with a good set of pipes sound much smoother with a good solid beefy rumble to them.

"Knock offs" can be better than originals, especially if the original begins to lean too much on its brand name. Harley vs. everyone else is a prime example of that. You buy a Harley, you're paying strictly for a name. You buy anyone else if you seriously want a good driving, good looking vehicle. Or for the cost of a Harley you have a custom shop build you a uniqueone of a kind chopper. In my mind, either one is a "cooler" option than the original, and a better deal for your money.

Re:Who thinks the Zune is cool? (1)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703169)

Microsoft have essentially copied a classic. Which would you prefer, a VW Beetle or a copy that looks similar to it and has a couple of extra features? A Harley Davidson Sportster or a similar looking bike.

Whichever's cheaper as long as they are around the same quality. Welcome to the Chinese knockoff 21st century. I could really give a shit if it's "official" if it works and it's cheaper. Everything is made in sweatshops anyway, might as well save a buck on brand name. Besides, I don't want to have to pay the "geniuses" for their "expertise" in coming up with a "click wheel" anyway. I'd rather just pay the competitor who isn't taxing me for "innovation." Popular brands often require that you pay for the brand name, with no real addition in benefits besides "wow, I'm so cool, I got the official one!" And I'm sorry, I graduated from middle school, so if it works the same, it is the same in my book. (Not to say that Zune is better than iPod, but players that have the same feature set as the iPod and are cheaper are exactly what I look for anyway.)

Considering != High likeliness (1)

Nemetroid (883968) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702543)

Surveyed people also indicated a high likelyness of buying the much maligned brown device.
Grouping answer is dangerous. The article says that 58/59% would be "somewhat likely" or "extremely likely". Since the survey isn't available to public, that could mean that 57% are very "somewhat likely" and 1% are "extremely likely".

"I am no longer cool, unique, and trendy" (1)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702551)

"I thought this iPod I bought would make it seem like I was part of some music revolution--that I was so plugged into the music scene, so knee-deep in a technological, counter-cultural uprising that I have to have my music with me at all times. Make no mistake, I am only mildly nearsighted, but the glasses I nevertheless wear are as big and black as the people I secretly fear when they walk past my car at stoplights. When I'm not discussing the origins of coffee brewing with a clearly disinterested Starbucks worker, I can be found rarely making eye contact with others and attempting to mail my gigantic pieces of shitty art at the media mail rate at my local post office.

You know, it used to be my music player for playing my music. Owning it used to mean I was cool, but now everybody on the subway has one. What do I do now? Please, please, direct me to the Next Big Thing for me to purchase so that I can continue to identify myself as someone who is young and wise to the latest trends."

If Microsoft really wants that market, it need only convince them that they are ordinary, well-adjusted people if they don't own a Zune.

Re:"I am no longer cool, unique, and trendy" (1)

xeno-cat (147219) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703091)

Saul Williams, is that you?

That rant just needs a beat.

-peace

IPod owners not as loyal but twice as dumb? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16702559)

Flame on!

You forgot the last line... (1)

najt (178981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702609)

Is this the end of Apple?

shoddy methodology (5, Insightful)

Aurisor (932566) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702631)


A new survey conducted by ABI Research has shown that many prospective MP3 player buyers--even owners of iPods--would be likely to choose Microsoft's Zune player. 1725 teenage and adult US residents were asked whether they planned to buy an MP3 player in the next 12 months. Of those responding that they were likely to do so, 58% of those identifying themselves as existing iPod owners and 59% of those who owned other brands said they would be "somewhat likely" or "extremely likely" to choose a Microsoft Zune player over an iPod or another brand of MP3 player.


"Our conclusion," says principal analyst Steve Wilson, "is that iPod users don't display the same passionate loyalty to iPods that Macintosh users have historically shown for their Apple products." Only 15% of iPod owners said they were "not very likely" or "not at all likely" to choose Zune.



I believe this article is deliberately misleading. The methodology they used HORRIBLY flawed. Let's take it apart piece by piece, shall we?


  • They interviewed 1725 teenagers and adults.
  • Of that group of people, they threw out all of them who said they were not likely to buy an MP3 player in the next 12 months. If I were a loyal, satisfied ipod owner, I would be completely discounted from this survey. Furthermore, they give no indication of how many people actually made it to this point. It's entirely possible that out of the initial 1725, only 200 were looking to buy a new mp3 player. Out of the remaining 1525, 1000 could have no interest in MP3 players at all, and the remaining 500 could be raving lunatic apple fanatics, for all we know.
  • Now, for the next step, they say 58% of the users they surveyed WHO ARE GOING TO BUY A NEW MP3 PLAYER IN THE NEXT YEAR currently own ipods. You see how sneaky this is? In the first step, they eliminated people who are happy with their current mp3 players, so this step generates this rather meaningless statistic.
  • The next step is even more of a non-sequitur. They state that 59% of the people who own other brand mp3 players say they are at least "somewhat likely" to buy a zune.

So what's the REAL conclusion here? Let's rephrase the results of their study more accurately:


1) 58% of the people in the market for a new mp3 player own an ipod. This statistic is useless as a measure of brand loyalty because we get no information about how many people who own ipods are satisfied. 58% of ipod owners are looking for a new mp3 player would be an interesting statistic. 58% of people looking for new mp3 players are ipod owners isn't because of the issues of sample size and the lack of any data about satisfied customers.


2) 59% of the people in the market for a new mp3 player who bought something other than an ipod are at least "somewhat likely" to buy a zune. To simplify, if you bought an mp3 player and didn't pick the ipod last time and are buying a new one you're looking at offerings that aren't the ipod (i.e. the zune). No shit?


Anyways, I'm not at all impressed by this survey, the methodology seems weak and I don't think there's really any useful information here.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703103)

As usual when I see something really insightful I don't have mod points. Who designed this stupid moderation system?

The Obvious (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702635)

Every person that wants an iPod asks for "an iPod." Every person that has an iPod says that they have an "iPod." Do you hear anyone asking or referring to their "Apple iPod?"

I don't think that because users don't care (or have any clue) who makes their favorite product, many people will just throw away their $400 iPods in favor of the Zune.

summary is misleading as well (1)

Aurisor (932566) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702695)

"A survey indicates that iPod owners may not be as loyal to their devices as Mac owners are to their computers, thus opening the possibility for Microsoft's Zune to enter the market. Surveyed people also indicated a high likelyness of buying the much maligned brown device. But that doesn't mean that the market is now at Microsoft's mercy."

There is absolutely no information in the article about mac owner's loyalty to their computers. It essentially shows that:

* among people who are looking to buy new mp3 players 58% own ipods.
* among people who own mp3 players that are not ipods, 59% are "somewhat likely" to buy a zune.

So why no problem until now? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702775)

If ipod owners are not loyal, why haven't there been any mass defections to any of the previous ipod killers?

Because apple created the right mix of usability, fashion, and ergonomics. Now that ipods are considered stylish, any competitor has to overcome that as well to eat into apple's market share. The fact of the matter is, the market is growing, and apple's share is probably growing as well.

The Market will Speak (4, Insightful)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702809)

Honestly, I own an iPod because it does exactly what I need. No more, no less. It's compact, it's resilient, it's lightweight and it doesn't weigh me down with overly complicated menu systems or functions that I'll never use. Radio? Please. There's nothing on the radio I want to hear. Wi-fi? Again, why? It's a security hole and I don't see any real need for it (especially the way the Zune implements it).

My iPod allows me to listen to encoded CD's so I don't have to cart my CD collection around with me. It also allows me to buy music on iTMS and play that back too (only bought a few albums, but that's all I need). What more do I need from my device? OK, so my calendar and contacts are there. Groovy, they're on my phone, too so it's sort of redundant functionality for me. I own an iPod because it has decent sound quality, the device itself is pretty slick, the interface is simple and easy to work with and generally it meets my needs. What more do I want?

I won't buy a Zune; not because it's Microsoft but because it doesn't give me any killer features that I need. Sure, conceptually the wireless music sharing is a nice idea, but cannot be implemented in a truly free way. The only way I can see it being useful for me is to be able to share limited-time sample tracks of small bands (often friends of mine) to get other friends interested in their music. But then again, I do that by email already, so it's not a killer feature there, either.

I will run my iPod until it won't run any more. Once that dies, I'll look at the market and if the iPod is still what meets my needs and requirements with minimal fuss at a reasonable price I'll probably replace it with another iPod. If something else comes along that meets my needs better or has killer features I decide I can't live without then I'll buy that instead. Sure, this confirms what the article says somewhat, but not for the reasons implied in the article (it implies that iPod owners will drop the iPod for the Zune, that's not true).

For reference, I'm also a Mac owner, a Linux user and a Windows admin for work. I don't particularly "keep the faith" of any manufacturer; I use what works for me.

who paid for this 'survey' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16702859)

'A new survey .. has shown that .. owners of iPods--would be likely to choose Microsoft's Zune player .. of those identifying themselves as existing iPod owners .. said they would be "somewhat likely" or "extremely likely" to choose a Microsoft Zune player"

A Grave Accusation (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702869)

iPod owners may not be as loyal to their devices

What is society coming to, when people aren't even loyal to their device? What's next? People betraying their objects? Talking behind their machines' backs? Failing to love their neighborhood apparatus? Disrespecting their things?

Re:A Grave Accusation (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703061)

Silly people. Some people probably think that loyalty to other people is more important than their hunk of plastic and metal mass-produced in China! How ridiculous! Family, friends, mentors, employers.... eh. I could care less. Now this piece of mass produced plastic... THAT'S something that I can really get behind! Sorry, Mom, but the 30+ years you spent taking care of me doesn't even begin to compare to my iPod!

Why is it that people from other countries think that the US culture is sick?

How many Zune or other will return? (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702937)

There will probably be a lot of people trying out Zune. It will be interesting to see how many keep it as their default device, how many return it within a few weeks and how many re-buy it when it gets upgraded. People didn't just buy an iPod. They bought one for themselves, one for their significant other, a shuffle for the youngest, a nano for their daughter and then went and bought a new video ipod when they came out for themselves again. Not to mention all the gift iPods, the giveaways, etc.

I just don't see MS having that sort of product pipeline.

MS still has no alternative (1)

GauteL (29207) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702963)

.. to the most important and popular iPod: the iPod nano. Lots and lots of features is not going to change anything, because features are not the reason the iPod nano sells so well.

The main reasons are iTunes integration, portability, has has a cool brand name and is fricking gorgeous. The Zune is neither of those things, and is currently an overhyped competitor to the regular iPod, which to be honest is becoming more of a niche market.

iTunes sucks, that's why! (1)

tm1rules (444525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702971)

I don't even try to update my iPod anymore. iTunes is such a royal pain in the ass!

Of course not (1)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703051)

The only people who are as brand-loyal as Mac owners are buying beer or cigarettes. I say this as someone who buys all three.

This just in!! (1)

oZZoZZ (627043) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703117)

Owners of $300 device not as loyal as owners of $2000 device! AHHHHHHHHHHH
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