The ex-Pod?

10 Sep ’06

David Smith of the Observer warns that the writing may be on the wall for the iPod, suggesting that ubiquity has dulled its edge. Quite possibly true, though from where I stand the world of iPod porn seems as quirky and distinct as ever. And the Blackberry – which with the launch of the Pearl seems as healthy as ever – seems to me to be a more fitting model of how a product that is just better than the rest can survive ubiquity.

Smith makes much of competition from mp3 phones and it’s a good point. But someone is going to have to figure out how to put an 80-100 gig hard drive (for the iPod, soon, surely?) in a phone before that presents a challenge to anything other than the margins. And of course there’s the interface – how to incorporate a simple but effective and slick music interface into a phone? I’d love to have one device that did both tasks well. But is that really feasible, at the level of anything other than a novelty?

All in all, yes, OK, possibly, but still – an awful lot of hyperventilation in the piece. Sales slipping? Perhaps it’s because just about everyone now owns one.

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