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Are Smartphones Killing The Ipod?

Before the iPod there was this thing called the Rio player, I had one and I think it held like 8 maybe 16 songs, not gb not mb songs… Then in a plan to inch his way back to the top of the company he co-founded, Steve Jobs and the folks at Apple released the magical iPod.

As Fox News reports, and we agree, you couldn’t ride the subway in DC, the bus, or go to the beach without seeing a white, and later black rectangular ipod. In 2007 Apple did another “magical” thing and released the iPhone, part iPod, part phone, and in essence wiping out a very good chunk of their iPod customer base in one fell swoop. It was a great idea for Apple though because their iTunes ecosystem still had their hands in their original ipod, now iPhone users.

More after the break

But here’s what they might not have counted on over at Apple. Others immediately followed suit.  Today anyone can put music on just about every phone. It doesn’t have to be a smart phone. Feature phones, Blackberries, Nokia phones, Windows Phones and of course Android phones.  All these phones do something that the iPod was good at and that is, play music.

The smartphone actually mixes up the paradigm even more.  Now with smartphones you are no longer relegated to the umpteen thousand songs you have in your own personal library.  Services like Slacker Radio, Pandora, Rdio, Amazon Mp3, and even Muve Music from Cricket, allow the music junkee to get their music in many different ways and in some cases on demand.

AT&T’s Mark Siegel told Fox News “Many of our smartphone customers use their devices as portable music players,”

The NPD Group reported that in 2009 one in ten people surveyed said they use their phone as their music device, fast forward to just one year later and now one in four people are using their phone as their music device.  That figure accounts for all kinds of phone and traditional, and non traditional ways of getting music.

The attraction to smartphones over traditional mp3 players is two fold. The first is the value in only having to carry one device. The other is apps, people love apps. That’s presumably why Apple decided to strip down the iphone of the cellular radio and market it as the iPod touch. Apple has sold an estimated 50 million iPod touches. Samsung Mobile has now followed suit and stripped the radios out of their popular Galaxy S line to make the Galaxy S music player, to directly compete with the iPod.

Both the iPod Touch and The Galaxy S music player allow playing of multiple files, videos included. They also both allow you to access full catalogs of apps and other games via wifi to play on each device.

Smartphones are roughly 25% of the cellphone market at this time and growing at an astronomical number. Over time the traditional mp3 player may become more obsolete.  There are two clear uses for a stand alone mp3 player of course and they are; exercising and cutting the grass.

Source: Fox News


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  1. The only device hurting sales of the iPod is the iPhone. Have not found a better player yet.

  2. Nothing will ever match my 160gb iPod. Not at the moment anyway. Do you know how much music that holds? I have over 12,000 songs and I’m only 75% of the way there. Even a 64gb Flash based iPhone will only hold so much and lets not forget how costly one of those actually is.

    Also, get hold of ANY smartphone out there and try and have the battery match that of the iPod. Not going to happen for a long while. The iPod still lives on and unlike Pandora. It works underground.

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