And so, what's your point?
Palm *had* more than 70% of the market. Actually, once upon a time, there was no PDA but the Palm. This didn't prevent Palm from dying from lack of innovation and being stuck in its niche concept. I don't see how the iPod is any different in the long term?
Palm did have >70% market share but... they did it with inferior technology.
Palm was not the first or only PDA at the time.
Apple introduced the Newton in 1993!
Palm was founded by an ex-Apple employee in 1996.
Palm had +70% marketshare and patented technology that was years behind the competition.
Apple has +70% marketshare and patented technology that was years ahead of the competition.
In the same way that Apple is out-innovating Windows, Apple out-innovated Palm in the PDA space.
Microsoft and Palm pushed their inferior software on customers for years, but that formula won't work forever.
As for car, that's also a bad example. There used to be a time when the automobile giants in the USA were really that, giants. Nowadays, they're just leftovers from the past century. And the car concept is dying slowly itself. As more and more people live in cities, where cars are just useless, and as they become more and more expansive to maintain and park, they will slowly fade into oblivion. Just as the horse-drawn carriage or the steam engine.
The car is a horse-drawn carriage with a different engine(both measured in horsepower).
carriage = calculator
car = computer
bus = mainframe
hybrid = laptop
mass transit = iphone
transportation is evolving and so is the computer.
A 4-function calculator and an iPhone are both computers.
The bullet train is an evolution of the horse-drawn carriage.
The iPod/iPhone will continue to evolve into whatever you need it to be.
The need for computers isn't going away.
The need for a handheld devices to interface with computers isn't going away any time soon.
Until we can just think to control computers accurately we will carry a device and the brand name will be "iPod".
This is the very nature of technology to become obsolete. And it goes much farther than a concept merely evolving through the ages. For instance, even if we still call it "computer", there is so little in common between the ENIAC and a laptop that it isn't even the same concept. Same with the "phone" - nowadays, phones are barely used to phone other people.
If in 50 years we are still surfing the web, no matter on what "cool" device, if we are still listening to music on a zPod or whatever and if we're still talking about computers and mobile phone, no matter how evolved, it will be a sad day for humanity. Because it will mean we have gotten stuck into the tools and evolving them rather than coming up with new concepts.
So, it is without doubt that the iPod line will become obsolete - pretty soon actually, to be replaced by the iPhone and the Touch.
There is no Apple product called the Touch... it is an iPod Touch
This is my point exactly the iPod is not a MP3 player stuck in 2001.
It is a brand!
iPod Touch is an iPod.
In five years we may have large tablet iPods and desk sized iPods.
The point is they are iPods.
iPods will become whatever Apple wants it to become.
The brand is not going away anytime soon even though the form factor and the function will change.
Because the concept of carrying music around on a limited capacity device is becoming obsolete. Why limit yourself to a tiny 120Gb when there is Tb of content to experiment?
But in the long run, even the iPhone will fade away, as a concept. Even if it manages to grab 100% market shares - it will only go faster then.
I don't get your point. What does it matter as long as Apple continues to innovate and stay years ahead of the competition. As long as people want them, they will still by iPods and iPhones