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SanDisk CEO concedes that Apple's iPod has won the war

post #1 of 90
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Since the debut of the first iPod in 2001, almost every consumer technology company has tried to create an iPod killer to outsell it. SanDisk is one of those companies with its Sansa line of media players, but founder and CEO Eli Harari has now admitted that the iPod has sovereignty.

The company's chief appeared to concede defeat on Wednesday, stating at his company's Milpitas, California headquarters that Apple had effectively secured the market for itself.

You cant out-iPod the iPod, Harari said.

The seeming admission came after years of fiercer competition between SanDisk and Apple that culminated in a negative "iDon't" ad campaign: the former actively insulted iPod owners by accusing them of slavishly following trends rather than thinking for themselves.

SanDisk offers several models in its Sansa line, with traits that often correspond with models in Apples iPod lineup. But while SanDisk has had some firsts relative to the iPod, such as the first 8GB flash player on the market, the Sansa players have lacked companion music store and software to present a formidable challenge to the iPod, not to mention the complete absence of a touchscreen device a year and a half after the debut of the iPod touch.

To date, SanDisk has had such little relative success in unseating Apple that its competition has stemmed from Microsoft, whose Zune line has regularly placed third in the market and has been more likely to steal share from Apple's competitors than Apple itself.

Meanwhile, iPod sales and performance continue to be strong. The company recently sold over 11 million iPods during the winter, a new unit record for a non-holiday quarter. According to NPD data, Apples digital media player market share continues to stay above 70 percent within the US.
post #2 of 90
Now what? They give up?

They may not get first place but SanDisk should continue selling their players although I think the new ZuneHD will be a formidable opponent to the iPod.
post #3 of 90
the great part of this article is how the sandisk CEO basically admits that their "iDont" campaign was just that - an ad campaign. Their products truly had very little else to offer besides the sole fact of being a "non-ipod." I mean, "slavishly" following the masses is what the majority of PC buyers do when they buy windows. But if you're gonna claim that your products are for those that think different (irony, much?) then at least have something compelling to offer.
post #4 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPedro View Post

Now what? They give up?

They may not get first place but SanDisk should continue selling their players although I think the new ZuneHD will be a formidable opponent to the iPod.

Agreed. The Zune HD is an unstoppable force that may just edge out the Nano.

Seriously though the game is over for smaller players. Only Microsoft has the ducats to plan to setup an app store. Apple's ability to leverage the App store across the iPhone and iPod Touch is a kill shot to any smaller company that simply cannot afford an equivalent entry.
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post #5 of 90
The Sansa Clip is a wonderful little product, coming from someone who is now on his fifth iPod. Quite simply, the Sana Clip excels with audio books and the iPod doesn't. It has everything to do with the WMA format, which allows me to download free audio books right onto the device via the OverDrive application. The iPod wants me to play by their MP3 rules, which don't lend themselves as nicely to audio books. Plus, my Sansa Clip is tiny and features an FM tuner plus an audio recorder...neither of which are on my current iPod. There's a place for both devices, so Mr. SanDisk shouldn't get all doom-and-gloom here.
post #6 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPedro View Post

They may not get first place but SanDisk should continue selling their players although I think the new ZuneHD will be a formidable opponent to the iPod.

I was just coming here to say I hope SanDisk stays in the game. The shuffle is a nice device, but for me, I much prefer my SanDisk clip. I paid about $25 for a 2gb version last year - that makes it about a third of the cost of the shuffle. I definitely prefer using iTunes to manage my collection (which is why I also have a 80gb Classic and an iPhone), but this is nearly as light and adds such features as a screen and FM Radio support (which is nice at the gym where I can use it to tune in to television if I want). I can't remember if it has Rhapsody support, but I have a larger format SanDisk that I bought specifically for Rhapsody-to-go (note to Steve Jobs: there are some people who do want subscription music and would kill for this on the iPod).

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTL215 View Post

the great part of this article is how the sandisk CEO basically admits that their "iDont" campaign was just that - an ad campaign. Their products truly had very little else to offer besides the sole fact of being a "non-ipod." I mean, "slavishly" following the masses is what the majority of PC buyers do when they buy windows. But if you're gonna claim that your products are for those that think different (irony, much?) then at least have something compelling to offer.

I disagree to a point. If I could only have one MP3 player, it would certainly be an iPod. But since I can afford more than one, I do have two SanDisk products: a Sansa for subscription music, and a Clip for a lightweight device. SanDisk does have something to offer - some additional features and at less cost. I still much prefer my iDevices, but the SanDisk devices have their place...
post #7 of 90
damn, this should be headed under "no shit!", nice of them to admit the obvious, something Microsoft can't do.
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post #8 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

damn, this should be headed under "no shit!", nice of them to admit the obvious, something Microsoft can't do.

Why would they? Apple never admitted they lost OS war, though it is obvious considering market shares. And this guy is silly - stating the obvious. Plus, they likely didn't loose only to Apple - I'd bet other brands like Creative, Sony... are selling more MP3 players than SanDisk anyway.
post #9 of 90
IMO the shuffle is the chink in Apple's armor. Apple does not currently offer a compelling low-cost iPod.

Of course no vendor wants to be pigeon-holed in the low end of the market. But I'd take a $50 Sansa Clip with a screen over the new shuffle and its proprietary controls, even if the new shuffle were $10 cheaper.
post #10 of 90
A lot of media players are losing simply because people want more out of their MP3 players than music and video. Lets face it, even the classic and Nano can play games, and have basic apps (calender, address book). Then you have the touch, which is basically a computer for all intents and purposes. Most of these companies can't match this because they simply produce media. I don't think anyone expects San Disk to produce a touchscreen media player with its own OS (unless a viable open source option comes out, but I still doubt it).

Now that the hardware and software is shaping up, Microsoft is really the only competitor. Apple has been in the hardware and software business since day one, and with the xBox and original Zune, MS has been making hardware.

I do agree that the Zune HD is a possible competitor. I have seen the past zunes (at stores, never in the wild) and they seemed a lot less slick compared to the iPods. Their prices were about the same, so why wouldn't you use an iPod? The HD actually looks somewhat decent, but there's a lot that we don't know. They have yet to actually release specs, and there's no signs of an app store the likes of what Apple has. And of course, there are no prices. If the zune is priced affordably, then it could take off. If the HD is the same cost as the iPod, probably not. And of course, if it is more than an iPod, we can all have a laugh at the MS fanboys with a "Zune-tax"
post #11 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post

Of course no vendor wants to be pigeon-holed in the low end of the market. But I'd take a $50 Sansa Clip with a screen over the new shuffle and its proprietary controls, even if the new shuffle were $10 cheaper.

Agreed on the new Shuffle, but the 2nd gen was great, and they still have it. I'll take that as my work-out iPod any day.
post #12 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Expat View Post

Their prices were about the same, so why wouldn't you use an iPod?

the sandisk ceo admitted their strategy was to lure those apple-haters with the prospect of owning a non-ipod. That was their main selling point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Expat View Post

If the zune is priced affordably, then it could take off. If the HD is the same cost as the iPod, probably not.

Or they could take a page from Palm, and make snive comments like, "why would we price it the same as an iPhone when we have a better product?" then turn around and offer the Pre with a mail-in-rebate. HA! That's probably my favorite right there. "Yeah, our product is priced higher because it's better.....but you can get your money back and it will cost the same"
post #13 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

Plus, they likely didn't loose only to Apple - I'd bet other brands like Creative, Sony... are selling more MP3 players than SanDisk anyway.

Well, as SanDisk is number two and MS number three, it is unlikely that any of them is selling more.
post #14 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post

IMO the shuffle is the chink in Apple's armor. Apple does not currently offer a compelling low-cost iPod.

And what is this? http://store.apple.com/ca/browse/hom...en?mco=OTQwMjA
post #15 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

Apple never admitted they lost OS war, though it is obvious considering market shares. And this guy is silly - stating the obvious.

I'd watch this space a little longer before I declare it done and dusted.

The whole point of the iPod is the seamless connectivity with iTunes. If you haven't got that you may aswell be selling external hard drives. It would be better for the consumer if apple simply allowed other devices to sync with iTunes like the palm pre. Of course I understand that the don't because the iTunes store is designed entirely to drive hardware sales. I think lots more people would be upset about the exclusivity if the iPods weren't so great to use.
post #16 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

And what is this? http://store.apple.com/ca/browse/hom...en?mco=OTQwMjA


You missed where I said "compelling".

Remove the blinders, and then compare the 1GB 2nd gen Shuffle for $45 to the 4GB Sansa Clip for $51, and you'll see what I mean. Oh, and in case it wasn't obvious, the Clip supports (collective gasp) *playlists*! And you can see the song on its (collective gasp) *screen*.
post #17 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post

You missed where I said "compelling".

Remove the blinders, and then compare the 1GB 2nd gen Shuffle for $45 to the 4GB Sansa Clip for $51, and you'll see what I mean. Oh, and in case it wasn't obvious, the Clip supports (collective gasp) *playlists*! And you can see the song on its (collective gasp) *screen*.

Not that the screen and playlist functionality (never-mind the additional 2GB) isn't worth it but the 4GB clip is $80. You need to compare the 1GB Clip @ $40 or the 2GB Clip @ $60.
post #18 of 90
Too bad they don't have that automatic profit set up that MS has to fund the Zune. Oh well, Zune HD is coming soon and that little "HD" tag is whats going to take a ton of sales away from Apple. Nice marketing from MS with that little tag change.
post #19 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

Why would they? Apple never admitted they lost OS war, though it is obvious considering market shares.

Not have the most marketshare doesnt equate to losing. Its not like Apple and MS are competing in the same way for OS dominance. Apple has developed an OS solely to sell their higher-end PCs while MS is just selling an OS. Im surprised that Apple has as much OS marketshare as they do with their business model, but no one has lost. MS hasnt lost the PMP game just because the iPod has outsold the Zune, they are clearly still in it and their PMP has continually improved.


Quote:
Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post

You missed where I said compelling.

Your posted stated currently which elude to Apple having a player that was previously compelling. I thought the same thing as Abster2core did. Based on that Apple has never had a compelling competitor to Sandisk from your standpoint. Which is fine, the Sansa is a great little device for what it is.
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post #20 of 90
Well I'm sure glad Apple didn't give up when it became clear that the Windows PC would dominate the personal computer market. They kept on trying, kept on innovating, and kept on marketing. Their efforts have paid off in spades. I'm more proud and satisfied to be a Mac user than ever. The Microsoft juggernaut is slowly but surely slowing down and no longer firing on all cylinders. Even Uncle Fester is making up excuses these days.

SanDisk should not give up either.
post #21 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

Too bad they don't have that automatic profit set up that MS has to fund the Zune. Oh well, Zune HD is coming soon and that little "HD" tag is whats going to take a ton of sales away from Apple. Nice marketing from MS with that little tag change.

Yeah, right, uh huh. We'll see.
post #22 of 90
I have avoided looking at Sansa, since there is no claim of OS X compatibility?
post #23 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPedro View Post

Now what? They give up?

They may not get first place but SanDisk should continue selling their players although I think the new ZuneHD will be a formidable opponent to the iPod.

yes
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post #24 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post

IMO the shuffle is the chink in Apple's armor. Apple does not currently offer a compelling low-cost iPod.

Of course no vendor wants to be pigeon-holed in the low end of the market. But I'd take a $50 Sansa Clip with a screen over the new shuffle and its proprietary controls, even if the new shuffle were $10 cheaper.

take ?? don't you own the top selling sandisk player ???
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post #25 of 90
Sandisk is doing a great job. They dont have Apple's HW/SW intergation, or ecosystem. Nor do they have MS's monopoly. Nor do they have the brand name recognition of their competitors. Yet they still maintain a #2 position year after year, however small.
post #26 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

Too bad they don't have that automatic profit set up that MS has to fund the Zune. Oh well, Zune HD is coming soon and that little "HD" tag is whats going to take a ton of sales away from Apple. Nice marketing from MS with that little tag change.

I doubt they will take any sales from Apple. We shall see soon.
post #27 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Yeah, right, uh huh. We'll see.

We heard that before they released the original Zunes and now Microsoft has the Zune HD which will finish Apple. They also have Windows 7 coming to finish off Apple too.
post #28 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

Not that the screen and playlist functionality (never-mind the additional 2GB) isn't worth it but the 4GB clip is $80. You need to compare the 1GB Clip @ $40 or the 2GB Clip @ $60.


If I can buy the sansa clip for 51$ at Amazon, with free postage, how does that mean it costs 80$? ??

Thats in comparison to ~43$ for the 2gb and 33$ for the 1gb

Now if you are talking about the 8gb clip, that is 80$
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post #29 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

Why would they? Apple never admitted they lost OS war, though it is obvious considering market shares. And this guy is silly - stating the obvious. Plus, they likely didn't loose only to Apple - I'd bet other brands like Creative, Sony... are selling more MP3 players than SanDisk anyway.

For information purposes only, Apple DID admit they lost the OS war. Can't remember exactly when and where but I think it was somewhere around 97, when Jobs went back to Apple.
post #30 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuisDias View Post

For information purposes only, Apple DID admit they lost the OS war. Can't remember exactly when and where but I think it was somewhere around 97, when Jobs went back to Apple.

Perhaps Jobs did say something like that, but in business I cant see anyone as losing if they are still making a decent profit.
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post #31 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Perhaps Jobs did say something like that, but in business I can’t see anyone as losing if they are still making a decent profit.

Of course you wouldn't- being hooked up to your kool-aid drip. It's a Windows world- get over it. Mac is a niche market and makes a profit- so what? So is Ferrari.
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post #32 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post

You missed where I said "compelling".

Remove the blinders, and then compare the 1GB 2nd gen Shuffle for $45 to the 4GB Sansa Clip for $51, and you'll see what I mean. Oh, and in case it wasn't obvious, the Clip supports (collective gasp) *playlists*! And you can see the song on its (collective gasp) *screen*.

Since the shuffle sells like hotcakes, you apparently have a different definition of "compelling" than the majority of buyers.

The fact that an Apple product is not compelling to you is not a "chink in their armor."
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post #33 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Expat View Post

Agreed on the new Shuffle, but the 2nd gen was great, and they still have it. I'll take that as my work-out iPod any day.

Agreed - that new shuffle is a waste of any bother. Virgin Megastore was just closing in NYC and I snatched up another 2nd gen for $30. I passed on the current Nano for $119- 16 gb.
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post #34 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisNH View Post

The Sansa Clip is a wonderful little product, coming from someone who is now on his fifth iPod. Quite simply, the Sana Clip excels with audio books and the iPod doesn't. ...Plus, my Sansa Clip is tiny and features an FM tuner plus an audio recorder...neither of which are on my current iPod. There's a place for both devices, so Mr. SanDisk shouldn't get all doom-and-gloom here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djames42 View Post

I was just coming here to say I hope SanDisk stays in the game. The shuffle is a nice device, but for me, I much prefer my SanDisk clip. I paid about $25 for a 2gb version last year - that makes it about a third of the cost of the shuffle. ...

I too hope that Sandisk Sansa stays in the marketplace.

Years back I bought an iRock 830 so that I could have both mp3 and radio tuner in one device. Though since that only had 128MB memory (!), I had to be judicious about song selection. But it too had a display screen that let me see the song playing and coming up, and radio station tuned in. (even though small capacity, it could play music longer than I'd typically exercise at the gym...)

Those two features --display screen, and radio tuner-- are things that the Sansa Clip (and maybe others) have that iPod currently lacks. (I think the Sansa has a mic to record... not sure.)

Now I do like my iPod Shuffle (2nd gen, matchbook size and shape). But it'd be a really superior product if it could pack those several extra features into the diminutive --but not TOO diminutive (ala Shuffle 3rd)-- format. For me the ideal combo would be control buttons/wheel, display screen, radio tuner, mp3/aac/wma/audible (though I rarely use wma), mic record (though again, I'm not sure how much i'd use it), all in a package about the size of the Shuffle 2nd gen or a matchbook or maybe a tad larger.

For me, making the device ever smaller is just not a selling point.

Anyway, we already know that competition and choice options from several vendors is better than a single company with monopolistic control of a market segment.

(additional thought edit: the one icky part about the Sansa Clip is their docs say you have to use the [icky IMO] Windows Media Player to load music, but maybe some of the other media managers support it...)
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post #35 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Since the shuffle sells like hotcakes, you apparently have a different definition of "compelling" than the majority of buyers.

The fact that an Apple product is not compelling to you is not a "chink in their armor."

Hello? It was selling because it was only just released! What are the figures? Back up your claims. The current shuffle is the worst. It has received some of the worse reviews of any Apple product-EVER.
post #36 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Hello? It was selling because it was only just released! What are the figures? Back up your claims. The current shuffle is the worst. It has received some of the worse reviews of any Apple product-EVER.

Why do you always have to sound so negative and aggressive regarding just about most things?

Doesn't this frame of mind, and wearing such negativity and agressiveness on your sleeve, affect you in any way?
post #37 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Hello? It was selling because it was only just released! What are the figures? Back up your claims. The current shuffle is the worst. It has received some of the worse reviews of any Apple product-EVER.

Even worse than the Cube?
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post #38 of 90
SanDisk didn't have to be an also-ran. But most most of this half-asleep industry is full of them.

Apple continues to set standards . . . because they have them. Rigid ones. Challenging ones. Apple is absolutely maniacal when it comes to interface design and ease of use. No one else is like that. NO ONE. And that's why Apple actually has "fans", not just "users."
post #39 of 90
You all do realize this entire article consists of a single line actual news item, namely the quote. Everything else is AI "fleshing out" the story with background.

Much ado about nothing.
post #40 of 90
Sandisk did not create anything that is compelling visually that would attract a potential Apple user. Sandisk does make great products mechanically but they are nowhere near as
"desirable" nor they updated their products to keep up with the competition. Let's face it, Apple is almost impossible to beat - they are always one step ahead and know their buyers and know how to seduce the buyers to their products VERY WELL. I happen to own the Sandisk Clip and the new iPod Shuffle. The Sandisk Clip sounds MUCH better, has a bright screen and has a great FM tuner...the shuffle has none of this. The new Shuffle is 1/4 the size of the Clip, much lighter and all the controls are on the "cord." You can wear the shuffle and forget you are even wearing it. It wins on size and portability alone. The Sandisk Clip is much chunkier. When I want to use the FM tuner, I use the Clip. The Shuffle has too many design flaws that show up with regular use (I couldn't return it, passed the return period). If Sandisk would have streamlined the Clip and kept its excellent sound quality and features...it would have been a Shuffle killer!
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