Countdown to the iPod Backlash

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
As with anything that's distinctive and reaches a pinnacle of popularity, the end does come....



Usually, as it becomes more ubiquitous, the "cool" crowd starts to reject it...resent it...



When you think about it, when everyone has white earbuds, it starts to represent conformity....



How long do you see this lasting?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    tb6387tb6387 Posts: 59member
    I've often wondered the same thing.



    For instance last year when I got my 3G iPod, I was the only one I knew that had one and everyone was amazed at it. Now this year for Christmas, it seemed like everyone I know has one and they just don't seem to be as cool.



    Depsite the overwhelming amount of people with iPods, I can say that I will continue to buy iPods, not because of the "cool" factor but because of the fact that they are so well designed that I can't imagine someone else making something that would create a similar device with the simplicity and beauty that Apple did.



    To answer your question, I think that the popularity may fall when people realize that its not as cool to have an iPod as it once was but I do not think that it will be that drastic.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    ibook911ibook911 Posts: 607member
    Maybe the iPod name will be something like Sony and Walkman. Even if it isn't always great, or cool, it never really goes away or becomes forgotten...



    Most of my family still does not understand what an iPod is. Go figure.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    Yeah, it seems like cooling down period is inevitable even considering the fact that the iPod will change and evolve along with styles and people's interests. I just don't see it completely coming to an end, though.



    The thing going for it (and all players) is that as ubiquitous as it might become the music is still so individual. 10 people on a subway car might have iPods but one's listening to classical, somebody else is playing hits from the year she graduated high school, another has the latest from a local indie group. I wonder what most people think when they see the white earbuds....do they say "that guy's cool cuz he has the latest hip gadget" or do they think "that guy's lucky because he can listen to whatever he wants whenever he wants it?" If it's all about the gadget then yeah, there's gonna be some disappointing sales not too far in the future. But I think enough people admire it for the music factor to keep it going for a long while.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    I don't think a backlash is inevitable, or even likely. It's more likely that they'll go from being trendsetting to being assumed. The iPod does a great job of fulfilling a need that's much older than it is. Generally, you only see a big retrenchment for things that are only useful to a subset of the people who bought them because they were "cool" (see: Palm).



    The only thing that could dethrone the iPod is something that does the same thing, only better (or as well, but it's hipper). I don't see anything like that around, although I suppose it's worth keeping an eye on Sony now that they have a clue.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    Yeah, I think the iPod has reached "Walkman" status in that it's the norm for the industry. What Apple has to be careful of is that they keep evolving and meeting people's needs/wants with the iPod. If people really start scooping up the PSP and there becomes a market for a "does everything" device, then Apple's going to need to migrate the iPod that direction. Really, they already have with the iPod photo.



    Probably the most likely thing is you'll see is the white earphones go away. People might still buy iPods, but decide that now they want their music to sound even better, whether that's with different earbuds, regular headphones, etc.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    the cool gutthe cool gut Posts: 1,714member
    I think that the click wheel is so unique and easy to use (patented as well) that it should have legs for some time.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    chris cuillachris cuilla Posts: 4,825member
    I think Amorph is correct. The "backlash" theory" generally assumes that people are buying ONLY because it is hip/cool (Pet Rocks, etc.) I suspect people are buying because they just like it better than any other player out there. The pricing is als very reasonable...and in some cases downright better than the competition. Apple is playign its cards right on this one.



    Finally, Amorph...as much as I like Sony...I am still not certain they have a clue yet.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,145member
    My thoughts on this are that yes the "backlash" is inevitable but it's up to Apple to control how severe that backlash is. The "backlash" theory though is sound...ever found that great unknown band only to watch them become megastars. Kinda lessens the "hey check out this new group" appeal.



    Apple needs to continue to create an iPod ecosystem. Foster partnerships and create new products that we didn't know we wanted but after using them cannot live without.



    iPods are nice and portable but I'd love to see a more permanent fixture for automobiles. I'd love to see Apple create a iPod capable device for cars that can be sold right in the dealership and covered by manf warranty.



    I'd like to see a home player with the same ease of use that we come to expect. Yesterday with a get together of 4 people...I was the only one that didn't have an iPod. The sales are testament to the very real sales of this product.



    The only way if can fall off is if it stagnates.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chris Cuilla

    Finally, Amorph...as much as I like Sony...I am still not certain they have a clue yet.



    I was referring to the one clue they have gotten, which is that their insisting on a 100% proprietary solution (Memory Dick, DRM, etc.) was killing them.



    They seem to be figuring out that software is important, too. That would be clue #2.



    I don't know whether that's enough. But if they do stick with MP3 and/or AAC as file formats and catch their software up to their hardware designs, they could offer some pretty compelling alternatives.



    I'm kind of hoping they will, just because it depresses me to think that Apple is the only CE company can get it together. Ive has, what, 100 employees under him? There simply have to be more than 100 talented ID guys on Earth. So the problem is one of corporate culture, not talent, and it looks like Sony is beginning to come around to realize that their culture is killing them.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    chris cuillachris cuilla Posts: 4,825member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Amorph

    I was referring to the one clue they have gotten, which is that their insisting on a 100% proprietary solution (Memory Dick, DRM, etc.) was killing them.



    They seem to be figuring out that software is important, too. That would be clue #2.



    I don't know whether that's enough. But if they do stick with MP3 and/or AAC as file formats and catch their software up to their hardware designs, they could offer some pretty compelling alternatives.



    I'm kind of hoping they will, just because it depresses me to think that Apple is the only CE company can get it together. Ive has, what, 100 employees under him? There simply have to be more than 100 talented ID guys on Earth. So the problem is one of corporate culture, not talent, and it looks like Sony is beginning to come around to realize that their culture is killing them.




    Fair enough. Good points.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    kishankishan Posts: 732member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Amorph

    I was referring to the one clue they have gotten, which is that their insisting on a 100% proprietary solution (Memory Dick, DRM, etc.) was killing them.



    They seem to be figuring out that software is important, too. That would be clue #2.



    I don't know whether that's enough. But if they do stick with MP3 and/or AAC as file formats and catch their software up to their hardware designs, they could offer some pretty compelling alternatives.



    I'm kind of hoping they will, just because it depresses me to think that Apple is the only CE company can get it together. Ive has, what, 100 employees under him? There simply have to be more than 100 talented ID guys on Earth. So the problem is one of corporate culture, not talent, and it looks like Sony is beginning to come around to realize that their culture is killing them.




    All great points. It is my hope that a genuine competitor to the iPod does emerge. With strong competition, Apple will be forced to continue the innovation. I don't mean to imply that it would otherwise stop, only that it is not always a bad thing to have someone closely nipping at your proverbial heels.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    the cool gutthe cool gut Posts: 1,714member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Amorph

    I don't know whether that's enough. But if they do stick with MP3 and/or AAC as file formats and catch their software up to their hardware designs, they could offer some pretty compelling alternatives.



    Don't hold your breath. The iPod isn't really an overnight success, Apple has been aiming for hardware and software bliss for ever, and this comes on the heels of a LOT of great products that never got their footing due to timing/pricing or whatever.



    Apple has been working incredibly hard for years now, and they are just beginning to bare fruit. I don't think you can just throw a bunch of talented designers together, and come out with a great product just like that. It is going to take Sony YEARS to get their software and hardware acts together.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chris Cuilla

    The "backlash" theory" generally assumes that people are buying ONLY because it is hip/cool (Pet Rocks, etc.) I suspect people are buying because they just like it better than any other player out there.



    I have to disagree. I really do think people have been buying them because it's the cool thing to do. Heck, when 50 Cent and other celebrities stick iPods in their music videos and promote them all over the place, it's the cool thing to do, right?



    That said, I think people will CONTINUE buying them because they just like it better than anything else out there. By the time people buy their second iPod, it'll be comfortable. They know it. It works well for them. It's going to be easy to make everything work with all the music they already have on iTunes, etc.



    Come for the coolness, stay for the quality.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    I personally don't see a backlash for the iPod in the sense of people just not buying them because something else is cooler. I do see a slow-down in the market though as Apple continues to sell them as fast as they can make them. Happens with everything that saturates the market. My roommate has an iRiver and he keeps making the argument that it's better than my 20GB G4 iPod because it "plays videos, has color, and was cheaper by 20 bucks." Whooptie freakin' doo ... I find it humorous that people are lulled into beleiving they NEED color, they NEED FM trnasmitters, they NEED video playback. When Apple came out, it was a completely innovative thing to have a hard drive in your pocket for no other reason than to play music.



    However, as with anything innovative, people will find a way to use it, make it cheaper and throw in crap to satisfy everyone at the price of quality. Not only is the iPod sleek in design, it has a pretty idiot-proof interface. Then everyone freaked because Apple made you have iTunes ... what an evil idea ... a company making you use their own software with their hardware.



    The backlash is out there, but usually from people that are looking for an excuse to avoid Apple. I agree that iPod sales will slow down, but Apple will not stop innovating. As suggested earlier, I DO see a future with buil-in options for iPod docks in cars ... BMW has already done that.



    I see Apple taking the iPod as high they can. I'll still keep buying them ... I just haven't seen anything that competes. I'd rather pay 20 extra bucks for something I know will work and have great design and innovation behind it, than to load myself up with needless crap and lower quality music. Ought to be an interesting year in the hard-drive music player arena...
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