The 14% iPod market share posting attracted thousands of Apple, Mac and iPod site readers to our site. You are all very welcome. Many left comments, most of those were understandably surprised, shocked, argumentative, some even resorted to the "you are an idiot" level of response.
UPDATE - I have posted two graphs on a short related blog that hopefully explains it very simply what has happened. Please look at those graphs at this link [Apple quarterly iPod sales and iPod vs musicphone sales]
We had over 3000 visitors mostly from only two addresses - Mac Surfer and Mac Addict. Our blog was featured at both with the link here. It is very nice to have all you stopping by, I do apologize if in my blog I hurt any of your feelings, as clearly those who are members of a website dedicated to Macs would easily feel passionate about Apple and iPods. To be very clear right from the start - we LOVE Apple. We LOVE the iPod. We think the iPod has been a brilliant strategy for Apple. And yes, any music experience on an iPod is far superior to any music experience on a musicphone.
That all being said, in my blog I pointed out that last year the tide has turned. Until 2004 Apple had the MP3 player market mostly to itself and boasted over 80% market share at Christmas 2004. Last year the big competitors like Nokia, Motorola and SonyEricsson jumped into the portable MP3 player game, and today Apple's market share does stand - on a global basis, not USA only - at 14%.
The facts are irrefutable. And not one of the 32 replies tries to deny the numbers I quoted straight from Apple's own quarterly reports and the various industry analysts etc. The arguments were more along the line that "music is better on an iPod than the toy-like musicphones" etc.
We received 32 replies as of late night on 20th July London time (likely more to come as the American West Coast got into their evening blogging activities - I will respond to those as well, so don't panic)
I usually reply to each respondent in the comments section, but now thought it best to put my comments out here as a new blog as there seems to be several clear lines of argument and these warrant their own responses.
There were 32 replies from the following people: Dean Bubley Piers Fawkes, Sandeep, BobAB, Bert C, Kevin Barbs, swissfondue, Bela Sopron, william (twice), Curious, Jiim Harner, Rus, D9, Barney F, Johnny Appleseed, David Gnotta, MacKeyser, Rue, UranIdiot, Adam, Jim, Riot Nrrrd, peyote, Tonio Loewald, Musictasty, Mike, Cameron, JPO, vego, Paul Jardine and Chap Harrison
I will reply to every comment here now. But let be start with three observations:
One - if you did not read my original blog, then I think it is unfair to comment on it. I will still reply to you, but honestly, please do go read the blog where your reply now sits as a comment.
Two - nobody provided any actual numbers or facts against my blog entry. While dozens were appalled at comparing musicphones to iPods or arguing that music was not listened to on musicphones, nobody said my numbers were off. Clearly 8 million iPods out of 58 million portable MP3 players sold worldwide in the April-June quarter of 2006, is 14%. If Apple tries to push its USA-only market share figure of 77%, I think that is quite shaky statistics. The numbers you have at this blogsite are all for global numbers as Alan and I regularly advise global companies on their strategies.
Third - Apple itself totally agrees with the premise of my blog. One of the commenters, Bert C, quotes Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer who in the official Apple conference call to investors on 19 July 2006 clearly states that he thinks over time phones will take over from iPods - as the phones improve - and also that Apple was preparing for that time with its own iPod phone. I ask that Mac fans take note of that guidance from the CFO of Apple - this is the inevitable future. We may disagree to when and what degree it will happen, but all experts agree it will happen - even Apple.
It is bewildering when one notices the world has suddenly changed. Musicphones as a mass market offering were only released three years ago in South Korea. Phone makers got serious about musicphones only last year 2005. This year 2006 is the first full year we will see full, real market competition in MP3 players between iPods, the other stand-alone MP3 players, and musicphones.
All of you reading this blogsite are actually among the "early" ones to discover that new world. Its so new that just a year ago few were even talking about it.
Yet there is no going back to a time when MP3 players were exclusively on stand-alone devices like the iPod. We are now witnessing a transformation. It is like the introduction of jet engines to airplanes. Propeller driven planes did not disappear even as the mass market jetliner market transformed to the jet age, even today there are many niche airplane makers who specialize in propeller driven aircraft.
Similarly the shift from the iPod to the musicphone is an ongoing process, will be prolonged, and will not "eliminate" the stand-alone iPod, of course not. We say so all along. Only that the iPod is becoming a niche offering, just like the Macintosh PC is a specialist niche PC. The transition from iPods to musicphones is like the transition from desktop PCs to laptops. Like the transition from old box-style (cathode ray tube) TV sets to new flat screen TV sets.
You don't need to take my word for it. I recognize Bill Gates is a red flag for many Mac owners, but just this May Gates said mp3 playing phones will kill iPods. I mention the Gates comment not to anger Mac website visitors, but rather to point out the date. Bill said it on May 12 in Frankfurt, this year.
The world is coming to the same view. I urge those passionate about Macs, Apple and iPods, to take a deep breath, clear your minds, remember that Apple itself says musicpohones are the future - and then read the original posting.
WE LOVE APPLE. The iPod was a brave move five years ago, and the iPod has totally re-energized and revitalized the Apple brand, not to mention making Apple totally credible into moving into the media space. The iPod is profitable (LG the fifth-largest phone maker just released numbers complaining about the lack of profits in the mobile phone business) and most of all, the appeal of the iPod has brought up the profitability of Macintosh computers.
We are not idiots here at Communities Dominate Brands. We did select the iPod and iTunes as our case study in our book on how to create a new market space.
But we are also realists here at this blogsite. As Apple itself admits the future of MP3s is going to mobile phones, and Oppenheimer himself specifically talked about the SonyEricsson Walkman phones - saying in his opinion the Walkman phone was not yet as good as an iPod - we here at this blogsite then provide you the reader with the big picture.
So you hear Bill Gates and Peter Oppenheimer tell that the future battle is between phones and iPods. In fact out of the 32 replies from what is best described as "Mac Fanatics", five fully accepted that musicphones are the future.
But if you want to understand that future, there are almost no sources yet giving you the real big picture numbers. I track this industry and I've seen only three analysts so far (out of over 4000) to give numbers on that inevitable future market that includes both MP3 players and phones - Yankee Group, Strategy Analytics and IMS Research - and all of these within the last two months only. It is a new world we discuss, and for most visitors its the first time they learn that the iPod is not in fact the world's predominant portable MP3 player. It is quite a shock.
We don't mean to give Bill Gates's view - he is clearly biased against the Mac - which is why I did not quote him in the original blog. But also we did not report Oppenheimer's view as he is clearly baised in favour of Apple and the iPod. We reported the first published top management views from EACH of the four global music publishers - these are the honest independents who have no axe to grind - Warner, EMI, Sony BMG and Universal. Those four experts all say (that in the long run) music will be consumed on phones, not on iPods. I have their verbatim quotes in the original blog. I bolded their company names out so you can easily find that section. I urge you to read what the music industry says, expressly on the point of standalone vs mobile phone MP3 players. Then please re-consider. I recognize my view is controversial, but it is no longer presented in a vacuum. Now the music industry itself has arrived at this view. Why are they NOT saying iPod will rule over mobile phones. Not one music industry top exec has come out saying that this year.
So onto the comments. I will deal with each:
You are an idiot
First there are the "you are idiots" comments. Thank you Rus, UranIdiot, Adam and Riot Nrrrd. Thank you. You are entitled to your opinion.
Is badly written
Rus complains the blog is badly written. I apologize. But its a blog, not meant to be high prose or poetry. I do have a day job, ha-ha, so this is, like most blogs, a hobby for me (and for Alan Moore) and a way to keep in touch with our readership.
Agree with us, celebrate Apple success
There were several comments who only pointed out Apple excellent quarterly data such as its total sales numbers, profits, press reviews and stock price performance. Piers Fawkes, BobAB, william, Mike and Chap Harrison all posted about this. We agree totally, Apple's corporate results this quarter were excellent. This is not a financial analysis blogsite and we don't make any stock recommendations, so it seems quite beside the point. But these are totally non-responsive to the point that iPod market share has declined dramatically. We fully admit iPods are profitable and Macintosh sales are up and Apple profits (and share price) are up. Thank you for the comments.
Agree with us on phones to dominate, disagree on timing
Several who commented did accept that over time musicphones would be a significant part of the MP3 player market, but argued the timing is not now. Dean Bubley, Kevin Barbs, william, MacKeyser and Cameron all agreed (to some degree or another) that musicphones would/could become a rival, but not yet. Two further commenters and MacKeyser mentioned Apple's initiatives towards the iPod phone, so these comments would relate also to understanding the convergence device is coming. I think MacKeyser's comment is typical of this set when he said "Is there crossover? Sure, and you make some valid points on where that convergence is headed"
To this point, I ask all to revisit this blog from time to time and see how the numbers play out. You all "get it" already, but you doubt my numbers so far. Let see how the various other industry experts start to report this story. Remember its totally new, last year nobody had numbers on it yet. You are on the cutting edge of understanding this transition.
Agree with us that iPod is better than musicphone
We made it perfectly clear that iPods are better at music playing than phones. We totally granted this argument in plain simple words in the original blog entry (and previous ones on this theme). Still three of the people with comments made this point to agree with us - Johnny Appleseed, Musictasty and Paul Jardine. Like we said in the blog, its irrelevant if music is better on an iPod. What is good enough is the point. The Mac has always been the best PC yet it has never dominated the PC market.
Mistaken reading of the blog
Two replies reflected mistaken reading of the blog itself. These are luckily easy to reply to and "correct". Sandeep commented (accurately) on phone vs digital camera, but then he suggested we'd talked about phones vs hand held gaming consoles. I never mentioned hand held gaming consoles, or videogaming consoles in general
And Jim compared my statement that in the "first quarter of 2006...[Apple had a] catastrophic earth-shattering crash of 40% drop in sales." Note that the brackets are Jim's. Of course I talked specifically about iPod, not Apple overall sales. Then Jim quotes Business Week's analysis of the the Apple quarterly results. Jim mistakenly looked at my clearly labeled FIRST quarter 40% drop - which is in no doubt whatsoever, Apple's own Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook on April 19, 2006 at the Apple quarterly conference call to investors explicitly talked about this 40% drop in iPod sales from the Christmas quarter. So Jim's quote from Business Week July 20 reflects this just-ended SECOND quarter, when iPod sales are down a further 5%. I'm sorry Jim you accidentially looked at the wrong quarterly data. Business Week was quoting on the latest quarter, my 40% comment was on the previous quarter.
Related argument - Apple will rebound next quarter.
One comment, by Peyote, took the view that Apple will rebound. From one quarter I could give it the benefit of the doubt, but after 17 straight quarters on sequential quarter-on-quarter growth when there was no strong competition, and now with five strong competitors, Apple reports two straight quarters of sequential decline, its looking awefully bad to believe in a "seasonal" return for the iPod. Peyote. I promise to report it here if Apple's iPod sales do rebound. Its just looking awefully bad.
Whole market is down
So then we get into the actual arguments. D9 tried to justify iPod's two straight drops of sales as it being part of the whole industry downturn. D9 wrote "if you measure the MP3 sales figures for the 4th Q of 2005 vs. 1st Q of 2006, you'd see that the entire market was down in comparison" That would be a valid concern. Except that in the same time each of the big phone makers reported record GROWTH in their MP3 playing musicphone sales. SonyEricsson doubled Walkman phone sales from last quarter 2005 to first quarter 2006. Nokia and Motorola both report huge increased demand for their musicphones for first quarter 2006. The actual real market did grow. In a growing market iPod sales shrunk. While keeping Apple fans happy with top-end devices, Apple is losing the big war for the mass market. Just like the Apple 2 for desktop computers in 1984 or the Macintosh for what we now ironically call windows computers (Macs had "windows" for five years before Microsoft) in 1993.
Outdated data - 4GB musicphones are reality today
Only one comment came around the storage arguing phones can't match iPods, from MacKeyser, "I have 4 GIGABYTES for audio". Obviously the iPod shuffle brings the iPod range's storage down to 1GB. But already early last year 4 GB musicphones appeared (first by Samsung, whose top model today stores 6 GB of music). The Nokia N91 has 4 GB of internal storage, and top-end musicphones accept removable storage which is now shipping at 2 GB of storage. There was a day when iPods had a huge advantage due to the storage ability. With Shuffles and Nanos that advantage does not exist and with top end iPods the lead is diminishing.
Phones are for calls/texts, not music
Several argued that phones are used (or should be used) for its primary use, calls (and text messages). That music is not a natural thing to do with a phone. Riot Nrrrd, Cameron, Paul Jardine made this point and Kevin Barbs also eluded to it. As Cameron put it "people are not buying phones BECAUSE they play music ... they buy phone because they are phones. Music is just an extra," First - this does not dispute the market share point of the overall argument. The REASON why people are buying a portable MP3 player does not eliminate the fact that they are buying them.
But this argument had me thinking. Follow me on this... So if today I want a music player. In the store I see an iPod for discounted to 189 dollars. Then I visit my cellphone carrier's store, and spot the brand new SonyEricsson Walkman phone. And I find out that in September when my cellphone contract comes up for renewal, I can "upgrade" to the new Walkman NW-A1000 with 6GB of music storage. And that phone will cost me 25 dollars with the annual contract to my cellphone provider. It becomes a "no contest".
I think you three are further proving my point. Thank you.
People don't listen to music on phones
This I think is a very relevant observation. Like swissfondue said he has a radio in his car but only listens to his CD collection. Riot Nrrrd also argued this point and Johnny Appleseed puts me to task saying, "Your article conveniently avoids the question of how many owners of music phones actually use them to listen to music"
Actually I did do that very thing in the original posting. I quoted the findings from the first global study that compared music listening habits on phones and on iPods and this global study of 6.800 users said clearly that twice as many people already listen to music on phones as on iPods. We reported on that study at this related story in March of this year:
Music bought via iTunes
Two comments, by swissfondue and Johnny Appleseed, repeated Apple numbers on USA sales of online music and iTunes market share in the USA. Yes, we have no problem with that number being 80% - in America. But there is a much larger world outside America, and the RIAA reports its numbers to the IFPI which gives the global numbers. I quoted the IFPI numbers. Rest assured the Apple numbers are fully accounted in the IFPI numbers. Globally the tide turned this Spring, when the IFPI reported that half of all music sold online was to mobile phones (up from 40% at end of 2005). As we've often reported at this blogsite the two leading countries for music consumption on cellphones are South Korea and Japan. In South Korea today 45% of ALL music - not just online music - is sold directly to mobile phones.
USA market vs world market
Two comments were specific to the point of the USA market being perhaps different from the world, by william and Johnny Appleseed. william wrote "Perhaps things are different overseas, what a blow for Apple not to control the whole world"
I will happily grant this argument to this degree - iPod's market share in America is highest it is in any country; and iPod will retain its strongest position in contrast to cellphones, in the USA. That is fine. Out of the total world's population only 5% live in the USA and they produce only 20% of the total world GDP. I would be doing a horrible disservice to our global readership if I only focused on America. Equally, as Apple regularly reports on its international sales, even Apple needs its international markets, else the prices of your Macs and iPods in America would be higher. Its a global economy william and Johnny Appleseed.
I don't use the MP3 player on my phone
Many resorted to the argument that "because I don't do it, others won't do it too". Sandeep, william, Jiim Harner, vego, and JPO wrote on this, and JPO's comment is typical at "I recently bought a motorola phone that has the ability to play mp3 and take pictures (it's not the iPod phones). YAWN. Never have taken a picture with the phone, and I have no desire to play music on the thing". This is a very typical human response to change. Because you don't like something new (yet), you assume all are like you and nobody likes it.
I think Mac fans will feel a particular pain in the eternal struggle to try to convince the world that Macs are better. After all the huffing and puffing for 20 years, the mass market has not moved. We have different needs. That your PERSONAL need is not like what I report, does not invalidate what I report. Note that I supported my facts with the world's first global study of phone vs iPod use - and yes, that study included the USA in it - and found that there are twice as many people like the ones I report on, as there are people like you. And that study was done before the sexy new Nokia N91's and Walkman phones and Razr V3i's etc.
But I think we'll find common ground. I said from the first blog back in September of 2005, that the iPod is not going to disappear. There will be many like you, who love their iPods and will insist of course on a device that is that good. There is nothing wrong with that. Some people demand excellence. But the world's best cars are not the world's best-selling cars. Unfortunately the mass market does not demand such high level of quality and is clearly willing to accept lesser MP3 players that are integrated into their phones. So yes, there are people like you, only they are in the minority, not the majority. For every iPod sold this year, six people bought musicphones.
Battery life dictates phone unusable as MP3 player
An interesting argument came from Riot Nrrrd and Cameron, who said that phones are poor as music players because of draining battery life - hurting the phone's primary function, calls (and messaging), as Riot Nrrd writes "no one wants to chew up their battery life playing MP3's when they need it to make phone calls". This is a good argument. It of course falls into the "my technology is better than yours" argument, which I have long ago granted to the iPod, that it is better. But I think this argument deserves more. The argument suggests that to use an MP3 player on a phone, will actually damage the phone's primary functionality to us.
Partly this will help "stem the tide" in favour of the iPod. And it is something that many first-time musicphone buyers will not think of, until they have used the music player and discover how quickly it does drain the battery. You listen to songs on the plane and then upon landing when you'd want to call, the phone battery dies.
Will it save the market for the iPod. No, I don't think so. I think we all know batteries are constantly improved, but equally we all see from our laptops and cellphones, that no matter how much batteries improve, the manufacturers cram ever more power-hungry features to again drain those. Perhaps the big winner out of this is the battery suppliers to the Nokias and Motorolas (and when Apple releases its iPod phone). As the phone battery is recharged on a daily basis to cover for the music consumption, the batteries will not last the expected lifespan and thus the replacement battery market will grow?
We'll have to monitor developments on that.
But phone can't do this like iPod and Nike
BobAB replied asking if phones can do what Nike and the iPod now do in collaboration. He provided a link to the Time article about it.
Let me reply with "of course" except that phones can do way much more than what Apple can hope for. Simply because phones have so much more connectivity already built in. But on the specific sporting applications with Nike, I think BobAB will be surprised to learn about the Nokia 5500 Sportsphone. The rugged design is somewhat waterproof (splatterproof more likely) includes the measurements of all relevant sporting data like speed and distance, steps taken (in jogging) calories burned, etc. With a built in FM radio, MP3 player and flashlight, it also includes text-to-speech conversion so you can listen to incoming text messages and not interrupt your jogging or whatever sporting activity you are doing.
Years ago they released the first sporting phones to help for example competitive cyclists train etc. Phones are used by the biggest sporting event in Sweden Vasaloppet (imagine the Boston Marathon but on skis) - and all participants get real time performance data via their cellphones. Yes, Nike + iPod? for phones its "been there, done that". Years ago.
Digital Cameras did not die
Five felt I'd gone too far with the digital cameras analogy. Sandeep, william, Riot Nrrrd, Peyote and Cameron all argued the cameras argument. william did quite a complete response, direct current quotes from camera giants Nikon and Canon, both quoting their SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera divisions with big growth in the latest quarter. william me to reconsider "If you aren't feeling too stupid yet, tell us how that has affected the market for standalone cameras"
This is a classic case of crying after spilled milk. This train has left the station two years ago. william quotes Canon and Nikon with 30% increases in their top-end camera sales for the quarter. I did point out in my original blog, that this same quarter the two biggest rivals to Canon and Nikon - Konica and Minolta - who have merged - announced this January that they are quitting the camera business altogether.
Game over. Two of the four are already dead. Why are Canon and Nikon only reporting 30% and 20% growth? If there was any strong market for cameras, they would pick up all of Minolta-Konica's customers (and be up at least 50%). When two of the world's largest manufacturers of the industry totally quit, thats a pretty strong sign that the time for that technology is over. Cameraphones today offer 5 Megapixel resolutions, 3x optical zooms, 20x digital zooms, built-in flashes etc. Its not ever going to replace the professional digital camera - the wedding photographer will not show up with a Motorola - but this is a point the camera industry admitted in 2004 - they lost the battle.
iPod phone supports our premise
Then Bert C, Bela Sopron and MacKeyser mentioned that there are strong rumours of an iPod phone. Bert C quoted Apples' CFO Peter Oppenheimer saying expressly on the future iPod phone at the 19 July conference call: "we are not sitting around doing nothing." Obviously if am iPod musicphone is a good idea, then there is no reason to dismiss the Apple rivals from pursuing that idea. And then, definitely, it becomes very relevant to measure the total market. If Apple already suggests it will move into this converging area, we need to understand it. So at least on the premise of the blog, that musicphones and iPods need to be examined as one market, here we find agreement (also with Apple management obviously)
Accept multipurpose on phone but reject music
Two comments had interesting viewpoints. JPO and Riot Nrrd both accepted that the phone had grown to have new features. JPO mentions, "The new phones that integrate email/computer with phone are pretty cool." while Riot Nrrd accepts phones are used for text messaging in additon to the oringial concept of voice calls. but then both refuse to accept music on the phone. I think these two are half way along to accepting the premise, but need a bit more time to come to it. Like I said before, 45% of all music in South Korea is sold directly to musicphones. Just like text messaging was something initially rejected but soon spread to everybody, I am convinced music will see the same.
I want two devices
One comment by Jiim Harner said he prefers his segregated devices. That is fine. There will always be some like that. We never said iPods will disapper, only that the mass market is the musicphone.
Interrupt incoming calls, transfer calls
Mike commented that incoming calls, messages would interrupt music. Yes, that is true. But if you listened on your iPod and your phone rang, you'd need to pause your iPod as well? It makes no difference is the iPod interrupted or the musicphone interrupted. Calls would interrupt in either case.
Mike also said phones would have hassles of transferring music to the next phone. Yes, this is true. And in South Korea for example on the Melon music service on SK Telecom, you pay a subscription to own all the music you have. The carrier ensures all of your music migrates with you into all subsequent phones as long as you stay as their customer.
Future belongs to removable storage
Tonio Loewald provided a very interesting view to the battle of the MP3 players. That the future belongs to the removable storage device. "The best data storage/transfer device is use-agnostic. Who wants to load their music collection onto a cellphone if it will be stuck there when, inevitably, the cellphone is obsolete in a year? Tiny, unpowered 2G+ storage devices which can plug into anything, store anything, and be used for anything, will devour all of these transient technologies". And Tonio obviously argues that because of this a "winner" in iPod vs musicphone is irrelevant. A very compelling argument. I would say its time is yet to come. Perhaps a concept for a couple of years into the future (as a mass market proposition, remember.)
Food for thought
Paul Jardine left us with another thought-provoking idea asking, "How many of the 8.1 million that bought iPods last quarter already have MP3 capable phones? I suspect it's not a single digit percentage..."
First, I don't think its a single-digit percentage, because some of the people who have MP3 player phones will want a BETTER MP3 player - of course and iPod. Others who bought iPods last quarter are existing iPod users - some of whom are now getting MP3 players for any range of reasons. So they are already loyal iPod users. Whether they put some of their music on the phone or not, these customers who bought iPods wanted another iPod experience. And some do use both. Prefer to use the iPod when they can, and put some tracks onto the musicphone for when the iPod happens not to be around.
Wants market share breakdowns for the fun of it
One person, Curious, asked for many more splits in markets for nine categories, just for the fun of it. I have spent a very long night responding to all the comments relating to our topic (iPod market share is only 14% of all portable MP3 players) so I feel this request is quite unreasonable.
But let me offer the first item you asked Curious. You wanted split of digital cameras vs cameraphones. Note that I've stopped tracking this stat since the cameraphones won years ago, but the last numbers I've collected come from global IT industry analysts Strategy Analytics, for the year 2004. They reported on 15 April 2005 that globally 68 million digital cameras were sold, and 257 million cameraphones. Exact market share for stand-alone digital cameras by 2004 had fallen to 20.9 percent. You can find the story in the International Herald Tribune. Satisfied? We report these kinds of statistics at this blogsite regularly, across all of the media, IT and telecoms industries that are now converging. We just discussed your wristwatch issue - with stats - earlier this week.
As to "creative market-share numerology" - Curious, I report all numbers with full sources. The numbers I used for Apple iPod sales were Apple's own. Not one of the 32 comments refuted the numbers that Apple's iPod shipments dropped from 14.1 million to 8.5 million to 8.1 million and Apple's execs openly admit the first drop was 40% sequential decline (Tim Cook Apple COO 19 April 2006), and the second was 6% sequential decline in iPod quarterly sales (Peter Oppenheimer Apple CFO 19 July 2006).
Is Anti Apple
Finally many hinted at it, but one actually voiced it, Rus, that we're anti-apple, "a complete (and obvious) bias and hatred for the Apple platform."
I beg to differ. I clearly applauded Apple for this quarter's performance including the role of iPod's contribution to Apple. I wrote "We need to point out that iPod sales numbers of 8.1 million in a quarter are wonderfully good results within the IT industry accessories and gadgets market" and again "even with its market share crashing, for Apple the iPod is a huge success, even in 2006" and so on and so on.
Rus, it is totally possible to be happy for one aspect - Apple's overall success - and yet express concern for another - Apple's dramatically dropping market share in one of its products. What Apple execs themselves admit - is that musicplayers are emerging as their competitors. What Apple also admit is that they are planning their own iPod phone.
But the market does not yet have the big picture. That is what I am providing here, at this blog. Last year nobody reported on the market share splits of MP3 players and musicphones., This year they will be doing it. As of now, you can get early numbers from us, here at this blogsite. Apple will be reporting the same numbers as well, very soon. Already now their own investors are asking for this breakdown.
There are many who acknowledge that in the long run musicphones will be viable rivals to the iPod. That in fact Apple is designing a strategy to launch an iPod phone. The underlying premise finds a lot of support. The actual current state of musicphones is very alien to those who commented. As most of them tend to be from America, it is to be expected. By accident of timing, the iPod is best selling in North America, and cellphones (including musicphones) are least advanced in America. So what is quite common in Asia or Europe with more advanced cellphones, cellular networks, and wireless carriers, may still seem like impossible for many Americans.
So please bear in mind that the FACT of the drop in sales in iPods from 14.1 million to 8.5 million to 8.1 million comes from Apple numbers, and the 40% drop have been confirmed by Apple COO on April 19 and the further 6% drop confirmed by Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer.
Apple itself admits musicphones already today are a rival (Peter Oppenheimer correctly points out that the iPod is BETTER than the Walkman phone, as an MP3 player). And Apple does already plan to launch its own musicphone.
Are we the "weirdos" to grasp this sudden change in the industry, and to offer the first analysis of this new market which Apple itself is stated to want to enter?
UPDATE - I have replied the second set of about 20 replies each individually by name, now into the actual comments section of the original posting. I will next reply to all comments at this entry, but also within the comments section. We do want to let everybody have their say here at this blogsite - including the "you are idiots" comments. And we also want to be responsive to all. It does go to the very heart of the topic of this blogsite and our book, that Communities Dominate. We want to engage with you.
Most of all we hope to stir up new thoughts. And for all the loyal Apple, Macintosh and iPod fans who visited our site, I hope we've provided some food for thought. And to Chap Harrison - I do apologize. Once I read your comment, I too wished my post had been a parody. Thank you for writing.