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July 30, 2005
While there's no denying that the iPod is the MP3 player of choice, it has yet to be seen if it really can branch out far enough functionally to be a continued "growth product" for Apple. Saturation is no doubt setting in, faster and stronger than it did for the personal computer market. We note today that HP is dropping the iPod from it's product line, because "it doesn't fit in with the new HP strategy." That strategy, of course, is to make money.
The HP iPod has been around since last August. Resold by HP from Apple, the one factor differentiating the HP from Apple iPod were the "Tattoos," exclusive to their model. Based on expensive paper/adhesive templates you could only buy for HP, it was expected that that crazy youth market would be all gaga over the idea of continually changing the visuals on their mp3 player. The idea of turning the product into a "continued revenue stream" product similar to printer cartridges no doubt resonated with the typically greedy and out-of-touch-with-reality-boards-of-directors. Instead it again brought forth a more pertinent maxim: expensive features, poorly implemented, that nobody really wants are a sure-fire road to looking stupid in the market. How's that vacation going Carly?
Of course Apple is floundering here as well. The big feature in the last revision of the iPod is the ability to look at a postage stamp sized image of your CD cover when you check out details on a song. YAWN! We'll see how things go when they finally bring out the rumored (rumors are always true kiddies) Video iPod - no doubt this will be marketed as ViP. Us, we think the PSP is the portable video platform of choice these days, and for a while to come. However, the only thing holding back the Portable Media Center from taking that crown is price.
Finally, we have to giggle when we see that the "Limited Edition U2 iPod" is still on the shelves almost a year after introduction. Guess Bono bought enough for his friends and there aren't enough U2 fans with a lack of style when it comes to color. Black and Red was always an interesting choice here, we coined the phrase "3rd Degree Burn Color Scheme" seconds after seeing the first one...
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