Apple revolutionized personal music with the iPod. It’s been wildly successful for ten years. Models have include the classic iPod, as well as the 2G and 3G updates. In addition, Apple has enjoyed robust sales for the iPod Shuffle, the iPod Nano and the iPod Touch.
King of the Hill
Over the years, the iPod has consistently laid waste to a slew of competitions (including Sony’s Walkman, the Zune and iRiver). But now the iPod is facing a competitive challenge that even it can’t beat: the rest of Apple’s technology—especially the iPhone and iPad, which have effectively stolen iPod’s thunder after a decade of defining the marketplace.
Even though the iPod has traditionally claimed as much as 90 percent of the portable music player market, there’s no getting around the fact that recent sales are noticeably down, to the tune of a 20-percent decline in third-quarter iPod sales from the year before - and only 8 percent of Apple’s fourth-quarter 2010 revenue came from its iPod line.
Apple is now more aggressively pushing the iPhone and iPad. Apple hopes to convert iPod users into iPhone owners. Using a smartphone to access their music, which will be stored on the iCloud. And the sales figures indicate that many if not most of those users are already moving from iPod to iPhone or iPad.
No News is Bad News?
Over the years, Apple has followed a set strategy of announcing and releasing new products. These announcements have typically followed a pattern wherein the latest iPad model is announced in spring, new iPhone models are unveiled in summer, and iPod updates are presented in the fall. Apple has issued its press invitations for Tuesday’s October 4th press event, and none of Apple’s materials referenced the iPod, or any new iPod models. The device has also been overlooked by Apple for a few years now.
The Galaxy of Competition
As if the iPod didn’t have enough to worry about with fears of its impending extinction, now it’s facing yet another industry challenge, this time from the Samsung Galaxy. WHich is available in two versions, starting October 16th. Both the Galaxy Player 4.0 ($229) and Galaxy Player 5.0 ($269) will connect online through their Wi-Fi connections, are equipped with back-mounted 3.2-megapixel cameras as well as (front-mounted) VGA cameras to enable video chat functions, and take advantage of Google’s Android Gingerbread mobile OS.
The models differ primarily in screen size, offering either a 4-inch or 5-inch screen, both of which are larger than the iPod Touch’s 3.5-inch screen. Each model has 8 GB of memory, as well as an SD-card slot that can accommodate up to 32 GB of storage.
Samsung’s Galaxy Player 5.0 4.0
Samsung is gunning for Apple’s lion share of the portable music player market, with new models like the Galaxy Player 5.0, which has a 5-inch screen…perfect for personal gaming.
Samsung is clearly adopting a bigger-is-better strategy in its competition with Apple, with s whose screen size trumps that offered by market-leader Apple. Samsung is attacking Apple on another front, too. On October 2nd, Samsung will introduce its Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet computer. The 8.9 tablet is named for its 8.9-inch screen and updates its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. Utilizing Google’s Android Honeycomb OS, Samsung will offer the 8.9 tablet with 16 GB of storage ($469) or really tricked-out with 32 GB (for $469).
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