The End of the iPod

I suspect that in a few years, people will identify Apple’s rebuff of Real Networks as the beginning of the end for its dominance in online music. It’s sad that Apple still has not learned that closed platforms always lose to open ones, even if the closed platform is better.

Jobs was quoted in today’s WSJ saying, in response to Rob Glaser’s offer,

The iPod already works with the No. 1 music service in the world, and the iTunes Music Store works with the No. 1 digital-music player in the world. The No. 2s are so far behind already. Why would we want to work with No. 2?

Nice, Steve. Start a fight with one of the only other industry leaders who’s been a steadfast opponent of Microsoft’s monopoly. That sort of arrogance is exactly what sent Apple into a tailspin two decades ago.

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2 Responses to The End of the iPod

  1. bobhowe says:

    Apple Polisher

    You may well be right. But you can see why Apple and Jobs would think as they do:

    The New York Times

    SAN FRANCISCO, April 14 – Apple Computer Inc. said Wednesday that its profits nearly tripled in its second quarter because of continued strong sales of the iPod portable music player and notebook computers.

    • ken says:

      Re: Apple Polisher

      Well, the history of high-end proprietary hardware is that it sells well until someone comes along with a cheaper version that works almost as well, and eventually the hardware becomes a commodity. Intel boxes killed the Mac, cheap Intel Linux boxes (or NT servers) are in the process of killing Sun’s high-end workstation business, and you’re starting to see devices that aren’t as good as the iPod, but are close enough. Combined with what will be a strong push from Microsoft to convince people to promote its WMA standard, I suspect these numbers will be history in a year or two. If Apple were thinking ahead it would be trying to promote the AAC standard, and accepting that iPod sales won’t be sustainable at the current price point. I could be wrong, but I don’t think you’ll see stories like the above in 2006.

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