Whenever a single monolithic company has launched against the globe spanning iTunes, Apple has been able to move the goalposts and push further and further towards a monopolistic market share of online music, but this week a genuine challenge has emerged, one that we are certain will dent the success of Apple, and we suspect …
Not so fast...
I'm not sure these are direct competitors of the iPhone.
I, for one, am not going to pay airtime/data/per song charges to "download" music onto my phone. I prefer to move my large, existing collection of MP3s using a fast, wired interface between my PC and Phone (which isn't even an iPhone). I'm sure a lot of young hipsters are open to the idea of paying $50 a month for music "rentals" but that's only one market segment.
In addition, there's a massive gap in UI between an iPhone and some of the crap Samsung is currently selling. It's like the iPod vs. other players. A lot of player have more features, they don't sell better because access to the features is painful suckage
I'm not sure this is the bell tolling for Apple, as the article implies
A blatant attempt to churn the water and provoke a response from some Apple die hards. The fact is that Apple is innovating in this area, others are bound to jump on the bandwagon - the problem is they will do it with less R&D and less emphasis on the UI - like Samsung (of which i own a mobile myself), LG and the like have forced on us for years.
The saturation of the ipod and itunes and the introduction of the iphone has raised the bar and I would be incredibly surprised if this affected Apple one little bit.
And as for CDMA being the new mobile phone technology of the future is laughable - telco companies across the globe are switching away from CDMA networks (Look at Telstra in Australia and Telecom in New Zealand for a start).
Online music stores are insignificant.
No one has buys an iPod/iPhone because of the iTunes Music Store. Despite the fact that more than 2 billion songs have been sold over the online shop, when you break the ratio of songs sold per iPods/iPhones it turns out to be about 20 songs per device. I have two iPods and have personally bought 1 album consisting of 12 songs and that over 1 and a half years ago. My iTunes library consists of 3500 songs/175 albums from CDs that belong to my household or have borrowed from friends and family.
Among my known friends and acquaintances that own an iPod I know of no one who has even check out the online store. It is probably the greatest diversionary tactic Apple has conceived of. I am always amazed at how the press (the Register included) harps on and on about the store. The zune failed because it was made to promote MS's online store instead of being design to compete with Apples iPod line.
Maybe someday somebody will build a better music player but it wont be a mobile operator or a software company that does not make its own hardware or a hardware manufacturer who does not design for its end user. As far as I'm concern the iTunes Music store could disappear right now and your so called "stereolithic companies" could be online and in the shops since yesterday - it wont make a dent with Apples hardware sales.
People buy music players to listen to music and the buy phones to make calls, ergo the iPhone sells because it gives most of its customers want they want - an intelligent and easy to use device that plays music and films and also can make and take a call. Everything else is cream.
My housemate just got a Samsung Blah 700i or something like that. She couldn't get it to use an MP3 track as a ringtone. It would only use some naff MMF files or whatever. She dispatched that tat within a few hours.
Going by the fact they don't do what almost every other mobile phone on the planet does, I doubt this new service will get anywhere.
I don't know anyone who owns an iPod that actually *wants* itunes.
But they have one, and they use it, because it's there and it's conventient and well, people are pretty lazy late at night.
They have iTunes because they have an iPod. Why the hell would they buy into Verizon "because it's got URGE" (or whatever)?
They're a mobile operator. They should offer people GOOD TARIFS and a GOOD NETWORK. All this bolt-on rubbish is exactly that - rubbish, and the amount of money they waste building it, then marketing it.. whatever.
iPhone blah blah whatever again.
This is all the same mobile industry vapour ideas that have been coming out of the woodwork for years.
Handsets are still crap. The ones that sell the most are the free ones. S40 (revision 1) series phones are only now fading away. Who cares, it's all a load of crap. Anyway, we're all adults, we all know that nothing is free - especially if it's called free, it just means you're being ripped off somewhere else down the line...
Can you tell I find all this stuff tedious? Is there anything NEW and INTERESTING happening out there?
Apple/iTunes will not be unseated until someone comes up with a way of putting music onto iPods which is just as straightforward. Do you see that happening? Nah, me neither.
My previous comment never made it past moderation - it criticised the source, is that not allowed? Here's hoping this one made it through.
It's the interface Dude.
If the tile was:
"Samsung, Verizon, MTV and Real unite to develop the next best comsumer interface"
Then maybe Apple have to worry, maybe.
The ipod did born last, but work easier. The iPhone it's easy and pretty. When Verizon and gang make the most easy to use gadget in the planet, then, and only then the share price mey loose 1 or 2 bucks.
until then Steve is king.
Don't underestimate the inaptitude of those so called "big players" like Nokia, Vodafone, MTV, Rhapsody, Samsung etc... They all lack one key element Apple has: A dictator with style at the helm who ruthlessly follows his vision down to the last person in his company. You've got to cringe looking at the design-by-committee solutions of Apple's competitors, where the execution of high flying business plans is delegated to death through multiple layers of organizational crud.
Rhapsody, VodaFone, VCast... who the hell cares? These are all worthless services that the everyday consumer could care less about. Apple. iPod. iPhone. iTunes. These are fresh and innovative. Consumers trust Apple quite simply because they're the best consumer and to some degree even professional technology products in the world. Why are they the best and what makes Apple so different you say? Apple creates technology to enrich people's lives. It's all about the user experience, style and simplicity. The other guys just create incredibly complicated and lackluster services with the intention of subscribing a customer in order to make money. Ever see an Apple ad? Wow, amazing, exciting and innovative right? Well if not that, it at least makes you curious. Ever see a Verizon and VCast ad? It's all about price points, special deals and what the hell is VCast anyway? Who uses Rhapsody? Sounds like something out of the Napster era.
Apple is your father. Search your feelings. You know it to be true. Think different.
Where's the IT angle?
Another iPhone article, really?? Funny, I didn't see any mention of Paris Hilton.
Another trolling column against apple eh?
What are you nattering on about?
How much do these Wireless providers CHARGE to "download" from their networks? What 3-4 Times what Apple charges? Well bring them all on then.
Throw the Zune in while you are at it.
I often wonder when you guys will stop your hating on Apple.
Whats the deal with that anyway? You in love with Dell's innovation?
Or perhaps HP?
acid monkey etchasketch
are the ingredients you need to make the non apple hardware I see people walking around with add to that the fact that none of those companies you mentioned has ever done anything right when it comes to online music downloads and I would put serious money on these guys not doing much to take iTunes market share whatever that is maybe I will be proven wrong but it doesn't look good based on the collective track records of these firms.
Doomed for failure
Rhapsody America? CDMA rather than GSM?
I would say that is is dead on arrival, as Apple understand the global market.
Compare this - I have an iPod & while I like iTunes, (the software) don't use the store much other than to grab the odd one-off song. Even here in NZ (a tiny market) there is a local iTunes where I can grab NZ related podcasts and music (Flight of the Conchords anyone?). it sucks that we can't yet get the TV service that Apple offer in the US, but I am happy enough for now. We are also a GSM country - Telecom have effectively admitted that CDMA has lost the war at consumer level & want to support GSM phones.
I recently brought a Sony 'DAC' MP3 player for my wife & while the hardware is quiet nice, the software supplied (SonicStage?) is hideous; and the Sony Connect service offers me 4 free tracks with my hardware - then denies me access to the service as I am outside of the US!
Apple are company that can put together a nicely integrated solution that makes hardware play nice with software and online services; I very much doubt any telco can do all that as they all have conflicting aims and have to play very nicely with others. Not something they are well known form. In the end, Verizon can just stick to providing pipes; I doubt they have the commitment or skills to work at the consumer products & content level.
I had a Samsung mobile telephone for a while. The super slim black sexy folding model - it looked great and was almost unnoticeable in my pocket. Unfortunately the UI was APALLING! I almost threw it on the ground many times when trying to do complicated things like sending a text. Fortunately my dealer took it back and I now have a Nokia brick.
I will definitely try out the iPhone's UI, even if it means changing operator. Samsung - ugh!
I have owned an iPod for over a year, as have all my family members and we have never visited or intend visiting the iTunes shop.
Constant brand changes = uncertainty = stick with the Number 1
as long as the music market is full of the constant changes - plays for sure, zune, companies merging, dying, getting sued - most customers (no, not us tech savvies, but the normal ppl out there) will, if anything, stick with the market leader.
If history serves, all these odd-ball alliances and shifts do nothing to shake a clear market leader.
700mhz and rhapsody
a couple things, i have used rhapsody for a couple years and have a sansa player that uses rhapsody to go -- having previously owned an ipod, i much prefer rhapsody to apple and itunes
also, verizon is likely going to win blocks of spectrum in the upcoming 700mhz auction that require open access meaning consumers won't have to settle just for the phones that come from verizon to run this service