Synthesis : Scott Becker

The MP3 phone wars

Apple won the MP3 stand-alone player war. It’s over. Done. Good luck Sony, but I think you’re just wasting your time.

The next battle is the MP3 phone. It’s just getting started, and obviously, Apple’s first foray into the market, the Motorola ROKR (it just sounds silly), looks to be a dud. It’s bulky. It’s got no class. It’s $250 and it can only play 100 DRM-managed songs.

The problem is, Apple doesn’t want to cannibalize their own product lines by introducing a super cool iPhone that people would rather purchase than an iPod. Especially after all the R&D they just poured into the Nano.

And that is their weakness. The only way Apple could get knocked off their high horse at this point would be for someone to introduce a high-capacity, sleek yet simply designed MP3 phone that looks as good or better than an iPod, and managed to do both things well, not mediocre.

I’d rather the have something that is the BEST at one thing, than a half-baked all-in-one solution.

I’ve got a phone with a camera in it, and guess what? Right, the camera sucks. Oh yeah, the phone sucks too. (Hey, it was free. With that 2 year contract extension. We all make mistakes.) And who makes that phone? Sony. Hahaha.

Apple’s advantage is that they’ve developed such a huge reputation for perfection. If they do introduce an iPhone, as some think they will, even a year from now, it will become the hottest, most desired phone on the market.

Imagine it, you’re in the market for a new phone. You can get a Nokia, a Sony, a Motorola, or any other phone with 50 twiddly buttons, half-baked user interfaces, slow-to-respond software with lots of unnecessary clicks, and much much more. Or, you can get an Apple iPhone. It’s as minimal as possible. Its only got the absolute necessary functionality, but it performs those functions perfectly. It’s probably got a scroll wheel which will let you perform most functions without ever using the keypad. You can get it in the timeless colors of either white, titanium silver, or black. Sure, it costs a bit. A Lexus costs more than a Ford. But you’re going to want it. And so will everyone else.

It’s a simple formula really. I wonder why no one else “gets it”?


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