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It's a small war after all. Last week, three new tiny music players were introduced to challenge Apple's popular iPod mini in a battle that should ring up cash registers this holiday season. The players all hold about 1,000 songs, cost between US$200 and $300 and are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Moreover, with their bright colors and slick designs, they're as much fashion accessory and tech gadget.
Most of the music on iPods is from alternative sources. The stores are a drop in the ocean for music sales so it stands to reason that not all ipod users use the store.
Besides, the other stores don't have the same user experience.
>> In addition, the players are not tied to the iTunes downloading service like the iPod. Songs can be bought and transferred to players from a variety of sources, including Napster, MusicMatch, WindowsMedia Player and the companies' proprietary download engines.
People shouldn't be so quick to give too much credit to Virgin - after all, in the US, they have something like 7 retail stores - there are almost as many "MINI" Apple stores already. Virgin sold their record label a long time ago - their mobile phone service is still piggybacked on Sprints(I think) lines and right now, they have a huge churn rate.
Since no one can buy the HDD's cheaper than Apple and unless someone is willing to lose $100 per player - right now, they cannot win much of Apple's market share - why? THere's nothing really compelling about the competition. Right now, consumers have to exaplin why they didn't buy an ipod - couldn't afford the extra $10 to $50 dollars to buy the "best?" - wanted an extra GB of HDD space (Yea, that's a real sexy reason)?
It's one thing if you're talking about a $50k sports car versus a $30k car - people understand the compromise but $50? People spend that much difference on dinner.
And for $50 more, you can get the 15 GB ipod whch is only about .5 inches thicker so the storage differential is rather pointless - so it comes back to having to explain why you didn't buy an ipod - so why not just buy an ipod?
"It's tough to be a one-trick pony like Apple...."
One-Trick Pony??? Is this guy serious?