Tuesday, 23 December 2008

(Column) - Really, the iPod madness has got to end. I’m not talking about iPod supporters and the teenage fad surrounding Apple’s portable music player. In fact, I’m more concerned about the professional obsession with the iconic device that continues to beat what could otherwise become successful players (i.e. players from Sony, iRiver and others) in the market. The professional obsession I’m hinting on is the absurdly high number of iPod exclusive accessories that are available in mass quantities. For the sake of sanity, do these companies really think there’s a market for ten thousand iPod protective covers, speakers or tacky stickers?

I, as well as technically oriented consumers (in addition to a good majority of clueless teenagers), understand iPod is the be-all and end-all standard for music players these days. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t have so many replicas from perfectly "respectable" companies. But let’s face reality, shall we? Anyone who is opting for a $299 iPod isn’t going to spend thousands of dollars accumulating trendy accessories for a portable device. I think it would be safe to assume that iPod is a very mainstream gadget these days. Everyone must have one. When something is ‘cool’ enough to have, there should be an alarm going off for niche manufacturers.

I don’t know if you are aware of this, but mainstream buyers don’t generate revenue for niche companies who exist through online retailers. These are the consumers who are perfectly satisfied with stock earphones and can barely transfer music files back and forth. Having limited knowledge of technology, these are barely the type of consumers who would justify spending another $299 on a pair of speakers. In case it’s unclear, people who barely understand technology are not going to keep up with ten thousand accessories and purchase them excessively.

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