With competitors avidly trying to nibble at the iPod's market share, Apple
With this move, Steve Jobs has made good on his vow not to bring video to the iPod, as Microsoft
Meanwhile, the iPod U2 Special Edition might make me roll my eyes and groan, only I'm thinking it looks pretty darn cool because it's black and has a red Click Wheel. Hmm. Other selling points of this 20GB iPod include "autographs" from the band as well as a digital boxed set of U2 songs, including rare and previously unreleased tracks. Sure, it makes sense coupled with the recent U2-centric TV ads, but it seems that it might only appeal to diehard U2 fans.
(Furthermore, by channeling my previous life as a rebel, I can imagine that some of today's hipsters who might be attracted to a black iPod would likely shun the idea of the connection to a particular band. Can you say "sellout"?)
I'm not sure I'm completely sold on the idea that the iPod Photo will be as much a smash success as the regular iPod. Although it might be a great tool for parties if you're showing off tens of thousands of digital photos of your lovely children or your last vacation, I have a hard time imagining that photos are as catchy on this platform as music.
One feature I do like is that the gadget can show album art as you listen. That's a pretty nifty feature, especially for those of us who are music aesthetes, but I have a hard time imagining it would command a premium price. (Then again, to be fair, I didn't think that digital cameras in cell phones would take off like they have.)
It's clear that Apple knows it needs to innovate to keep the iPod mania going, especially with the holiday gift-giving season approaching. For my part, though, I do question whether even iPod fanatics will be willing to pay those prices for photographic functionality. However, it remains to be seen -- Apple has surprised us before.
Fools have dueled about the viability of Apple shares: Check out the pro side and the con side. Or duel with the denizens of our Apple board, or let us know what you think of the new version of the iPod on our lively Apple discussion board.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.