Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has warned that the iPod’s days as pre-eminent music player may be numbered.
“The iPod has sort of lived a long life at number one,” he said, “Things like, that if you look back to transistor radios and Walkmans, they kind of die out after a while”, Wozniak warned.
He adds, “It’s kind of like everyone has got one or two or three. You get to a point when they are on display everywhere, they get real cheap and they are not selling as much,” he added.
Woz was also critical of Apple’s tight control over iPhone development, warning, “Consumers aren’t getting all they want when companies are very proprietary and lock their products down. I would like to write some more powerful apps than what you’re allowed.”
Now, there’s two clear messages here: first of all, think back to the fate of the Walkman – Sony didn’t move fast enough to embrace the digital wave, so it lost its music player leadership to Apple.
This time around, Apple’s already re-tooling iPod into the iPhone on the one hand and a connected wireless mobile device on the other (touch).
Perhaps the only firm to potentially see an opportunity in this landscape will be Microsoft with its Zune player, as these devices get cheaper, less innovative and more like commodities, that’s Microsoft’s yard, commodity products that are about good enough. So the battle for dominance will continue.