It is no surprise to see a rise of articles questioning whether Apple can hold onto their storming lead in selling MP3 player and the music that goes on them. They currently have, by most estimates, around 50% of the MP3 player market to themselves and 70% of song sales. Many companies, technology, consumer electronics and content owning, are now waking up to how far they have let Apple go.
Some people are starting to raise the possible ghosts of Macintosh – where Apple foretold the rise of windowed interfaces for computers, only to be overtaken by the growth of Microsoft. Apple’s response then was to pursue niche markets, originally DeskTop Publishing (as it was known then) and latterly Desktop Video. It is arguable that this is the approach they have taken again with music
Last time around they made mistakes. Steve Jobs bringing John Sculley onboard to run the company, and Sculley subsequently persuading Apple to remove Jobs, being the biggest. Sculley then went on to make many, many mistakes of his own. Who knows how different it might have been if Jobs had stayed in charge.
Many have drawn comparisons between the recent attempt to ‘open up’ iPod to other music services and Microsoft’s similar, and ultimately doomed attempt to open up Macintosh.
We feel it is important to not forget Apple had a 909 percent increase (not a misprint) in iPod sales in the first quarter of 2004 over the same period the year before. Equally let us also not forget that this is the start of media becoming digital and Jobs hasn’t even started on either music devices for home use or and type of video device.