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Consumers favor phones over iPods

updated 09:35 am EDT, Thu July 13, 2006

Phones favored over iPods

More consumers are avoiding iPods in favor of all-in-one phone devices. One user interviewed by BusinessWeek Online who previously carried both a phone and an iPod now favors a phone that holds 100 songs, treating her iPod as an extra accessory. "It made sense to just use my phone for both," said Rachel Slack. The trend should be worrying Apple, according to the report, because new $500 phones are now reaching the capacity of a top-end iPod nano at four gigabytes. Some analysts believe that this new type of phone with more memory is creating a new threat to Apple's iPod, as well as its iTunes Music Store.

Apple recognizes the rise in phone popularity as a threat, according to analysts, and the Cupertino-based company's partnership with Motorola serves as proof of its concern. Several reports show that music download providers on cellphones are picking up pace, and while there is currently no clear brand leader, the T-Mobile brand has begun massive campaigns in Europe to push the technology.

Apple has set a price that will likely prove impossible to match without a loss for cellphone providers, however.

"Apple still beats music phones on memory and battery life," wrote BusinessWeek. "The phones are getting better fast, though. Nokia's N91, which costs about $600 before operator subsidies, can hold 3,000 songs and play for 10 hours. By comparison, the top-of-the-line 60 GB iPod, which costs $399, holds 15,000 songs and plays for 20 hours on a charge."

The report comes only one week after Apple by MacNN Staff





  1. jakengracey

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This isn't quantum physics. It was quite obvious that there would be an expansion of the mp3 player concept to include cell phones. All that Apple has done, which they have always done, is force the phone manufacturers and service providers to actually innovate. Or at least update faster than they would if there was no non-cell industry competition. Apple is just pushing - or maybe dragging Mokia and Doterola et al into the future faster than they would probably do it on their own.

    Apple has no problem leading. I am certain this hasn't caught them with their proverbial corporate pants down. The iCell or whatever is in the works and will be released when the time is right - give or take. I think (hope) that Apple has learned its lesson from the Newton. Sometimes first is too early.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not Apple...

    ...but the digital camera manufacturers should be worried about the camera phones. I like how the article lists ONE users as an illustration of this 'shift' - yet the sales figures of iPods seem to disagree, strongly.

    While 'analysts' in the press keep feverishly looking for the next iPod killer (ain't nothing sellin' papers like trying to take down the leader), they are (as always) missing the obvious news.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Market Research..

    Now thats what I call Market Reserch.. If they would have interviewed ONE other person,I'll bet it would have been labeled as a poll! :P

    But hey, Business Week is right on top of things.. Cnet only released a similar article only 2 years ago.

  1. benhur

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'd take a phone too

    I'm on my third iPod and though it's a cool device I'd much prefer a music phone. I love to hike, climb, bike ride, you name it and I have to carry both a phone and iPod and then switch when I get a call. When I go to the gym, you need a third device (fm tuner) to listen in on the tv programming.

    My next device will likely be an all in one. As far as Apple forcing the phone companies to innovate, I don't agree entirely. The US phone market stinks. You want real high tech phones you have to look at Europe and the Asian markets where the phones compete very well with iPods.

    I also think Apple is partnering with the wrong phone manufacturer. Motorola sucks imho. A great innovator in the phone market is Sony Ericsson. Take a look at the W810 and W710 mobile phones and you'll see Apples real threat. Both have a memory slot, play mp3 & ACC files, bluetooth, FM tuner, and a slick interface. I wish Apple would team up and put iTunes on the best phones out there.

    The frustrating part is that in an interview with the head of US Sony Ericsson, she said they would be a willing partner with Apple and open source however Apple has chosen it's partner. Does this mean Apple won't partner with anyone other than Motorola or Nike (in recent news)? That's too bad for all of us looking for great products.

    Even without iTunes compatibility, the W810 is well worth it.

  1. raymond42n

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Danger: dead phone

    I would love to have an all-in-one phone. The problem is that in the event i use such a device to play my music the whole day, i run the risk of having a dead phone at night, before i am able to reach home and have the same recharged.

    If it is possible for a phone to have a battery that the manufacturer will GUARANTEE to last for at least 20hrs of continuous use (with phone calls, SMS and video calls in between), then i will be one of those to make the switch. Otherwise, my 5th gen iPod's place in my backpack is secure.

    I hope that touchscreen iPod comes out soon!

  1. Clive

    Joined: Dec 1969


    $500 phones!?

    No idea what people are looking at, but phones like the SonyEricsson W810i are free (or close to it) with airtime contracts with providers all over Europe.

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