The iPod is a nice device, but the classic iPods were feature deficient compared to the competition. Yeah, the clickwheel was nice, but the other interfaces were not as bad as the press relates. Since I am a gadget addict, I have owned more iPods than I could ever justify as well as a plethora of other music players. Many iPod sales were due to Apple's wise massive advertising. In both Boston, and Montreal, I saw entire subway stations plastered with iPod ads exclusively, and then the Boston trolley would enter the station plastered with iPod ads as well. On the way home, it was common to see several lighted ad kiosks showing the latest iPod generation. For every non-Apple mp3 player ad I saw, I saw at least 100 Apple iPod ads. Apple's iPod was the only music player I ever saw advertised on network TV. The iPod may have 70%+ of the digital music player market; however, they probably account for 90%+ of the advertising for digital music players.
The very successful silhouette ads were selling one thing - the cool factor. They could not mention features because they were so feature deficient compared to the competition. When the non-tech geek decided to finally get a music player, the Apple brand was embedded in their mind due to the saturation advertising. The massive advertising campaigns certainly had great results - wise business strategy.
I am far from being an audiophile, I grew up playing 45rpm records on a monaural record player. All the digital music players sound good to me. When I do see music reviews emphasizing sound quality, the ipod is usually far from the top in audio quality.
When the iPhone was released, Apple wisely continued the massive saturation marketing which was enhanced with the extensive almost daily free articles from the tech press. A successful launch was almost guaranteed. Hardly a night goes by without seeing several iPhone ads on TV. Ironically, many of the newer ads feature iPhone 3rd party apps. which Apple did not want initially. Initially, Apple wanted all non-Apple apps to be web based.
I do not wish to take anything away from Steve Jobs (although Woz is my favorite Steve), or Apple, or the individual devices. Just wanted to mention the massive role that an expensive ($ well spent) saturation marketing campaign had on the iPod's success which had a halo impact on the Mac, and iPhone.
Keep Up with TechRepublic