13 Nov 2005 cinamod   » (Master)

True enough, Havoc, but I don't see any of these alternative players advertizing in the Superbowl, on busses, inking deals with U2 for exclusive roll-outs, etc. Apple's advertizing strategy and budget clearly count for something. To put this in perspective, I haven't seen a Cowon ad outside of Planet Gnome :)

I don't think that in the US, you can compete with the iPod on "it just works" because people will say "there's already a product that 'just works' out there, and it's called an iPod." They'll just buy the real thing instead. Apple's huge pre-existing marketshare and public perception is an enormous hurdle to overcome. The "dazzle them with features" approach might be the best way to wrestle back some of Apple's marketshare.

I can tell you that the iAudio's and iRiver's UI "just work", regardless of whether that's mentioned prominently on their sites or not. Also, remember that this is an Asian company. In say, Tokyo, people will buy gadgets like these because it can play videos while cooking your dinner. It's all about understanding your target audience and marketing your goods appropriately. And I give Apple ample props for their mad marketing skills, but not for their inferior player.

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