Look to your left. Look to your right. You probably saw like three iPods, didn’t you?
There’s no getting around it: Apple won the MP3 Player War. They absolutely crushed all competition. And now, with their biggest competitor, the Microsoft Zune, bowing out of the race, there’s no stopping them.
The Zune was arguably a better MP3 player than the iPod. The menu navigation was quicker, more streamlined and allowed for more personalization. It had a sleek design and had cool, innovative features like being able to send songs to other nearby Zunes, and was the first MP3 player to allow for wireless syncing.
It’s disheartening that Microsoft has announced that there will be no further updates to their Zune hardware line, and not just because the Zune was a cool device.
With Microsoft out of the game, Apple has almost zero competition. Whether or not you’re a fan of the iPod, the Zune, the SanDisk Sansa, or whatever, you as a consumer should be vehemently opposed to Apple’s biggest competitor dropping out.
Capitalism fuels our economy and it’s never good to let any company establish dominance over a market. Apple already has bad business practices, so the last thing we need is for them to have any more of a monopoly than they already do.
If you don’t agree about Apple having bad business practices, remember that we’re now on the fifth iteration of the iPhone. There have been 22 different iterations of the iPod since the first release in 2001. Every year, Apple releases a new model of the product you already have with minor improvements.
The new iPad 2 that everyone is raving about is a great example of that. It’s thinner, faster, and has another camera. Do you really believe that Apple just never thought of having a second camera on the first iPad? Or did they just omit that feature to make sure the iPad 2 would be just as much of a must-have as the first?
It’s the same with their computers. Apple charges exorbitant amounts of money for computers that are sleek and sexy, but ultimately ridiculously overpriced considering the inferior hardware you get with them. Sure, their operating system is pretty great, but there’s no excuse for overcharging for weak hardware.
Microsoft is going to continue selling the Zunes already on the market, but there’s no guarantee of how long they’ll continue manufacturing the current models.
It doesn’t really matter where you stand on the Zune vs. iPod debate: This is bad news. Even for iPod fans.