Eating our words: a look back to Oct 2001

Discussion in 'Bob's Place' started by symphonix, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. symphonix

    symphonix Scratch & Sniff Committee

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    With the upcoming release of Apple's "iTV" product expected to be at Macworld in January, a lot of talk is going around about the usefulness of it, whether there is a market for it, and whether it is just a glorified iPod. I've said, based on past experience, that I feel it is a good move for Apple - it is a product that people are going to want. And if there is one thing I've learned in the past five years, its that as long as people want a product, it will sell.

    Thinking more about it, though, I couldn't help but remember a time, not so long ago, when Apple launched another odd, obscure little device that left the critics csratchinng their heads. And, thanks to the magic of the Internets, I've been able to dig up what we said in regards to the launch of the iPod, in October 2001.

    I know I wasn't expecting it to do well. The price was too high, the capabilities too small. At the time we were on iTunes 1, and Mac OS X 10.0, and while the underlying technology was starting to take shape there were few offerings to get people excited about Apple at all, unless they were Unix fans.

    And so, what did we say when the iPod was launched?

    Don't be so hard on yourself, Uoba, nobody really saw it coming. :)

    Prophetic, ScottW. There are now hundreds of FM-transmitters and wireless accessories for the iPod. And the Airport Express. And in car integration from most car and car audio manufacturers.

    I had forgotten how far iTunes had come.

    Fryke saw the potential in it...
     
  2. symphonix

    symphonix Scratch & Sniff Committee

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    At that point the poll kicked off: would you buy an iPod?

    The results: 29 for "Yes it has the right features." against 49 for "No, it is too expensive". Admittedly, at $399 it was pretty steep, but the price dropped with time and it eventually became a hit. I predict the same sort of reaction to Apple's iTV.

    Ouch! Can't imagine why anyone would want to have their complete record collection with them, all the time? Ouch!

    Ahem, can you say "Firmware update"? :)

    Uh oh, here comes my quote ... I can't remember what I said, lets see ...

    Well, that's not so bad, even though it did take me about 2 years to finally get on board the iPod bandwagon and buy one. :(
     
  3. symphonix

    symphonix Scratch & Sniff Committee

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    Remember, of course, that at that time USB2.0 wasn't out yet, and in retrospect Firewire was the only logical way to make the iPod. Nonetheless, there were lots of people considered that this would freeze out the PC market. In a way it did, but not for long.

    Likewise, when iTV arrives, I'm sure there'll be people saying that it doesn't work with XBox Live or Windows 98 or Winamp or Gentoo Linux on an Alpha, and will be moaning and saying that its only for Mac users and will therefore be a failure. When they do, we'll know to take it with a grain of salt.

    Again, two issues that vanished within 12 months.
     
  4. symphonix

    symphonix Scratch & Sniff Committee

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    esc seemed to hit the nail on the head. Every new product is going to be expensive at first. Its up to the individual, and their budget, on whether they leap in on launch day or hang back for a year or two, but eventually the need for the product rises and the price for the product falls, until it just seems like a sensible purchase.

    Oh dear, oh dear. :(

    This thread was amusing...

    Open mouth, insert foot. Okay, so most of his comments made it clear that cost vs benefits was a no-win battle, at least for this one person. Hey, at the time it was a no-win battle for most of us - despite being big fans of Apple, we didn't buy iPods in that first 6 months. But saying that cost vs benefits would lead to this being an ultimate failure was unwise, because the *potential* was there for it to both come down in price, and move up in usefulness.

    It's interesting to note that ElDiablo now owns "iPod photo 60GB • iPod nano 1GB".
     
  5. symphonix

    symphonix Scratch & Sniff Committee

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    This is what I loved about the Airport Express that made me order one on launch day. It cost about the same as something I already required - a wireless router - and did much much more than any other router on the market. Today, I couldn't imagine not being able to pipe my music from my computer to any stereo in the house.

    This is something marketing people call "value-added" - that is to say you start with a requirement, maybe a hard-drive or a monitor, and then work out other ways it could be made more useful and interesting. And occassionally, you stumble on a completely new use for that product.

    Well, I think that wraps up this little trip down memory lane. Perhaps when January rocks around, and we get the release date and price for the iTV (and hopefully the final product name too) we'll be able to look at it objectively. And perhaps we will see it as nice, but overpriced. That doesn't mean we won't be looking at them again come Christmas 2007.

    Best of luck, little iTV.

    :)>
    ||
     
  6. Mikuro

    Mikuro Crotchety UI Nitpicker

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    Let's remember just a few things:

    At first, the iPod WAS Mac-only. The Windows version came quite a bit later. I don't even remember anyone caring. In fact, it seemed strange when Apple "moved to the Dark Side" and introduced the Windows version.

    The iPod really was the first mp3 player that Didn't Suck™. (Some would say it's still the only one.)

    The iPod was the birth of Apple's new image, which didn't really mature for a few years afterwards. You could say it was a disgrace to the old Apple, but in any case, Apple it and ran with it, and now it is Apple. (Which still makes me, a Mac fan, kind of sad...) A lot of current Apple/Mac fans got on board too late after the iPod revolution and don't really understand this huge shift and all that Apple lost in it.

    As for the iTV...I'm still not quite clear on exactly what it does, so I won't comment on it. *shrug* I'd certainly be in the market for such a device that really worked well, but...somehow I doubt I'll be impressed. Time will tell.
     
  7. jpb5151

    jpb5151 Registered

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    After reading the posts, it's all too clear: Fryke is really Steve Jobs. :D

    If iPods ever get down to about $50 - $70, I'll buy one. Guess that leaves me way way behind with iTV...
     
  8. eric2006

    eric2006 iMovie Professional

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    ahem..

    [​IMG]

    As for the iTV, if it's good enough, we could see a shift in where get our visual media, as we did with the iPod (CDs to iTunes, DVDs to iTunes).
     

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