Is the iPod getting an unfair advantage in the marketplace?

Is the iPod getting an unfair advantage in the marketplace?


As part of my regular duties for Mobile Magazine, I was poking around the other tech blogs on the internet, looking for interesting things to write about. I came across this post and it got me thinking: is Apple getting an unfair advantage in the marketplace, and that’s why Stevie Jobs holds three-quarters of the MP3 player market?

Think about it. Tech heads are a relative minority in the population, whereas people with a very minimal knowledge of technology probably make up the majority. Case in point: many people think that the iPod is the be all and end all of MP3 players. In fact, you’ll catch many people asking “What kind of iPod is that?” when you flash them a Sandisk Sansa or a Creative Zen. A large portion of the public think that “MP3 players” are a lesser form of the “iPod”, when in fact the iPod is an MP3 player (as I’m sure you know, given that you are reading this). This is following in the same tradition that taught people to refer to DVD players as simply a “DVD”. That irked me for the longest time.

What’s more, when you go to several online retailers, you’ll notice categories that read “iPods and MP3 players”, but never “Zunes and media players” or “Sansas and portable music players.” The iPod holds its own special shelf oftentimes too. I think it comes down to a chicken-or-egg question though: Are retailers simply responding to the average Joe who can only think of the iPod when it comes to portable music, or is it because stores do this that Joe Public thinks this way.

I’m beginning to think it’s the former and we can’t exactly blame Best Buy for featuring the iPod so prominently. After all, they just want to grab those sales. So, who can we blame? I’m looking at you, Cupertino.