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Portables (Apple) Hardware

Steve Wozniak Predicts Death of the IPod 573

Posted by samzenpus
from the for-whom-the-bell-tolls dept.
Slatterz writes "Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, better known in the industry as 'Woz,' believes that the iPod is on its way out and has revealed his discomfort with some aspects of the iPhone. Wozniak said that the iPod has had a long time as the world's most popular media player, and that it will fall from grace due to oversupply. Wozniak also commented on the iPhone's proprietary nature and locked service provider, and compared it to Google's open Android platform. 'Consumers are not getting all they want when companies are very proprietary and lock their products down,' he said. 'I would like to write some more powerful apps than what you're allowed.'"
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Steve Wozniak Predicts Death of the IPod

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  • First post (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Monkey-some (1178115) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @03:58AM (#25310569)

    First post. damn I feel all strange./joke

    Well who knows ... the hype with apple products is the reason why so many people like it. Usually it's not the "best" technology who gets approval but the one who is used by most people see Windows, we all know that it's relatively crappy but so many people use it that finally it doesn't count that much.

    But clearly android phones are going to be a refreshing new option for the horrible windows mobile platform or the jail'ed Iphone.

    • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bemo56 (1251034) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:00AM (#25310931)

      But clearly android phones are going to be a refreshing new option for the horrible windows mobile platform or the jail'ed Iphone.

      That's assuming the android phones become more trendy that the iPhone, which is no small task.

      Does anyone know of any advertising push google is attempting for the android?

      • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

        by electrictroy (912290) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @06:25AM (#25311299)

        What's an "android"? Does that answer your question? ;-) I think the Ipod will be like the Walkman Cassette Player... it will be hugely popular with teens and young adults, then slowly lose market share as other "clones" compete with it, and finally die-out as a new technology comes along to replace it.

        I'm not sure what could technology could replace the convenience of a portable dedicated computer that plays MP3 and MPEGs, but maybe in the year 2020 such devices will be obsolete. Perhaps the data will be directly downloadable to your brain. (shrug)

        Anyway, I don't see MP3 or MPEG players dying anytime soon. The Ipod is safe.

        • Re:First post (Score:4, Informative)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:03AM (#25311479) Homepage Journal

          The Ipod is safe.

          I bought a Sansa E280 the other day (at woot) for 59 dollars.

          It's got 8gig RAM, plus a microSD slot. Once I put Rockbox (!) on it, I can play flac, ogg, avi.

          I'm loading last night's South Park on it right now, in fact.

          It cost me 59 dollars.

          I'm not so sure the iPod is "safe".

          • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

            by electrictroy (912290) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:15AM (#25311561)

            Okay well, I got a FREE insignia player that holds 1 gigabyte... perfect for listening to an entire Teaching Company course. And it was free.

            But these little anecdotes don't change the statistics - Ipod still dominates in sales. Many people say "Ipod" in the same way they say "Kleenex" or "Xeroxing" or "Hoovering". The brand name has become the thing itself. Ipod will be safe and profitable at least until 2015 (imho).

            • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Imsdal (930595) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:20AM (#25311933)

              Many people say "Ipod" in the same way they say "Kleenex" or "Xeroxing" or "Hoovering".

              Two days ago I would have said that you were wrong. Yesterday I had a discussion with my 9 year old daughter. She wanted an iPod. I told her she already had an mp3-player. She looked at me like the conversation had been:

              Daughter: "I want a bike!"

              Wise father: "But you already have a desk"

              Look on daughter's face suggesting her father had completely lost it.

              I tried to ask her what the difference was between an mp3-player and an iPod. Of course she couldn't tell me. That didn't make her change her mind in the least. She ended the discussion by adding "iPod" to our grocery list and leaving the kitchen.

              • by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:32AM (#25312039)

                She ended the discussion by adding "iPod" to our grocery list and leaving the kitchen.

                We have never needed a "+1, Gosh Darn That's Cute!" option so sorely.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by electrictroy (912290)

                  I agree! That was a cute story.

                  There are two possible solutions: (1) "Okay honey, if you can save $100, then you can buy an Ipod with your OWN money." This is how my own parents dissuaded me from buying a lot of un-necessary stuff. Saving $100 is hard! (when you're nine). It also taught me the value of things.

                  (2) "May I see your music player?"

                  "Here daddy."

                  "I'm going to take a piece of tape and write Ipod on it..... There you go."

                  "But that's not a real ipod!"

                  "No but it works exactly the same." ;-)

              • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

                by supremebob (574732) <themejunky@geoc i t ies.com> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:40AM (#25312097) Journal

                It's people like your daughter that convinced me to buy some Apple stock when it took a dive with the rest of the market this week. Kids young and old aren't going to care that your 401k lost 25% this year and that your new house is now worth less than what you owe on it... they just want their damn iPod's and MacBooks for Christmas!

                If they whine loudly enough, I think that most of them will get what they want.

                • Re:First post (Score:4, Interesting)

                  by Jeff Hornby (211519) <{ac.ocitapmys} {ta} {ybnrohtj}> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:33AM (#25313637) Homepage

                  Some of them will get what they want. But parents on the edge will rationalize and say "this other mp3 player does the same as the iPod; I'll buy little Janey this one instead". Not to mention that when little Janey loses her $300 iPod two weeks after getting it, there's no way she's getting another one.

                  That's the way that iPod's market share will slowly erode. Don't get me wrong: I think that the iPod has a few more years of dominance left but the fact that you can get something else **much** cheaper is going to be a lot more important. And once there is widespread acceptance of other mp3 players then it becomes a commodity item and the race to the bottom is on. It becomes like cars, as an example. Nobody argues that the Toyota Corolla is better than a Mercedes or a Porsche, but it's still the best selling car in the world because it's cheap and it does what people need it to do.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                    by MightyYar (622222)

                    Nobody argues that the Toyota Corolla is better than a Mercedes or a Porsche, but it's still the best selling car in the world because it's cheap and it does what people need it to do.

                    The problem with this analogy is that the gulf between a Porsche and a Corolla is thousands of dollars, whereas the gulf between an iPod and its competition is usually measured in the tens of dollars.

              • by discogravy (455376) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:07AM (#25313173) Homepage

                She ended the discussion by adding "iPod" to our grocery list and leaving the kitchen

                either your grocery store is much different than mine, or your kid's diet is in dire need of revision

              • Re:First post (Score:5, Informative)

                by NateTech (50881) on Friday October 10, 2008 @04:39AM (#25325389) Homepage

                Your daughter sees the difference, and it's a difference many of us don't "get".

                iPod isn't a technology play. That ended around the time the first iPod Mini came out.

                iPod is a FASHION show play.

                Your daughter wants to SHOW OFF her iPod, not listen to music.

                Just wait, soon she'll be asking to buy all sorts of pairs of shoes. :-)

            • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Mister Whirly (964219) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:59AM (#25313065) Homepage
              "Many people say "Ipod" in the same way they say "Kleenex" or "Xeroxing" or "Hoovering". "

              And you will notice that while they may be using those terms, the actual product they are using is not a Kleenex brand tissue, a Xerox brand copy machine, or a Hoover brand vacuum. Just because people call the next generations of non-Apple branded MP3 players an "iPod" doesn't mean Apple will always be king, or outselling everyone else indefinitely.
            • Re:First post (Score:4, Interesting)

              by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:21AM (#25313423) Journal

              Yes,but Apple not only has to complete with the clones,but due to the shear number of iPods they have cranked out they also have to compete with themselves. And folks are starting to realize they don't need the biggest MP3 player on the planet to enjoy it. So those that want the name can easily pick up a 2nd-5th generation really cheap,and those that just want an easy to use MP3 player can snatch up a Sandisk,Coby,etc.

              As for anecdotes,I personally wouldn't give up my m260 [epinions.com] for a half a dozen iPod Nano players. The thing is built so well I got my sis and her boys each an M series and they have yet to be able to kill them(and they can tear up a Sherman tank with a toothbrush) it gets 23 hours on a battery,and the deal sealer for me is if I run the battery out while I'm out and about I can walk into any convenience store and be bopping to my music again in less than five minutes. Why Apple refuses to make any iPods that run on a regular AAAs I'll never know.

              But I have no doubt that given how tough my little Sandisk is I'll be bopping along with it in my pocket for many years to come. I have also talked several customers who came into the shop into getting a Sandisk over the iPod and not a single one of them has been unhappy. I recommend the m series for those that just want to play music,and the e series with rockbox for those that want video and extra goodies. Really great affordable and reliable players IMHO.

          • Re:First post (Score:4, Insightful)

            by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:50AM (#25312941) Homepage

            It's got 8gig RAM, plus a microSD slot. Once I put Rockbox (!) on it, I can play flac, ogg, avi.

            I'm loading last night's South Park on it right now, in fact.

            It cost me 59 dollars.

            I'm not so sure the iPod is "safe".

            Only because you think that the majority of consumers will ever care about half of those features.

            I'm betting that far more people aren't even remotely interested in them. I, for instance, don't see any value in any of that stuff for me. Every time someone mentions ogg I roll my eyes, because the vast majority of consumers will never even know what it is, let alone care or be swayed by it.

            As a music player, I think the iPod is very safe for now.

            Cheers

        • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

          by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:09AM (#25311527)

          The ipod will be obsoleted by the humble cell phone. Like it or not people want convergence. Particularly in Asia. Phone, Camera, multimedia, they (we) want it all in one smallish chunk of electronics - it also needs to be shiny and have flashing lights. And yup, the cameras these days are 'good enough' for social networking.

          • Re:First post (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:44AM (#25312153) Homepage

            I want that chunk of electronics to do it's primary job 110% of the time. I have had almost every smartphone made, and EVERY ONE OF THEM fails to be a perfectly reliable cellphone.

            it's great they glued a ipod to a phone, make sure the phone will work no matter what.

            Granted, this is coming from a guy that traded his blackjack for a Openmoko freerunner. so I really am to blame for having cellphones that are not that reliable.

            • by Stamen (745223) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:13AM (#25312449)

              It does, I never have a problem sending a text. Oh do you mean posting on my Facebook wall?

              Oh, oh, I know what you mean, you're talking about calling someone and talking to them. I'm pretty sure that works most the time, but to be honest I haven't used that feature in a while.

      • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

        by FST777 (913657) <frans-jan@NoSPam.van-steenbeek.net> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @06:33AM (#25311335) Homepage
        The platform is not advertised. But the phones that run it are. Right now, T-Mobile and HTC are pushing their version of the Android phone here.

        Granted, it isn't pushed as hard as the iPhone was, but then I didn't really see much Apple-branded advertising here in the Netherlands either. Usually the networks advertises the phones, so right now it shows that T-Mobile has more faith in the iPhone on the short term. But things can change.

        The thing Android has against it is that it now runs on old-school, bulky, ugly smartphones with no real new features. That shows us that T-Mobile is targeting the youth with the iPhone and the business world with Android. But that too might change.

        And don't forget the power of geeks. They usually have some money to spare for gadgets, and they won't stop talking about how great some new tech product is. Some of my friends and colleagues are waiting to see how good OpenMoko turns out, for example. And when "normal" folk hear the word Google in connection with something gadgety and flashy, they will be interested.
    • Re:First post (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Xiroth (917768) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:04AM (#25310951)

      Well who knows ... the hype with apple products is the reason why so many people like it. Usually it's not the "best" technology who gets approval but the one who is used by most people see Windows, we all know that it's relatively crappy but so many people use it that finally it doesn't count that much.

      And it will continue to not count that much...right up until a killer app is released for the Android platform which can't be ported to the iPhone because of the restrictions.

      People are complaining about not being able to fiddle around with the iPod and iPhone, but that's not what's going to be the main difference. Phones and mobile devices have just started to come into the area where third-party applications can really start taking off, and as always happens with this sort of situation they'll soon be more important than first-party developed applications. Google's framework is entirely geared towards that supporting that sort of innovation, whereas Apples products are decidedly not.

      • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Slurpee (4012) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @06:57AM (#25311457) Homepage Journal

        If it's a killer app that threatens the iPhone - Apple will make sure it comes to the iPhone.

        They're not idiots - and have been known in the past to purchase applications or provide alternatives if they believe it is needed on their platforms.

        Mike

        • Killer App (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Keeper Of Keys (928206) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:04AM (#25311491) Homepage

          You're right, and loathe though I am to admit it, Apple are capable of taking someone else's cool idea and frobbing the usability right up to eleven.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          They're not idiots

          They did kill the Newton...

          I'm just sayin'.

        • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:16AM (#25313321) Homepage Journal

          Back in the 80s you had many different kinds of PC (IBM and compatible, Apple's Mcintosh, Amiga and several others depending on the country).

          Apple's one was the best, no question about it. Neat graphical interface (against MSDOS or Windows 1.x, ugh!) responsive, fast (Motorola RISC processor against Intel 8086) networked from the start (Appletalk was really user friendly compared to the abominations that existed for IBM compatibles).

          But the IBM platform was open (in the sense that everybody copied it), unlike Apple's, and this created a boom which we are still enjoying (or suffering, if you consider the poor sods that continue to use Windows).

          Fast Forward to today. Apple has the best platform (at least from the point of view of the market share, technically I am not so sure) but they are doing their damn best to lock it (again).

          Google is creating an open architecture for mobile devices that all carriers are ready to support. This will increase the synergies (horrible but necessary word) between carriers, phone manufacturers and application developers, creating many new, exciting business possibilities.

          Open (Internet, IBM PC, TCP/IP) beats closed (AOL, Mcintosh, Netware). Apple is not paying attention and clearly did not learn the lesson.

    • Re:First post (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sortius_nod (1080919) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:35AM (#25311093) Homepage

      I don't know how you got modded off-topic.

      I have an iPhone 3G and always "umm and arr" about whether or not to jail break it.

      I'll see how the android develops and make my mind up then though. It seems it lacks in a few key areas at the moment.

      • Jailbreaking (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Voyager529 (1363959)
        I jailbroke mine and have never looked back. an unjailbroken iphone is a hindered iphone. If you use PwnageTool/Winpwn/Quickpwn, it's also 100% reversible if you don't like it. Joey
    • Re:First post (Score:4, Insightful)

      by somersault (912633) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:46AM (#25311131) Homepage Journal

      The only Android phone I've seen in the UK so far is locked into a T-Mobile contract, so I'd still consider the whole system 'jailed' more than most Windows based or other-OS based smartphones - despite not being quite as locked up as iPhones are.

    • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

      by antifoidulus (807088) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @06:33AM (#25311331) Homepage Journal
      Wow, your preferences obviously are infallible, so whatever you determine to be the "best" technology really must be the best! How stupid all of us who bought technology that matched our needs were, oh Monkey-some, show us the way!

      The measure of how "good" a technology is cannot be expressed in a vector. Just because something has a lot of bells and whistles doesn't make it "good", and just because something lacks said bells and whistles doesn't necessarily make it bad. Guess what, a lot of people liked the iPod BECAUSE they thought it was good technology. Maybe it didn't meet your needs, but just because it didn't doesn't mean that the thing is merely "hype". Get over yourself.
    • Re:First post (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hey! (33014) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:06AM (#25311501) Homepage Journal

      Actually it usually is the "best" technology that wins -- for a certain value of "best". What technology advocates often miss is the role of things like economics and consumer behavior in "best".

      MSDOS won in the 1980s, because the most people started out the decade working with typewriters and ended up working with computers. Computers were typically ordered by the truckload and in that environment the fact that MS-DOS systems were cheap was the difference between equipping 100% of the people in the department this year and 80%.

      In the VHS-Betamax war, Betamax lost its early lead because Sony would not compromise picture to get longer recording time. For technology advocates, picture quality was paramount. Unfortunately, consumers just didn't care about the better picture as much as having tapes that could record enough program material.

      The Android/iPod comparison is interesting... Very interesting.

      The truth is, the hardware does not define the device so much any longer. The difference between an iPod touch and a PDA is completely a matter of software. But because of software (and ultimately because of marketing) a PDA is a platform, an iPod is an appliance.

      Technical people look at a platform as hands down winner over any comparable appliance. That's why they do things like jail break their iPhones, or install Rockbox on their iPods. A platform can do anything an appliance can, plus anything else you might dream up. But consumers don't dream up new things to do with their tech; they buy into dreams others have had for them. If there is no killer app, they have no inclination to go hunting for one. iPod/iTunes is the killer app for Apple, packaging it as an appliance is a surer path to competitive success, provided that killer apps don't emerge on competing devices.. Apple is selling an appliance that is (a) expensive considering the technology that goes into it and (b) cheap considering the utility people get out of it.

      By creating an app store, they're muddying the waters somewhat, but the app store is a marginal activity for them. It may be bet hedging; by creating a developer community, a killer app on a competing device can be ported or reproduced on the iPod. Or it may be the thin edge of a very long wedge that will shoehorn Apple back into the platform market. Or a bit of both.

      As it stands, Apple is in the drivers seat. If Android takes off, they can loosen the reins a bit and stay in the game. If Android struggles, they can keep it that way, while still enjoying the fruits of their closed iTunes/iPod appliance utopia.

    • Re:First post (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:38AM (#25312083) Homepage

      Woz has always disagreed with apple's decision to cripple the iPhone. If it was wide open it would absolutely sweep the market but for some really bizzare reason, they chose to make it closed as hell and only after much complaining and hacking did they release a SDK. And now they STILL piss in everyone cheerios by killing your app if they dont like it.

      Locking it to AT&T was a braindead move. I have had more problems with AT&T service than anything else. They program their cell towers to not hand off a phone call or phone if you are going from a AT&T tower to a 3rd party tower until the very last moment and that usually equals a dropped call. But wait, it really does not drop because they have to refund you for that. they let the call hang on the tower forcing you to press end. therefore YOU ended the call and you dont get a credit. I have witnessed this behaivoir on several phone models locked and unlocked and it's in their towers not in the phones.

      Honestly, apple has the ability to tell cellphone companies to stuff it in their arse and release it unlocked and unencombered. but for some reason Jobs wanted to give AT&T full control overthe phone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Goaway (82658)

      the hype with apple products is the reason why so many people like it.

      It certainly couldn't be that they actually make GOOD PRODUCTS that PEOPLE LIKE! No, it's the HYPE. Because you can totally remain popular for decades on hype alone while selling products nobody actually likes!

  • by GrpA (691294) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:02AM (#25310601)

    I can't understand the appear of iXXXX's either. Locked proprietary technology with limited scope for a geek to truly enjoy.

    What I've noticed though is that the people who buy them don't seem to care...

    Sure they'll die, but I doubt they'll die just because there's something better on the market.

    And as for open alternatives? I've had a Symbian phone for years. Lots of free apps and developer tools, built in GPS and great touch screen, been around for years... That didn't stop the iPhone coming out either.

    GrpA

    • by FilterMapReduce (1296509) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:11AM (#25310649)

      What I've noticed though is that the people who buy them don't seem to care...

      Perhaps not directly, but over time the Android platform will likely build up a more impressive library of apps written by tinkers and hobbyists who did care. Even non-geek users will eventually notice the difference.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tom (822)

        Perhaps not directly, but over time the Android platform will likely build up a more impressive library of apps written by tinkers and hobbyists who did care. Even non-geek users will eventually notice the difference.

        Android isn't the only mobile platform to allow 3rd party software. Some of the other ones have been around for many years. And yet, within 3 months, the iPhone and its App store beat them all and left them bloody by the roadside. Some developers are on the record stating that they made more profit in one month of App store sales than they make in a year for other mobile platforms.

        I wish Google best of luck, after all competition is good. But to compete with the iPhone on that level, they'd need an end-to-e

      • by MrMickS (568778) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:42AM (#25311675) Homepage Journal

        How is the parent labelled insightful? Oh I understand, its the usual FOSS love in. Android will be open and succeed in the same way that Linux has replaced every other OS on the planet. Oh, it hasn't? That would be my point then.

        This sort of post is typical of slashdot in that it shows that there is a basic lack of understanding of the wider world. Non-geeks don't care what XXX is running. They just want it to be able to do what they want. They want it to be as easy as possible to use and anything else is a bonus. Apple get this. In general Slashdot users and FOSS advocates don't.

        Put it another way. There are many digital music players on the market with more features than the iPod. Why does the iPod continue to dominate? Its easy to use. On the Gadget Show on UK TV this last Monday they did a comparative test between three portable video players. One was a the iRiver Clix 2, one the Archos 5, the final the iPod Touch. They had a BBC Radio 1 DJ help choose between them. He went for the iPod Touch despite it not having the best sound because it was the easiest to use and looked good.

        • Tru Dat (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Illbay (700081)

          They want it to be as easy as possible to use and anything else is a bonus.

          Conversely, you would say that /.-ers and FOSS hippies "want it to be as easy as possible to HACK..." They find it supremely important to be able to break into a given gadget as readily as possible, else it's "closed."

          Funny thing: ever since the first electrical cord was plugged into the first electrical outlet we've been dealing with NOTHING but "closed systems." Someone else above mentioned the term "appliance" as opposed to "pla

    • by ciderVisor (1318765) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:11AM (#25310655)

      I can't understand the appear of iXXXX's either. Locked proprietary technology with limited scope for a geek to truly enjoy.

      What I've noticed though is that the people who buy them don't seem to care...

      You answered yourself with the second sentence; iPods and iPhones aren't targetted at geeks.

      I'm no (current) Apple fan and don't own any Apple products. However, from a consumer POV, Apple got an awful lot of things 'right first time' with the iPod and iPhone. They're intuitive and stylish and give you the right functionality as simply as possible. It's like Nokia did when cellphones became popular a few years ago - deliver a 'must have' consumer product that feels right.

      Woz is a remarkable guy, a bit of a hero to me. But he's no consumer product guru.

    • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:17AM (#25310711)

      What I've noticed though is that the people who buy them don't seem to care...

      The only reason they don't care is because they haven't seen that the grass is greener on the open side of the fence.
      It is hard to miss what you don't know. But should Android or even a WinCE system get a few cool toys that apple explicitly forbids, that green light of envy will start to burn bright.

      I've had a Symbian phone for years. Lots of free apps and developer tools, built in GPS and great touch screen, been around for years... That didn't stop the iPhone coming out either.

      Because the iphone had a cool new interface that no other phone had. But its going to be a tough battle for Apple to keep ahead of the other platforms when they are deliberately excluding software that people want.

    • by speedtux (1307149) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:16AM (#25311013)

      End users don't care about specs, but they do care about functionality.

      Features like downloading and syncing over the air, updating podcasts, shopping at multiple music stores, place shifting, better E-mail clients, and laptop Internet access matter even to non-geeks, and Apple is preventing a lot of that from happening.

      I think the reason that hasn't mattered for initial iPhone sales is because most US consumers are so inexperienced with smart phones that even the iPhone seems like a big step forward and because the only other smart phones US carriers are pushing are the Blackberry and Windows Mobile shit, often with carrier restrictions. But Android and Symbian are going to change that. We'll have to see whether Apple can reverse course quickly enough, because it won't be long before regular users do care about all this.

      • by SenseiLeNoir (699164) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:26AM (#25311617)

        Although the parent is somewhat trollish, he is nevertheless right.

        In USA, the main "experience" of smart phones prior to the iPhone are the Blackberries, which admittedly did a single job, and did it WELL.

        Here in Europe, we have had smart phones for a significantly longer time. Starting with the Nokia Communicator Series, and the Ericsson PXXX series, and people buying smartphones as a "cheaper replacement" to PDAs (mobile phoen subsidies made these devices cheaper than PDAs, hence the PDA market tanking here).

        The fact is, even before the iPhone was released, you already see "normal" people carryign smart phones. In fact the Nokia N95 is still a highly popular phone over here in the UK, released before the iPhone, it simply won a lot of sales, thanks to its built in GPS, Radio, decent call qaulity, 5mp camera and VGA 30fps recording. Specs that sold the device, and is still selling the device.

        Many have bought the iPhone as a new device, and it has found some users for its innovations. But it is not as popular in this country, because as a smart phone, users DO find it inferior. Secondly, its call quality is NOT as good as the Nokia's and Sony Ericssons around.

        It also fails in the ring tones, and MMS stuff, which ARE used a lot here. (sending email is NOT popular for impulse messages, SMS still rules, and MMS is still popular).

        Anyway, we shall see.

  • by line-bundle (235965) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:04AM (#25310611) Homepage Journal

    I did read tfa. His prediction on the iPod does not seem to take apple's innovation history.

    I do agree with his discomfort with the iPhone. Apple had the chance to revolutionize the cell phone market in the US and flubbed it.

  • iTunes = malware (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:06AM (#25310627)
    I never liked iTunes and thus also not iPod, and that all because ONE TIME, years ago, iTunes was installed on my PC during the installation of other software without me asking for it (or making the stupid checkbox to turn it off not visible enough) and me since then associating the name iTunes with malware. That association has never left my head, and continues on for iPod and iPhone. If everyone would have been like me, Apple would have had to change the name of their brand because their brand would be dirty in everyone's memory.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by plasmacutter (901737)

      While it may not behave that well on PC, the quicktime/itunes framework on the apple platform works incredibly well.

      Most people outside the PC world stare down their nose the same way at windows media files.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Chrisje (471362)

      So you disregard iTunes and use SharePod to copy content to and from the iPod.

      Doesn't make the iPod a less great player. "locked down" in the 21st century doesn't mean anything, don't you know that? There's always some asshole somewhere that will hack / open it.

      I see the same complaint about the iPhone and just shrug. It was supposed to be vendor locked. So the first thing that happened in Europe is that people hacked and opened it. There are millions of "open" iPhones in the EU.

      I'm amazed nobody pointed th

    • Re:iTunes = malware (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bearhouse (1034238) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:51AM (#25310855)

      iTunes works well on Macs, where people want, and expect, things to 'just work'.
      On windows platforms, where many users have been forced to learn more than they'd like to about the technical aspects, I agree that iTunes is a pain. It renames your mp3 files, reformats iPods if you try to connect to another PC, limits your ability to share file whatever.

      Typical closed architecture, (reminds me of the old IBM days). Products work reasonably well within one manufacturer's range, don't play well with others.

      Since all my kids have PCs and iPods, we use Mediamonkey.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediamonkey [wikipedia.org]
      Works as advertised. Free version enough for most people.
      Recommended. (c)Pournelle.

  • Out of touch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Philotic (957984) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:07AM (#25310631)

    I would like to write some more powerful apps than what you're allowed.

    Clearly Woz is not in Apple's demographic. It's been said time and again: Apple succeeds at delivering coherent, easy-to-use products that admirably perform tasks that typical non-techy users require. As long as Apple continues to design the products with that mentality, they will do well. If the iPod/iPhone stops selling briskly, it will be because everybody who wants one already has one, not because an Android phone lets you ssh into your home slackware server.

    • Re:Out of touch (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Guido del Confuso (80037) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:12AM (#25310659)

      Besides, the iPhone already is open, at least unofficially. I can in fact SSH from mine, and have been able to ever since I got it. I am a techie user, and I'm perfectly satisfied with my iPhone.

      I'm sure Woz is sort of conflicted by the fact that, as much as he might want to, it would be impolitic for him to announce he had jailbroken his phone.

    • Re:Out of touch (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DrEldarion (114072) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:59AM (#25310911)

      Regarding iPhone vs Android, Android has some key advantages:

      1) Multiple service providers. Not everyone wants to be locked into the one provider that Apple supports.
      2) Multiple handsets. If I don't like the base iPhone, I have no other choices. Android is going to be on a wide variety of different devices.
      3) Cost. If another company is developing your phone's OS, you can put less of your own resources into it and sell it for cheaper.
      4) Application availability. Apple is known for rejecting apps on a whim. You can download whatever you want on an Android phone.

      Users do care about openness, not necessarily because it's openness, but rather for the things that it allows.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Corbets (169101)

        You need to realize that those "advantages" are only advantages from your point of view.

        1) I don't care, as long as I get service. Of course, here in Switzerland, 2 telcos are providing service.
        2) Again, so what? I'm not buying the OS, I'm buying the phone. Your second point here is one that most iPhone users wouldn't even understand.
        3) Ok, this could be valid... but at 200 bucks, the iPhone is WELL below my pain threshold, and not something I'm likely to consider.
        4) Are you kidding? Most of us iPhone users

      • Out of iTouch (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ostracus (1354233)

        "Users do care about openness, not necessarily because it's openness, but rather for the things that it allows."

        Correct, but it would be a false impression to think that "open" doesn't have as much a price as "proprietary". For example all the advantages you listed wouldn't be worth as much if one had to stand on their head, whistling Dixie, while hand-editing files in hexadecimal. As some open source projects are finding out it costs money to gain some of "proprietary"'s advantages. e.g ease of use.

  • by Trepidity (597) <.delirium-slashdot. .at. .hackish.org.> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:09AM (#25310641)

    Maybe not quite in the discomfort-with-lack-of-openness sense that he meant it, but the iPhone is supposed to be a temperamental item to own, much like a Chihuaha [bogost.com].

  • Engineer's eyes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@co[ ]et ['x.n' in gap]> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:12AM (#25310657)

    Woz is looking at the iPhone with engineering eyes, not consumers eyes. It's a strange culture shock to geeks when they find out the universe of non-geeks doesn't work like them. Yes, the API is locked down, yes, it is locked to a single service provider but the average user really REALLY doesn't care. Even if they do know better, they really don't care. It's why McDonald's sales are high. They know a better burger, but they don't care. I'm not sure if this is a problem or not, to be quite frank. But when a geek tells me is a better solution, they're not realizing that "better" is incredibly subjective. Yes, OpenMoko is open, but is that better to me? I don't want to edit config files unless i'm being paid for it.

    Is the iPod going to die out? Sure. Not before moving much much more product in the mean time.

    • by Steauengeglase (512315) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:23AM (#25311967)

      Regardless of where his position comes from I'll have to take my hat off to Wozniak. Generally speaking, if someone owns stock in a company they would rather stab their own grandmother in the eye than give you an honest opinion about the companies's direction. He has my respect for being something other than a good stock holder/party member.

  • Not blocking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by utnapistim (931738) <dan,barbus&gmail,com> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:12AM (#25310663) Homepage

    I doubt the iPod will go out of market because of it's limitations.

    All they have to do is see they loose market share and address the issues. I know it sounds easier than it is, but the marketing team that kept the ipod where it is for so long cannot be so incompetent as to not get over it.

    Perhaps a better framing would have been "iPod as it is now is on it's way out".

    That said, I got myself a Sansa e280 instead of iPod, especially due to the iPod's lock-in, so take my comments with a grain of salt.

  • They're all going (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kamikazearun (1282408) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:14AM (#25310683)
    IMO, all stand-alone music players are on their way out. Convergence is the future.
    • by gmarsh (839707) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:35AM (#25311649)

      Convergence is nice except everyone seems to botch the implementation.

      My Sony Ericsson W300i phone/camera/"Walkman" has quite possibly the worst user interface for playing MP3's that I've ever worked with. The 640x480 camera takes horrible pictures even in bright light outdoors, and indoors, it's worthless. It has an organizer, calendar, notepad, task list, etc. but I've never used any of that stuff. I've never run into the need to schedule a meeting on my cellphone, and entering a grocery list or something with a telephone keypad takes way too long. They've even managed to make a calculator hard to use.

      But, the alarm clock is a handy feature and it actually works. I use it on the road, since 4 out of 5 hotel alarm clocks don't work and 4 out of 5 front desk staff don't remember that you asked for a wake-up call.

      So, I'd like to thank Sony Ericsson for creating a fabulous convergence of cellphone and portable alarm clock.

      For MP3's, I'll hang onto my Sansa.

  • by MassacrE (763) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:16AM (#25310695)

    Apple is in the business, especially for consumer devices, of promoting solutions. This is a big differentiator from the competitors who usually focus on feature checklists and component integration.

    However, someone like Woz is a hacker in the purest sense of the word - he wants to get tools and pieces that he can use to make his own solutions. An iPod he cannot change things on is not something he's interested in.

    But for most people, the fascination with Apple comes simply from Apple 'getting it' - most consumers want to pay for problems to be solved for them, not to be given tools to learn to solve the problems themselves.

  • by Edgewize (262271) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:49AM (#25310851)

    Steve Wozniak is a smart guy but he is, to put it mildly, an extreme "power user". He left Apple to develop a programmable IR remote control (http://www.ktronicslc.com/core.html) with 256 functions split over 16 code pages.

    It had programmable macros, scheduled timers, and absolutely no way to label what a button *does*. If the batteries ever ran down it had to be re-flashed via a serial link. It's technically sweet, it filled a niche that Woz perceived in his daily life, and it remains completely unusable for 99.9% of the world's population. (I'm sure it generated some fantastic patents, though!)

    I would trust Steve Wozniak to design firmware for a battery powered car, or to build a lifesaving medical device, or to write a graphical Tetris clone that fit entirely in the unused bytes of a LILO boot sector. But I don't think his opinions on the marketability of consumer electronics are worth a damn.

  • by edittard (805475) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:51AM (#25310859)

    First evolution gets cancelled [slashdot.org] and now there's no more iPods? If it wasn't for the fact that I've got a ton of money in the bank I think I'd jump off a bridge.

  • by Synjyn (1379989) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:07AM (#25310955)
    This was a bad move, not only hurt in terms of sales but damaged the Apple brand image, pushing them towards the sort of resentment that MS manage to generate.
  • Bah! (Score:4, Funny)

    by speedtux (1307149) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:08AM (#25310963)

    Wozniak must be one of those Apple haters who has never used a Mac in his life. Quick, mod him down! Oh, wait...

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @06:03AM (#25311183)

    I ride on trains and a subway to work every day. About a quarter to a half of the passengers have headphones stuffed into their ears. Most of the times the headphones are connected to a cell phone, and not an MP3 player.

    Granted, where I live even kids in their early teens have cell phones.

    If you have a cell phone that offers good quality audio, why bother with an extra gadget?

  • by Andreas Schaefer (513034) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @06:32AM (#25311323) Homepage

    wow, scary!
    see for yourself:
    http://skitch.com/slowburn/2fyx/wozniak-death-prediction [skitch.com]

  • iPods won't die... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by argent (18001) <peter@slashdot.2 ... m ['nga' in gap]> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:37AM (#25312075) Homepage Journal

    iPods won't die as long as Apple keeps pumping out incremental improvements, and as long as the competition doesn't catch on to the accessory effect.

    Like, say... iPod Touch with a hard disk, or with >40G of flash.

    Or iPod Bluetooth, to get rid of the tether.

    Or an iPod Shuffle headset.

    Or ...

    They've got plenty of room on the upgrade treadmill.

  • Normal vs. Geek (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stewbacca (1033764) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:15AM (#25312479)
    Normal people don't care about things like vendor-lock in and DRM. Geeks do. Based on the huge market share held by iPods, it appears that there are far more normal people in the world than geeks (not a good or bad thing, just is). And why do we keep posting opinion pieces from a guy who hasn't had any impact in the industry in the past 20 years? Maybe silly conclusions like this is the reason Woz hasn't been involved with Apple since the 1980s?
  • T original FA (Score:3, Informative)

    by klossner (733867) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:38AM (#25313743)
    TFA is just a crude summary of the actual interview in the Daily Telegraph [telegraph.co.uk].

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