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Portables (Apple) Hardware

Steve Wozniak Predicts Death of the IPod 573

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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  • 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.


  • Re:iTunes = malware (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chrisje ( 471362 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:17AM (#25310705)

    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 this out on slashdot of all places. DOH!

  • Re:He's a genius (Score:5, Informative)

    by DurendalMac ( 736637 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:44AM (#25310825)
    Really? So a new iPod costs less than $40 like the battery replacement kits? They're not that tough to do. Heck, if you're worried, mail it into Blue Raven for $70 and let them do it. They'll replace it with a higher capacity battery and ship it back to you within three days. Still cheaper than a new one.
  • 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.

  • by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @04:51AM (#25310857) Homepage

    Perhaps US and few other countries are indeed starting to be "oversupplied" with iPods (though I wonder how is that a sign of death...), I don't know.

    But IMHO iPod sales still have bright future in many places where, until recently, iPods were waaaay too expensive for all but small minority (rest choose cheap chinese noname mp3 players). I see it happening around me right now (ex-soviet bloc, central european, new EU member country) - for most of their presence on the market, iPods were almost shunned as extravagant, unnecessary and few times overpriced.

    But during the last year and a half, perhaps two, this started to change. Partially thanks to new, cheaper with each revision, models and growing life standard, they are now...fashionable. Now, also here, it's "I can choose iPod or one of that other mp3 players...I'll try to have an iPod"

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

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:03AM (#25311479) 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:He's a genius (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:04AM (#25311487)

    Not to be a prick, but I've used a Sansa (previously) and an iPod video (now) regularly, and:

    1. iPod has better UI;

    2. iPod has better sound quality;

    3. iPod has longer battery life;

    4. If I want to run Linux or develop my own infinitely configurable embedded system I have access to a dozen laptops, desktops, PDAs, phones, calculators, etc - and I do. But I use my iPod to listen to music and talk ("podcasts") and occasionally watch videos;

    5. In particular, I don't use it to "play games";

    6. I don't have any reason to care what detailed format the video is stored in on the iPod, since it's on there to watch, not to edit. I can resize for space before transfer if necessary;

    7. Database+metadata+synchronisation are more powerful concepts than straight hierarchical filesystems, i.e. iTunes is actually quite lovely once you get used to it;

    8. Finally, good luck with carrying around 80GB (per GP post) of MicroSD cards.

    An average user treats an electronic device as a tool which must do one or more particular things well. An average geek treats a tool as something which can be made to do as many things as imaginable. An elitist geek treats a tool as something which must do as many things as imaginable. You appear to fit in this third category.

    You're welcome to argue that you aren't interested in an iPod's particular benefits, but most people are.

  • Re:He's a genius (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 09, 2008 @07:20AM (#25311589)

    How did this get modded +5 insightful? The only sansa that you can get that's anywhere near 30 dollars is a glorified iPod Shuffle that you somehow managed to buy _without any memory card_. To get feature-parity as far as storage space and screensize, you'll be paying more for a sansa unless you got it stolen somewhere.

  • Re:First post (Score:2, Informative)

    by yttrstein ( 891553 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:09AM (#25311857) Homepage
    A couple of things:

    1. Every time Woz predicts something, everyone gets all excited because you know, it's Woz---the symbol of a smaller, more friendly Apple that people could really relate to. Think of it, "Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood had just been banned forever from MTV, Berkeley Breathed was drawing the very first (and since, only) black hacker in mainstream media, accompanied by his pal the "Banana Jr." It was suddenly ok to wear T-Shirts under sport coats, and if your zipper went straight from neck to navel you just weren't cool.

              The problem is that despite his coolness and the era he represents, his predictions come in two forms: 1. the old standby "predict a thing so nebulous and definite that it must happen" and 2. wrong. This is the former. Of course the iPhone is going to ultimately fall out of favor, just as the Sony Walkman did, just as the IBM PC did, just like the Ford Model T did. This prediction is always an absolute when enough time has passed to make it so.

    2. Android is still an unknown. No one has any idea what it ultimately means yet, and no one knows how it's going to affect the market or the iPhone share. As usual, there's ten times more pretense to knowledge than there is knowledge itself in this regard, and it's silly.

    And Wozniak should know better by now.
  • Re:He's a genius (Score:3, Informative)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:21AM (#25311945) Homepage Journal

    oops - obviously that's meant to say 20GB HD for the iRiver, not 2GB

  • by Karlt1 ( 231423 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:31AM (#25312025)

    The iPhone has 2.8% market share as of August 2008. It's not even close to being the #1 smartphone in the US. Keep drinking that tasty koolaid though.

    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/smartphones/iphone-greedily-eats-north-american-market-share-334516.php [gizmodo.com]

    Canalys has produced a report showing the iPhone has grown massively in North America. The study looked specifically at smartphone market share statistics in Q3, and the iPhone, in a surprisingly short time span, has managed to grab second position. A 27% market share is nothing to scoff at; what Apple has done in a few months, others have failed to do in years.

    This was during the quarter that Apple was basically not manufacturing 1st gen iPhones....
    http://www.intomobile.com/2008/06/03/palm-centro-boosts-palm-marketshare-rim-sees-blackberry-market-share-rise-apple-loses-in-iphone-market.html [intomobile.com]

    But, there's always two sides to every story. While RIM and Palm saw their market-share increase, Apple saw its market-share slide. The iPhone took a healthy US smartphone market-share of 26.7% in the fourth quarter last year. But, it seems that RIM and Palm's success has eaten in to the iPhone's niche. The iPhone accounted for just 19.2% of smartphones sales in the first quarter of 2008, compared to 26.7% of sales in Q4 2007.

    http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2227601/apple-iphone-gains-market-share [vnunet.com]
    Oct 7, 2008

    The handset now accounts for 17 per cent of the market, second only to Motorola's RazR2. Before the iPhone 3G launch Apple's market share was 11 per cent. ....
    Rubin noted that the iPhone is now outselling the BlackBerry Curve, BlackBerry Pearl and Palm Centro, making it the number one smartphone in the US.

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

    by Phroggy ( 441 ) <.moc.yggorhp. .ta. .3todhsals.> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:48AM (#25312181) Homepage

    what the hell is hoovering?

    We don't use this much in the United States, but in the UK it means using a vacuum cleaner. Hoover is a brand name that (in the UK) became as synonymous with vacuum cleaners as Band-Aid did with bandages here.

  • Re:First post (Score:3, Informative)

    by sukotto ( 122876 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @08:49AM (#25312187)

    Hmm... looks like the problems still exist http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/SansaFAQ [rockbox.org]

    Though they're not as bad as I remembered them being. Maybe it's worth giving it a try after all.

  • Re:First post (Score:2, Informative)

    by poity ( 465672 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:48AM (#25312913)

    While at the moment you can't connect with usb while booted into Rockbox, reconnecting isn't the hassle you've described if you install the boot loader. All you have to do is power off from Rockbox and plug in the usb cable -- it turns itself on when connected and the boot loader will detect a usb connection and boot into the original sansa firmware. It's a 3 second procedure to turn off and plug in.

  • Re:Normal vs. Geek (Score:2, Informative)

    by Slash.Poop ( 1088395 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:03AM (#25313125) Homepage

    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?

    Visionaries, such as Wozniak, are always asked for their opinion whether or not they are currently in the industry. Like it or not, Steve Wozniak pretty much single handedly (Jobs brought him coffee) invented the home computer. For that alone (and that is huge deal anyway) his opinion will ALWAYS be relevant. Particularly to anything Apple might be doing at the current second. He did co found the company for Christ's sake.

    On that same note: Why do we continue to ask for the opinions of former presidents, supreme court justices, cabinet members, retired scientists, authors, or any other number of people who may have not worked in their field in 20 years?

    The fact that so many people are bashing Wozniak just proves how much the iPeople hate any opinion that differs from the official opinion imposed Apple. Don't you see a problem with that?

    Always look on the bright side of life.

  • by quanticle ( 843097 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:05AM (#25313157) Homepage

    The ipods are nothing like any other mp3 players, but off course why be logical when there is Apple hate.

    The iPod is nothing like other MP3 players? Really? I mean, doesn't it play music and video?

    I understand what you're trying to say (the design and interface of the iPod is superior to that of other MP3 players), but the way you say it makes it seem like the iPod is an entirely different device. It would be like me saying, "Acuras are nothing like other cars, but of course, why be logical when there is Acura hate."

  • 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].
  • Re:First post (Score:3, Informative)

    by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @11:40AM (#25314877)

    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.

  • Re:First post (Score:3, Informative)

    by osgeek ( 239988 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:24PM (#25320765) Homepage Journal

    I've got a 16GB Sansa View I bought for $199 when iPods of similar size were (I think) $50 more expensive. I wish I had bought the iPod. Sansa makes buggy products that they don't support.

    The Sansa message boards have moved past anger and denial to despair that Sandisk will never fix their damned firmware.

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

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

    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. :-)

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly