Thursday, October 26, 2006

Will Nokia Knock the iPod from its Perch?

Slate's Alexander Dryer says Nokia could be the Apple Chomper (can you say, iPod?) that Zune wants to become.

Dryer spent a week with Nokia's latest, the N91. Here's how he finishes out the article:

The bottom line? The N91 is a good music player and a superb phone. That said, I wouldn't buy one for the outlandish current price of $599 when you can get an iPod and a phone separately for less money. However, keep in mind that today's music phones are for the early adopter crowd. Mobile-service providers are notorious for taking months to approve new phones for their networks, but once
the N91 or a similar Nokia model is cleared, the Nseries won't be for early
adopters anymore—it will be a legitimate competitor to the iPod.

Nice review, but I think it's a bit early to call Nokia the next Apple Chomper. However, here's what Bill Kinnon told us in September about iPods and musicphones:

So Apple sold 22.5 million iPods. In 2005, the mobile phone industry sold more musicplayer phones. How many? The telecoms industry analyst Informa reported that the total number of MP3 player equipped phones sold in 2005 were 90 Million. Adding to the existing musicphones, the worlds musicphone sales in 2005 were: 22.5 million iPods, 7 million other stand-alone MP3 players, and 90 million musicphones ...for a total of 119.5 million portable MP3 players. Apples market share of devices sold in 2005 is not 78%, it is 18.8%.
Bill's data puts things in perspective. And I now better understand Apple's desire to dominate the musicphone market. It's a big market (119.5 million portable MP3's!) and, besides, what other choice do they have?


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