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Old 05-24-2004, 02:18 PM   #1
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How Sony Cemented iPod's Supremacy

If you want to see how someone tears apart Sony's future strategy, you *must* read Jeremy Horwitz's article How Sony Cemented iPod's Supremacy. Granted, the iPod is a brilliant player, but this article reminds me that some Apple users sound more like a bunch of fanatics who believe that iPod was God's gift to man.

"Historically, Sony's record with personal computer software has been terrible: application bugs, refusal to update drivers for anything other than recently-released computers, and other issues have plagued Sony's PC development efforts." - what do Sony Clie users have to say about this?
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Old 05-25-2004, 03:16 AM   #2
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Yes, I wonder what Apple users have to say to Apple's failed attempt (Newton) to enter the PDA market. On the other hand, before Sony entered the Palm world, the best Palm available was the Palm Vx with 160x160 pixels. Sony caused nothing less but an avalanche to the PDA world.

Jeremy must have forgotton about this small detail.
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Old 05-25-2004, 01:31 PM   #3
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Alexander, I deeply admire your work creating this site, but I must correct you on something: Apple, with the Newton, was not ENTERING the PDA market, they were CREATING it.

This is a HUUUGE difference, because people didn't know what they wanted or needed -- cf: the Sony Walkman. Who knew people wanted to walk around with 'phones attached to their heads all the time?

The Newton's technology was YEARS ahead of its time -- the handwriting recognition remains better than anything else out there; this is why Apple won't license it and why rumourmongers continue to hold out hope for an Apple PDA.

And odds are, if Jobs' hadn't returned and (albeit saved the company...) killed the Newton development, we'd be discussing Apple's dominance of the PDA market as we do the iPod's the "portable music" market. My eMate (instant on, instant off, auto save, large screen, FUNCTIONAL keyboard, quality software -- even websurfable! -- and sturdy with anti-shock and built-in handle) remains a useful tool for me as I write because it goes anywhere and has a far longer battery life than the $2k compaq I'm writing on now.

Give the Newton some lovin' -- without it, there'd probably be less need for this site.
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Old 05-25-2004, 03:50 PM   #4
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Hi Gyffes,

I admit my general ignorance of the history of Apple (I never even owned a Mac or a Newton). And perhaps it is all Steve Job's fault that Apple has never focused its R&D on the Newton and its possible offsprings. But the fact remains that Apple management decided against the Newton and thus failed to seize a gigantic future PDA market. Sony, on the hand, did the right thing by licensing PalmOS and focusing on the kind of PDA hardware never seen before.

You rightfully say that the Newton created the PDA market. But the same way I can argue that Sony's Walkman created the market for mobile audio devices.

Horwitz disqualifies himself by generalizing Sony's (possibly failing) attempt to enter the digital audio-player market: his claim that "Sony's record with personal computer software has been terrible" is an ignorant insult on Sony's legacy of developing innovative audio and video products.

When I was still a student in the US (here in Europe, I only know a single person who uses a Mac - happens to be one of my best friends), I had several colleagues who were so fanatically devoted to Apple (with a hint of elitist attitudes I may say) that I couldn't resist but think of the old saying "Arguing with Apple fanatics is like wrastlin' with a pig. You get dirty and the pig likes it."

Don't get me wrong. I have no bad feelings for Apple. I like their style. I like the fact that OS X Panther is based on Freebsd, my favorite OS. But I don't like the way how Apple users tend to disqualify themselves by generalizing too much about their competitors' weaknesses without noticing that Apple is far from perfect either.
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Old 05-25-2004, 04:41 PM   #5
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Well, I'z one pig happy to grumble about Apple's misanthropic approach to their fans. Err.. users. The way they strand their early adopters (early Cube owners not allowed to buy the enhanced video card made available weeks after purchase is but one of MYRIAD instnaces) is ..well... positively MICROSOFT-ian.
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Old 05-25-2004, 04:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyffes
...is ..well... positively MICROSOFT-ian.


What makes me most upset faintly related to our discussion is the fact that Apple hasn't made the iPod Mini available in Europe yet. Reading and writing about it, but not having the change to see, touch, or own it, is torture at its worst!
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:54 PM   #7
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HAHAHAHA Ahhh.. NOW I understand the bitterness!

My understanding is it's a supply issue. I own a first gen 5gb iPod and I'm quite happy with it, but having fondled the minis... ooooooooh, they are INCREDIBLY sexy. WHOO.
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Old 05-27-2004, 12:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyffes
HAHAHAHA Ahhh.. NOW I understand the bitterness!

My understanding is it's a supply issue. I own a first gen 5gb iPod and I'm quite happy with it, but having fondled the minis... ooooooooh, they are INCREDIBLY sexy. WHOO.
Nice to have another mac finatic here with us...I too have an original ipod (10gb) and love it! I agree that the minis are definately drool worthy but apple's prices for the minis compared to their full size ipods is a bit dumb. $250 for a 4gb min compared to $299 for a 10gb ipod. Just my 2cents
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Old 06-08-2004, 04:44 AM   #9
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Btw, at the "All Things Digital" conference in California this afternoon, Steve Jobs said he was happy Apple hadn't ventured into the PDA business yet and gave an indication that there are no plans for a PDA or Smartphone. So not so stupid after all if you look at Sony's demise
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Old 06-08-2004, 08:54 AM   #10
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Err... stuff and nonsense, Morpheus. Apple CREATED the PDA with the Newton and fled when things got hot, despite having the best products (then AND now). Remarkably similar to what's happened with Sony.

And I hardly see this as "sony's demise." They're overextended, committed to the PSP and their venture with Erikson. As an incredibly satisfied NX60 & NX80 owner, I hope they've not abandoned the concept of PDA entirely.

On the other hand... there's now a massive gap in PalmOS BleedingEdge design... this looks like a Jobs for... Jonathon Ivey! (there's GOTTA be a reason Apple never licensed the Newton's handwriting recognition software...)
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Old 06-08-2004, 09:00 AM   #11
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(Sighing wistfully) Silly boys. You all need some primary edumakashun.

In order to understand anything Apple, you have to read "The Macintosh Way" by Guy Kawasaki.

It was written in 1989, but it will give you complete insight into why and how Apple does what it does, and how they've created the cult of mac. As a matter of fact, if you ever plan to buy or sell anything, you should read this book.

Available at the above link for as low at $.95 used.
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Old 06-08-2004, 10:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyffes
Err... stuff and nonsense, Morpheus. Apple CREATED the PDA with the Newton and fled when things got hot, despite having the best products (then AND now). Remarkably similar to what's happened with Sony.
Hey Gyffes, cheer up! All I said in my last post was that Jobs made it clear that Apple isn't planning to release a handheld. And we all know that Sony is in trouble right now. And we know that the PDA market is shrinking, which is probably the main reason why Sony concluded to focus on its Ericsson mobile phone joint venture.
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Old 06-08-2004, 04:02 PM   #13
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Being a Sony bigot myself, I hurts me to admit that the article has a point. Sony has done little to innovate lately, is years behind many of their competitors in many of their markets, or has created inferior product. I don't think the company is in trouble, but the direction they are heading in is not good.

For the first time in years, I considered buying a TV other than Sony. I did buy a Sony, but I almost bought a Pioneer.

About Apple and the Newton: That was a different Apple. They were at the time directionless and visionless. That has changed a great deal and now they are either innovators (iPod) or they take an interesting position on existing products. See the articles I posted about the Apple AirPort Express.
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