Times change and so do trends. The iPod was tops in Japan for four years, recently overtaken by Sony’s venerable Walkman brand. What happened? Bloomberg:
The Japanese company’s share of portable music players sold climbed to 43 percent in the week ended Aug. 30, exceeding Apple’s 42.1 percent, ending the lead that the iPod maker had kept since January 2005.
That’s merely the tip of the iceberg. Apple recognized long ago the need to migrate the iPod and iTunes experience to the rapidly growing smartphone market. So, iPod sales are down in Japan. What’s up? The iPhone is the top selling phone in Japan, a country which dearly loves smartphones. Fortune:
Market data from Gfk Japan shows the 32 GB iPhone in the No. 1 spot for July, ahead of Japanese-made phones from Sharp, Panasonic (PC), NEC, Casio and Sony Ericsson (a Japanese/Swedish joint venture). The 16 GB model came in at No. 9, ahead of the Sharp SH001.
The obvious? The iPod as a standalone media player may continue to decline as the iPhone and iPod touch prospers. To be fair, the transition will be slow, but steady. I suspect that Apple makes a lot more money on the iPhone and iPod touch combo than on vanilla iPods.
More change? Yes, the mindset for entertainment products that fit in your pocket has changed. In previous decades, all we had was music. Then, cell phones. Then the merge of entertainment platform with cell phone.
As a tribute to changing times and trends, Dan Fommer highlights The Top 10 Back-To-School iPhone Apps:
The free app MyHomework is one popular example, and it’s currently the no. 2 most downloaded education app in the App Store. It lets students keep track of their classes, homework assignments, projects, and tests, with a fun, simple user interface.
Notice that it’s not what music is playing, or what books are popular, not even what gadgets are hot back-to-school items. It’s applications and utilities and games for the iPhone and iPod touch. That change is not lost on Apple, hence their string of iPhone television commercials which highlight the App Store.
Check the Top 10 List. This is tantamount to something like the Top 10 Utilities Every Windows User Needs. Windows is an ubiquitous platform. The iPhone is becoming the dominant platform for the best in-your-pocket communications, entertainment, and utility device.
In two years the iPhone has become the de facto standard for handheld applications. It’s the tip of the iceberg.