Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's All About The Accessories

I've been saying this for a long time but nobody seems to be listening to me. If you want to create a successful media device it comes down to one thing: ACCESSORIES.

Why is the iPod so popular? Is it because it reproduces music encoded at 128K into an MP3 file better than any other digital audio player ever made? Nope. Is it because its management software is feature-rich and creates a robust user experience? Not even close. Is it because it has a revolutionary user interface? Okay, I'll give Apple partial credit for that one but think of how easy it is to get the music out of that little device and into almost any piece of audio reproduction equipment.

The dock connector on the bottom of (virtually) every iPod ever made allows you to plug in or dock to a wide range of sound reproduction equipment and control interfaces. The Zune has a dock connector, too, and it works virtually the same as the one on the iPod (as far as the user is concerned). So, why isn't the Zune seriously competitive with the iPod? It plays music just as well. It plays videos just as well and in some cases even better (Zune HD). The Zune software is WAY ahead of iTunes for a user experience. So why isn't it doing better in the marketplace? I'll say it again: ACCESSORIES. The sheer volume and variety of speakers and docks and remotes and cases and interfaces (and applications, but they're not really an accessory) available for the iPod is phenomenal!

So, why am I bringing this up again? Apple has once more made the right move getting a new device to market. The iPad was only introduced a scant three weeks ago. It's not even available for purchase yet and won't be for another 6 to 8 weeks. But you can already but accessories for it on Amazon.com.

I'll repeat that.

The iPad was introduced twenty days ago, won't be available for purchase for another 40 to 70 days and you can already buy accessories for it. Do you want to have a successful media device in today's market? Get lots of accessories to market to compliment it. (getting agreements in place with content publishers wouldn't be a bad idea, either)

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