Steve Job’s Apple is not a company to underestimate. The company has come through several hard times and has come out on top with its introduction of the iPod and iTunes. However, iPhone is not a sure bet. That will depend on the answer to one very big question: Will consumers see a true need to combine their cell phone and their iPod?
For me, it is simple. There is no need to change from my MP3 player and my T-Mobile phone service. I’m not in the market for a product such as the iPhone. On the other hand, I might be a little old-fashioned. I use my cell phone strictly for phone calls, nothing more and nothing less. I don’t see the need for a cell phone that can do just about everything.
Despite my own feelings, I think that Apple is on to something. Many young high school and college students have being using iPods and cell phones for a while now. They might be looking to upgrade to something that can incorporate the best of both worlds. For those who have already invested their time and money into iTunes, they can feel confident when purchasing an item such as the iPhone. They won’t have to build their music collection once again. For those of us who grew to love the MP3 format, we are somewhat left in the dark. Nonetheless, I’m in the minority. Most people have jumped onto the iTunes and iPod bandwagon. Apple now controls roughly 75% of the market for digital music and players.
What is less clear is whether or not people are going to trust Apple for their cell phone service as well. There are many well-established cell phone makers and service providers out there. They’ve spent millions if not billions of dollars creating networks, brand loyalty, and agreements with retail outlets and other cell phone service providers. It won’t be easy for Apple to create the same thing overnight. In fact, if any company other than a powerhouse like Apple were attempting the same feat, I would say that it would be an extremely foolish move. Apple, on the other hand, has a proud history of coming up with innovative products that change the way the game is played. The Apple personal computer, which was the standard for years, and the iPod come to mind.
Apple has a lot of criticism right now, but don’t count me among the naysayers. Sure Apple will have an uphill battle trying to convince consumers to switch cell phones and cell phone service, but their prior success demonstrates to me that they are willing to work hard to overcome whatever obstacles are in their way. Steve Job’s has done a lot to revive the company in recent years, and the rumor that Apple’s iTunes is to get the Beatles catalog bodes well for both iPod and iTunes. Whether you like the idea of having a music player and a phone all in one, you have to admit that it is an idea with a lot of potential. Apple is probably in a position to pull it off better than anyone else at this date and time.