Why Nike+ iPod Equals Insanely Great

The deal Apple did with Nike to create the Nike+ iPod accessory could just be about the most important it has ever done, surpassing those with record companies for iTunes downloads and even those future deals with movie studios.

Here’s why: there seems little doubt that, despite its ’speculation and rumor’ comment, that Microsoft is working on some sort of iPod. If, as reports would have us believe, it will carry the Xbox branding and have J Allard at the helm, it may just have enough to put a dent in the iPod’s halo. That together with the interoperability saga and the rumbling on of the ’sweatshop’ claims must be causing concern to Tony Fadell and his iPod team. Then of course, there’s the reports of delays to the next version of the nano and the ‘real’ video iPod – which may still be a year away. All that bad news means that Microsoft’s entry into the market may just come at a time when the iPod is at its most vulnerable.

So, it was crucial for Apple, at a time when it has no new iPods to announce, to produce something positive. And the Nike+ is it. Far from being just another iPod accessory, the Nike+_ is a whole new platform and will attract a whole new potential market to the iPod. Come the Holiday Season if you’re one of the estimated 30 million runners in the US, or one of many millions more in the rest of the world, and are thinking about buying a music player, you’ll opt for an iPod, no matter how good Microsoft’s Zune player is — unless of course you have an aversion to Nike or its shoes.

More than that, though. The Nike deal demonstrates that Apple is working phenomenally hard to add more functionality to the iPod and I expect more deals like this one to be announced over the coming months. Apple knows that it’s not enough to have the best player with most compelling content anymore. For the iPod phenomenon to continue to grow it realises that it must push it beyond beyond being merely a media player and into niches where none of its competitors has yet explored.

One Response to “Why Nike+ iPod Equals Insanely Great”

  1. mp3 player Says:

    More iPod phone rumours surface… :)
    And it’s Apple perpetuating them
    Apple recently hinted at exciting developments in the digital music market.
    While no new product announcements were disclosed during last night’s financial results announcement, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said: “The iPod continued to earn a US market share of over 75 per cent and we are extremely excited about future iPod products in our pipeline.”
    Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer said: “Apple is investing heavily in iPod and iTunes engineering and is very enthusiastic about products in the pipeline.”
    Oppenheimer also dropped Apple’s biggest suggestion yet that it has plans to deliver a hybrid mobile phone iPod, saying: “We don’t think that the phones that are available today make the best music players. We think the iPod is. But over time, that is likely to change, and we are not sitting around doing nothing.”
    The company released statistics that showed iPod sales contributed $1.4bn (about ?760m) in revenue to the company’s $4.4bn (?2.4bn) revenue overall. That’s a climb of 36 percent compared with the same quarter last year.
    Apple’s ‘Other Music Products’ category – a general gathering that includes iTunes sales, iPod accessories and other services (presumably including revenue under its ‘Made for iPod’ scheme) popped another $457m (?248m) into the company coffers. This statistic is one of the most impressive on the company’s books, as it represents a 90 percent rise year on year.
    Citing research data from NPD, GFK and BCN, Apple confirmed that the iPod accounts for 75 per cent of the US MP3 player market, and that it’s the top-selling music player in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Spain, Italy and Japan.
    iTunes – which now offers a US catalogue of three million songs, 9,000 music videos and 150 TV programmes – grabbed an impressive slice of 85 per cent of the pay-to-own digital music market, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

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