Apple should be admired for their ability in getting consumers to pay a premium for their products. A force to be reckoned with, in the late 90s, the company brought the personal computer market out of its beige box blues, and in doing so, brought their own company out of its downward spiral. They made the design of the container almost as important as the silicon and plastics running on the inside. Out of the gates, they marketed their computers like lollipops, appealing to the teeny boppers with there candy colored exteriors. Gradually, their designs matured into the current aluminum G5 which has every designer worth his salt owning one. To some, the exterior is worth the extra outlay and fortunately, the innards aren't a disappointment. Today, we have Apple to thank for making the computer and other related devices objects of desire.
That brings us to the almighty iPod. This little device pratically invented the harddisk based digital music player market. There were similar products before the iPod, but they were obscure, and not properly marketed. since its inception there have been a number of competitors but all of them have failed to knock the iPod off its throne. A week or two ago, while shopping for my sister's iPod, I came across this competitor, the Cowon iAudio X5. Produced by a small Korean company, it hasn't been properly marketed yet, but it's been gaining its fair share of viral marketing.
It's a fantastic player but I don't want to use this post to restate the facts. You can read about the Cowon iAudio X5 at their site, or check the reviews by iAudiophile.net or CNet. There's also the Gigabeat by Toshiba, that has its own following (but the pricing has a lot to be desired). The Olympus m:robe 100, an iPod-mini competitor is a nice looking product too (probably my favorite in terms of looks) but doesn't compete as favorably as the others mentioned here in terms of functionality.
My sister can keep her squeaky clean Apple image. The question you must ask yourself. Would Vader 'wear' an iPod? I think not. I'm all for the dark side. How about a proper marketing campaign Cowon? Let's jump on the Star Wars marketing blitz!
Disclaimer: I have nothing against Apple and their products, I respect them for what they are. But I am a little disgusted by all the fanboys who turn a blind eye to the faults of their respective products and bash on anything not encased in the aluminum or white plastic Apple mold.
Update: Perfect Slim, if we can just put one overall brand on top of the iAudio X5, m:robe 100 and MP-120 we have a whole line-up to compete with Apple. Hmmm, maybe that'll be my next project. Hehehe, I could borrow Audi's cheesy '>' ad campaign and make a simple knockoff. iAudio X5 > iPod Photo, m:robe 100 > iPod-mini, and MP-120 > Shuffle.
Labels: idea judo