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Dell Quietly Leaves MP3 Market 166

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the going-gently dept.
An AD-Esque Sitcom writes "Dell has quietly retired from the portable player market. The Dell DJ Ditty — whose website is nothing more than an error now — was absent from Dell's catalogue, and the company was not offering any follow-up products, instead preferring to stick with PCs, printers, and not killing people in fiery laptop-related explosions. Dell will still be a third-party reseller of other MP3 players like the Creative Zen, but has left the Windows-based player market to the four big players — SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative."
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Dell Quietly Leaves MP3 Market

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  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday August 24, 2006 @07:53PM (#15974570) Homepage Journal

    Back in the day there was a phrase going around, which seemed to have great merit: Stick to your core competency. While not always good advice, for there were a few companies who diversified and prospered, it was often easy to find examples of where companies had utterly done themselves in by getting into product lines and services where they were out of their depth or the product/service really wasn't ever going to produce the return hoped for (during hard times these units are often the first closed because the accountants can readliy point them out as hemorraging cash.) Good for Dell, get out and put your mind on sorting out your battery woes and making better PC's (the past years models are a far cry from the quality of early Dell units.)

    Microsoft, still willing to bet billions you have an iPod killer and wish to enter the digital music player market? of course, you love the challenge and it encourages those mean old euro dogs to request Windows with the media junk bundled the EU is currently spanking you for.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Stick to your core competency"

      Yeah, I wish Apple would have listened to you before they started selling iPods :-)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bangenge (514660)
        apple would have loved to have stuck to their core competency, but they gambled. but they had a good (and you might even say great) marketing strategy, a good (again, conservative estimate) product and a market still not really saturated at that time. i have to admit, although you might say luck had to do a lot with the ipod's success, they did what they could to eliminate the need to rely on luck. dell apparently realized that they can't compete with the 50000000lb gorilla in there with the other known con
    • by CubicleView (910143) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:21PM (#15974730) Journal
      Companies that don't ever diversify don't always do well either. Dell's foray into the MP3 market turned out to be ill conceived, but as the great Homer put it "No matter how good you are at something, there's always about a million people better than you." Dell were on the bottom and gave up (probably a wise decision) but the Apple iPod is just one of an eventual million other better products. I see no reason why any company with enough money and ingenuity can't beat the iPod into second place, it's just a matter of time.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by peektwice (726616)
        There will be an iPod killer

        And monkeys might fly out my butt...hey...what the fuck...

        Seriously though...all the supposed iPod killers thus far have been pitiful imitators.
        The real iPod killer is likely to be either

        A. something else from Apple, who spends a TON of money on interface design from an artistic and human approach, or

        B. something entirely different, that is not just a media player. This is why you find iTunes on phones. Apple realizes that this or potentially the PDA market can displace them fro
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        You based that on the assumption that Apple is doing nothing but wait for someone to take over. There is a huge R&D going on behind the screen. Just look at the patents Apple get. For all we know, they already have the next generation iPod almost ready for manufacturing. Not only the "iPod killer" compete with the iPod on the market, but it must kill this hidden target. Not an easy thing to do if you don't know what you must kill. Furthermore, time is what you don't have. The longer it takes to kill iPo
        • Aside from anything else...

          If it takes a couple years to come up with a true iPod killer, Apple still won't die right away. 3rd party vendors won't simply dismiss the 100 million userbase. That gives Apple time to design an iPod-killer killer. And your player is not compatible with the biggest paid music download service.

          This doesn't really add up. Say someone does come up with said killer. ITMS provides /some/ revenue to Apple, but all those units in circulation don't generate revenue for Apple (with the

          • by homer_ca (144738)
            Apple doesn't run ITMS as a profit maker. The ITMS just about breaks even. It's more a traffic generator to drive iPod sales.
        • by Kadin2048 (468275)
          This is a good point. For all we know, Apple might have an "iPod killer" on some whiteboard in somebody's office right now. They're not going to do a damn thing with it though, unless it looks like the current cash cow is going to be slaughtered by somebody else.

          Right now, Apple doesn't even have any reason to substantially improve on the iPod, except as they're forced to by competition from SanDisk and others. The price point for players is basically fixed, so at any time it makes sense to not give the mac
      • by SethJohnson (112166) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @09:25PM (#15974966) Homepage Journal
        I see no reason why any company with enough money and ingenuity can't beat the iPod into second place, it's just a matter of time.

        The bedevelling problem is that public companies have these annoying stock holders who have little patience waiting for a product line to turn a profit. With Dell in particular, they've got razor-thin margins on EVERYTHING, and a bunch of stockholders screaming for profits to double year-after-year. Dell has far less time than a company like Microsoft where they've got huge margins on the OS and office suites, so they frequently win the 'cut off the air supply' waiting game, even when they don't have this 'ingenuity' thing you speak of.

        Seth
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mpcooke3 (306161) *
          Yeah, plus Microsoft have cash reserves the size of a medium sized country and have a record of throwing it at new markets for years if neccessary.
          Dell is not that kind of business.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JonLatane (750195)
        Undoubtedly someone will eventually beat out the iPod, or other devices will become small and powerful enough to toss it into that chasm called obsolesence. However, as it stands today there's pretty much no way for the iPod to lose out, even with a consumer base that is more open to change than ever before. The word "iPod" is to MP3 players as JIF is to peanut butter, Windex is to window cleaner, and Lysol is to disinfectants. I could name at least 10 people off the top of my head, more if I sat and tho
        • by mgblst (80109)
          Ha, Jif is a cleaning product in Australia.

          What does this say, who knows? But maybe, if you look close enough, there is some significance there, a moral to the saying if you will.

    • by twitter (104583)

      Windoze Media is a loser. Hell, they gave those things and the music away and people did not use them. A friend of mine got one from his apartment complex as a spiff for not moving. The DRM'd music the RIAA tried to push on campuses was a flop even when they gave it away. LSU never got suckered with that one so my buddy never bothered. He used WMP, as much as it sucks, to load it up and enjoyed it the player. Would he have spent $200 for it? Never. When he gets a new computer and WMP no longer works

      • by Khuffie (818093)
        It's Windows. And last I checked, iPod/iTunes were still DRM'd up the wazoo.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Glendale2x (210533)
          iPod/iTunes has a lot of DRM? Have you ever used iTunes with an iPod? It's crazy simple and transparent. Remember, Apple *had* to include some kind of DRM to get the distribution rights they did; the record companies demanded it. Even then, it's very light DRM compared to other stuff out there. Easy to strip if you really wanted to. Burn it to CD if you like. As far as DRM goes, it's pretty damn lightweight. Don't like DRM? Rip CD's and just copy the files to the iPod. It's possible Apple gets away with thi
          • by Khuffie (818093)
            Parent was complaining about how DRM and devices don't work everywhere. I can't buy music from iTunes and stick it into my Walkman phone. Ya, I'd have to burn it to CD and then rip it. I wouldn't call that easy.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by toddestan (632714)
            On the other hand, Apple uses it's DRM as a tool to keep third parties from selling songs to iPod users, as well as keeping people from loading up songs bought on iTunes to something other than an iPod. That's not transparent in my eyes - actually it's pretty restrictive, despite some of the hoops you can jump through to make it "just work". I'm not a fan of Windows media either, but atleast you get a choice of both music stores and players if you go that route.
            • As I alluded, perhaps it's the lock in that allows them to get away with rather light DRM compared to other options.
        • by ahknight (128958) *
          Yes, it has DRM, but they went through the trouble to make it cross-platform DRM (the two that matter) so that everyone (that matters) could use it. Microsoft has done no such thing, and will not.
          • by Khuffie (818093)
            And Apple refuses to license it's DRM to other MP3 player manufacturers, while Microsoft's DRM is licensed to third parties so you have multiple MP3 players that work with it. I wouldn't call either 'cross-platform'.
    • by vivek7006 (585218)
      Stick to your core competency

      What if apple had followed your advice? We would have never seen an ipod. As the old saying goes, its better to try and fail rather than not try at all.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by FoxconnGuy (997669)
        Apple has sticked to its core competency: Design fantastic products and marketing them. Though not always work, but for a consumer electronic product, Apple has good chance to win the fancy high-end ones. Especially with new business model been built. Apple joined the player market with iTunes supporting its iPod products. While back then if you tell someone to sell MP3 in this way, he/she mostly would thought you're out of your mind: RIAA will not allow that! Dell is good at: cost down and stream line th
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by tkdog (889567)
        Except I think Apple would take the view that they did stick to their core competency - making hardware and software blend into a useful appliance. The iPod has less of a range of functions than the things they typically make (Macs) but I think they see it as a "post-PC" gadget. A device that fits in your hand (or pocket) and allows you to do stuff - listen to music, watch video, carry files, some light PDA stuff so far. But there is a potential for them to build from what they have. The idea that all
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LordLucless (582312)
      Back in the day there was a phrase going around, which seemed to have great merit: Stick to your core competency.

      You mean the way Apple stuck to its core competency as a computer hardware/OS supplier, and not a music distributor, or developer of portable music devices?

      That phrase should be ammended to "stick to your competencies". Consumers don't care whether or not this new service is "core", as long as the company does a good job with it. See also Microsoft's foray into hardware, with keyboards, mice
      • by 2nd Post! (213333)
        I would argue that the iPod IS Apple's core competency:

        The iPod originally was:
        160x160 grayscale screen
        32mb RAM
        5gb HDD
        dual core 90MHz CPU
        Five buttons and a touchpad
        Fast serial bus
        Stereo speaker out

        That's a computer if I ever heard one. On top of that they designed two pieces of software to integrate with it: iTunes and the iPod OS, also both strong competencies of Apple.

        So with the original iPod they designed a portable computer, an OS, and an application. Things that Apple is very skilled at.

        Later when the
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by 70Bang (805280)

      I agree, but there's a hairball working to choke that off a bit. ;)

      It's called dividends and keeping the stockholders happy

      The Rule of 72 [1] means every three years will require an annual growth of 24%. That's hard to do year-in and year-out. To make the cut, you either increase sales at a frisky pace, increase the number of products people can buy, or buy someone else.

      The responses to maintain whatever magic numbers are expected are obvious, finite, and generate a lot of pain. Those who are in p
  • Hey (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24, 2006 @07:53PM (#15974576)
    Atleast they didnt leave explosively. You gotta give them credit for that much.
    • ...to go out with a whimper than a bang, eh?
      • by 70Bang (805280)

        ...to go out with a whimper than a bang, eh?


        ...that's what Rio did, isn't it?

        Someone correct me, please, but didn't Rio predate iPod?

    • Unfortunately, they have a tendancy to simply stop working. Which is worse; at least with firey death you get a light show and possibly a million dollar lawsuit.
  • by Kelson (129150) * on Thursday August 24, 2006 @07:53PM (#15974577) Homepage Journal
    I guess Dell couldn't make use of all that Snakes on a Plane tie-in publicity, huh?

    What, you didn't notice it? Small wonder, considering the character listening to the Dell MP3 player was known as iPod Girl [snakesonablog.com] until the last minute [snakesonablog.com].
  • Explosions! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MarkByers (770551)
    "and not killing people in fiery laptop-related explosions."

    Nothing like a bit of flamebait to start some lively discussions!

    Do we really need these sorts of comments in the summaries?
    • by w33t (978574) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @07:57PM (#15974598) Homepage
      Of course we need these sorts of comments in the summaries! You vacuous, ill-educated buffoon! ...and when you say "flamebait", are you reffering to the comment or the laptop battery?
    • by QuantumG (50515)
      What's funny is when the mainstream media picks up comments like that and presents 'em as fact.
  • by w33t (978574) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @07:55PM (#15974586) Homepage
    to kill people in fiery MP3-player-related explosions.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by RuBLed (995686)
      ...they still have the opportunity to kill people in fiery printer-related explosions, at least that one would be a little more colorful.
  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @07:59PM (#15974610) Journal
    I'd never even HEARD of the "DJ Ditty" until this morning's radio news mentioned that Dell had dropped it.

    With PR like that - versus Apple's dancing silhouettes - it's no surprise it never sold.
    • Not to mention that the Dell DJ Ditty sounds rather immature/stupid. Reminds me of P. Diddy. What the hell was he thinking?!?
    • by SeaFox (739806)

      I'd never even HEARD of the "DJ Ditty" until this morning's radio news mentioned that Dell had dropped it.

      With PR like that - versus Apple's dancing silhouettes - it's no surprise it never sold.

      Yeah, it's been said "teasers" and other marketting gimmicks that build mystery and suspense around your product are good PR tools. Apple kept the dancer's true identities a mystery, and I guess Dell just had too much of a good thing. A product so quietly promoted, your customers don't even know it exists!

  • IMO their overdiversification is a major reason (but not the only one) for their recent decline, they definitely need to consolidate back to their core buisiness (PCs) and dump all the other crap (Printers, Networking gear, televisions, etc.)
  • by User 956 (568564) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:01PM (#15974618) Homepage
    ell will still be a third-party reseller of other MP3 players like the Creative Zen, but has left the Windows-based player market to the four big players -- SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative. Of course they bailed on the market. Microsoft is about to enter it and drop a shitload of cash in an attempt to gain marketshare, just like they did with xbox. The most likely scenario is that they're going to initially cannibalize non-ipod sales.
    • by samkass (174571)
      Dell will still be a third-party reseller of other MP3 players like the Creative Zen, but has left the Windows-based player market to the four big players -- SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative."

      "Windows-based player market"? What does that even mean? SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative together have 1/7th of the market, with 6/7ths being iPods. And most iPods are used with Windows. And how can Sony, with, what, a 2% market share, count as a "big player"?

      Do you mean Microsoft "Plays For Sure"-based, p
      • SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative together have 1/7th of the market, with 6/7ths being iPods.

        It does? You might want to tell Apple. They seem to be under the impression that they hold slightly less than 3/4 of the US market, with similar in Europe, but substantially less in Asia (you know, where Samsung and Sony hail?).

  • not for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cptgrudge (177113) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <egdurgtpc>> on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:02PM (#15974626) Journal

    ...but has left the Windows-based player market to the four big players -- SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative.

    iriver for life

    Unless the next model I want to buy sucks, of course.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by eddy (18759)

      Both iriver and my personal current favourite iaudio [cowonamerica.com] produce very good players, it's just that the masses waggle along and buy shit like ''Sony'' (because of brand) or ''Noname'' (because of price)

    • by OpenGLFan (56206)
      Funny you should say this...I use mp3 players constantly. I started with a Korean player with an 8 segment display I got off lik-sang years and years ago, the first disc-based hardware mp3 player.

      Anyway, I've always been a fan of iRiver. I bought a ChromeX, then a SlimX, then a H320. All were excellent and are still running. BUT a few months ago I bought an iRiver T-series flash player. I had to flash the firmware with a hacked Korean version to use it in Linux and treat it as a USB drive. Then, a few
  • by NineNine (235196) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:05PM (#15974648)
    Except for Apple, which uses it's excellent marketing to convince people that they need to wait in lines for hours to pay waaaay too much for their particular brand name, I can't believe that portable MP3 players are going to be cash cows for much longer. They're cheap, basic, simple electronic commodities at this point. Upload MP3's to them, press play, you have music. No big deal. Hell, Verisign just sent me a free one for downloading a 2 page white paper!

    The excitement is already dying down.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      what? who waits in line for hours? except for christmas, of course.
    • by badasscat (563442)
      I can't believe that portable MP3 players are going to be cash cows for much longer. They're cheap, basic, simple electronic commodities at this point. Upload MP3's to them, press play, you have music. No big deal.

      Not exactly the type of comment I'd expect to see in relation to a story about Dell exiting the mp3 player market.

      If your argument is that mp3 players are commodities at this point, you've been proven wrong by the very story you're writing about.
      • If your argument is that mp3 players are commodities at this point, you've been proven wrong by the very story you're writing about.

        Just because Dell couldn't make it work for them doesn't mean that mp3 players aren't commodities. Look around. There are a TON of other brands selling mp3 players cheap. Not in ipod form factor either. Think USB flash players.

        And they sell too. There's a whole lot more to this world than the US.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mikey-San (582838)
      They're cheap, basic, simple electronic commodities at this point.

      And this mindset, ladies and gentlemen, is why no one has been able to beat the iPod.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:07PM (#15974652)
    Actually, they still make the player.

    The website is down until they get some replacement batteries for the server.
  • by Parallax Blue (836836) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:13PM (#15974687)
    In the wake of their battery recall and complaints about bad tech support (no surprise there) they are likely cutting their losses and allocating the capital spent on this player to other areas such as better advertising, and (hopefully) better tech support. A smart move on their part as it's too late to make a significant impact on this market now IMHO.

    As for going quietly/gently, that is probably the right way to do it as share holders are scrutinizing their Dell stock and wondering whether or not they should be selling it. News that Dell has dropped their MP3 player, while certainly not a tragedy, may indicate either a weakness or a willingness to cut loose products that just aren't taking off. In effect they're playing it safe.
    • by loraksus (171574)
      Sony is going to be paying for the batteries, dell's financials took only a very small hit. I do admit I have a ditty, I won it in their christmas game with the lezbo delf chick ;)
  • Haha (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TimmyDee (713324) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:13PM (#15974691) Homepage Journal
    Farewell Dell! One market you can't take over by undercutting on price!

    Don't let the door hit you on the ass!

    P.S. I know I may be modded troll for this one, but its about time this happened. Maybe all of those "analysts" will stop spewing about "iPod-killers" whenever someone comes out with a cheaper mp3 player. They may be driven by price alone, but consumers aren't always (as we have seen here).
    • I know. Hey - why are people buying 100-dollar plus Nike's when there's cheaper shoes? Why pay for designer jeans when they're cheaper at K-Mart.

      Tech doesn't have to be about parts - sometimes good design, like fashion - makes it's own desire (and price points).

      But what do I know. I'm sure even my el-cheapo Mac Mini would be PWNED by some Dell rebate fan.
      Doesn't mean it isn't the coolest lump of plastic I've ever owned though. Fuck they're just - so - COOL.

      I want a rack of em' Beowolf BITCHES! With GRILLS!
  • windows (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:13PM (#15974692)
    left the Windows-based player market to the four big players -- SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative."

    iPod works with Windows as well.
  • by Blastrogath (579992) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:16PM (#15974703)
    "...left the Windows-based player market to the four big players -- SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative."

    What happened to Apple? My iPod certainly works with Windows.
    • In the summary... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Digz (90264)
      "...left the Windows-based player market to the four big players -- SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative."

      Granted, it would be much clearer as Windows Media-based, but I believe that's what the summary was alluding to.

  • Huh-what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rjoseph (159458) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:17PM (#15974708) Homepage
    "...has left the Windows-based player market to the four big players -- SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative."

    So, let's do some math here. Apple currently has, according to the most recent reports [pcworld.com], about a 75% market share in the portable music player market. If Apple has sold 50+ million iPods to date, that would give us a rough estimate of about 67 million portable music players sold, in total, from all companies who produce said products. 50M iPods, 17M "others."

    Last quarter, Apple sold a little over 1M Mac computers, while it sold over 8M iPods. This is not a new trend, either: there are far less Mac owners than there are iPod owners in the world.

    So, you're really trying to convince us that out of the 50M iPods that have been sold, there are more people who bought one of the 17M other players that use Windows than there are iPod users who use Windows?!

    Did everyone already forget how a big a boon iTunes for Windows was for both Apple and iPod sales?
    • I think what they meant was WMA/MS DRM (aka PlayForSure) based players. iPods can't play WMA or DRM'd WMA, such as those files you download from services like Napster and Yahoo Music Unlimited. The comment was poorly worded, I grant you.
      • by rjoseph (159458)
        Ah, very true, that thought hadn't even crossed my mind: kudos for catching the important distinction that I missed!
    • It might have been shorthand for Windows "Plays-For-Sure" player market.
  • to treat an MP3 player as just a commodity.

    They see their competition as the 4 other electronics makers, not Apple. That's too many competitors at the manufacturing level to have any real margin.
    They will just wait for the inevitable shakeout to happen to the other manufacturers and start their own back up again to regain pricing power leverage after the carnage is over.

    Apple gets it, however, by making a great product with superior design and clever marketing.
  • dude! (Score:5, Funny)

    by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa AT SPAM DOT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:32PM (#15974764) Journal
    dude! you're exiting the market!
  • by jht (5006) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:47PM (#15974812) Homepage Journal
    When you look at Dell's strengths, it's always been in mainstream products (PCs, laptops, and servers), significant add-ons to them that get used as revenue boosters (printers, low-end network hardware), and to a lesser extent displays and now TVs. Other branded add-ons like the Axim PDAs and their various MP3 players have never really been a hit, because they're the type of consumer electronics that get bought in person - and Dell doesn't do that. It wouldn't shock me at some point to see Dell drop the PDA line, too.

    They've had enough hiccups in recent months that the pressure to execute is probably building. Dell has never been about "cool", or innovation. They've always been a supply chain-oriented company who makes money by taking a proven technology, building it faster and cheaper than everyone else, and taking advantage of every inventory trick in the book to keep the balance sheet clean. That works great for computers, but virtually nobody would ever buy a MP3 player over the web from them based on that alone. And Dell can't do sexy like Apple can. No wonder Michael Dell always sounds so bitter when he talks about Apple. He's about as much of an Anti-Jobs as any tech CEO could possibly be.

  • Dell also decides to quit making pcs and concedes to Apple.
  • Fiery Death (Score:2, Informative)

    by ThurstonMoore (605470)

    and not killing people in fiery laptop-related explosions

    Seems like Dell is taking all the blame for Sony's problem. http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=33 926 [theinquirer.net]

  • by saboola (655522)
    ..because I thought they left the mp3 market like two years ago
  • by digitalderbs (718388) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @09:19PM (#15974941)
    instead preferring to stick with PCs, printers, and not killing people in fiery laptop-related explosions.

    I'm a Dell representative, and I'd like to say that this statement is not entirely true. We're also in the business of selling monitors, and we'll continue to kill people in fiery laptop-related explosions.
  • by neuroklinik (452842) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @09:20PM (#15974948)
    Dell will still be a third-party reseller of other MP3 players like the Creative Zen, but has left the Windows-based player market to the four big players -- SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative."


    I'd say that Apple should be in that list of players who make a Windows-based portable audio device. The iPod works on Windows too.

  • It's not a device. The device is actually pretty simple to make. You can get 31 different new units 4GB or larger from Tigerdirect. No that's the easy part. It's marketing and focus and channel and relationships and service. Do you remember when the first iPods had that battery 'problem' where Apple initially said stuff it go buy another one? They changed their tune pretty damn quick because they wanted loyalty and marketshare. Can you imagine any other mp3 vendor doing that? I can't. Dell left the mp3 spac
  • ..... Dell had an MP3 player? I couldn't tell based on all of the iPods that I see on the subway on a daily basis.
  • A dell axim with 1/4GB + another 8 GB of storage cards ($400 total, all new) gives you a great mp3 player, wifi Internet, tons of games, Direct3D Mobile and hardware accelerated 3D, bluetooth, a VGA resolution screen, and tons more features.

    Who needs another tiny dedcated MP3 player when I can get a nice little 600 MHz computer? My expensive laptop from 1999 didn't even have that good of specifications.
    • Can your Axim play music for 16 hours straight? How about 4 hours of video? Does it have 60 gigs of storage to hold enough music and video to be able to go weeks without listening to the same thing twice?

      If so, I'll consider replacing my black 60 gig iPod video.
      • >> Can your Axim play music for 16 hours straight?

        Yes. I did opt for the bigger battery though, and I've heard that the lower batter can only operate as an mp3 player (the screen backlight off) for around 7 hours.

        >> How about 4 hours of video?

        No, I only get about 3 1/2 hours on one battery charge. It is long enough to watch two of the many feature-length DVDs I have transcoded and stored on a memory card. They look great, I just don't like that they take over 100MB per hour of footage. I hav

        • Yes, I can play video and music roughly as long as you can with your ipod 60GB, at VGA resolution and nicely encoded mp3 rates.

          No, I don't have all that storage with me all the time, I can swap it out.

          I suppose reversing the question is fair game, too:

          Can you play RPGs on your ipod?
          Can you play online games on your ipod?
          Can you play nethack on your ipod?
          Can you play ANY fun games on your ipod?
          Can you connect to the Internet at work without your boss tracking it to your PC, using your ipod? -_-
          Can you discr
          • Looks like I even forgot some more...

            Does your iPod let you take notes on it?
            Does your iPod have 3D accelerated game support? (Wait, I forgot, I said game.)
            Does your iPod let you grab pictures off your friend's digital camera?
            Does your iPod let you swap music with your friends when you get together, and copy it from one device to another?
            Does your iPod let you switch from playing music/games to taking notes with a single button press, or even listen to music while taking notes electronically?
            Does your iPod
  • Windows based? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CODiNE (27417) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @09:50PM (#15975081) Homepage
    left the Windows-based player market to the four big players -- SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative."

    Strangely iTunes and iPods also work just fine on Windows. Was he attempted to say Windows-centric? Mac-ignoring perhaps? Or did he mean based on PlaysForSure? Microsoft Sponsored? Windows-only? Obviously they aren't all running Win CE.
  • Looks like another case of an "iPod Killer" being killed by the iPod. I'm expecting Creative to follow in the next 6-12 months given they're going to start making iPod accessories. Seriously, you know a company has lost faith in their player when they start adding value to their competitor's products.
  • Fiery Explosions? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by twifosp (532320) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @10:28PM (#15975246)
    and not killing people in fiery laptop-related explosions.

    Wow, great piece of editorial comment there! I'm not one to defend cooperate giants here, but Sony is to blame for the shoddy electronics not Dell. Dell at least was the first to issue a recall for the battery issue. Apple uses the same batteries that cause fires and they are just NOW coming out with the a recall. They've known about it for a long time now. HP has about 3 million of the batteries in circulation and who knows how many Sony laptops contain the dodgey batteries. Neither of those companies have even issued a warning about the batteries, nor has Sony owned up to the issue and prefers to let the distributors of their energy storing grenades take the fall.

    If you want to flame a company, flame Sony. How exactly does Dell come out looking like the bad guy here? And on an article about MP3 players no less.

    Slashdot is getting as bad as Fox news. Congratulations editors.

    • They wouldn't have any responsibility for testing the oem parts they assemble into a final system, getting it certified, or anything like that.

      Didn't think of that, i'm sure. But don't worry, the product liability litigators have.

      There's lots of blame to go around here, but the name on the bezel is the one that will pay the lion's share of the settlement ultimately.
      • by twifosp (532320)
        Yea, that's why Sony is reimbursing both Dell and Apple for each recalled unit. Nice logic there, but no cigar.
        • by HBI (604924)
          Cost of goods is going to pale compared to the settlements demanded.

          Wait until the fat lady sings.
  • The summary says, "Dell... has left the Windows-based player market to the four big players -- SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, and Creative."

    Last I checked, the iPod works on Windows [apple.com]. What you really mean is that Dell has left the Microsoft DRM player market. So your "four big players" is missing a fifth larger one: Apple.

  • I never knew that Dell made a MP3 player. This is the first I've heard about it.

    I guess that's a pretty good summary of how it went over?
  • ...why would anyone pay $79 bucks for a refurb 512MB player, when you can get a *new* 512MB iPod Shuffle for $67 on Amazon?

    hoofah.

  • "This commercial product is highly successfully, and I bought one, therefore I shall sneer at you!" Somehow this just doesn't mesh with other /. stances ...

    Is it because it's a cool kid clique that slashdotters can actually get into? ;)

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