iPod rules MP3 Player Scene

Why has the Apple iPod been such a huge success?


It would not be hard to imagine that you have heard plenty about the Apple iPod in the media. If you’ve got kids then they probably wanted one for Christmas and if you work in marketing or the music business then you have probably already had an Apple iPod for years. Since its release in 2001 the Apple iPod has become synonymous with the term MP3 player. Apple pretty much created the market for MP3 players and they also totally dominate it.

Why has the Apple iPod been such a huge success? Apple cleverly spotted the rise of digital music and the lack of a suitable piece of hardware. For this reason they developed a hard drive based MP3 player and released this in late 2001. As with their recent computer models Apple did something very clever in the way they marketed and designed their product. Right from the start the Apple iPod was given a sleek and sexy look and was marketed at young, style conscious, music enthusiasts. Apple created a fantastic brand with the all white look, with the white earphones being featured prominently in adverts. The white iPod earphones have actually become so recognizable that they have actually been blamed for increased numbers of street robberies.

Even the original Apple iPod could store a fairly significant amount of music as it used a 5GB hard drive. It was a success from the start, but the fact that it was only Mac compatible held back sales slightly, although Apple did actually see an increase in sales of Apple Macs due to people wanting to be able to use the iPods.

The real explosion for the iPod when they released the 3rd generation iPod in 2003 that came bundled with Apple’s own iTunes software that was compatible on both Macs and Windows PCs. This has opened up a new market as they could now tap into the Windows users. Apple now has a huge 90% market share of the hard drive based MP3 player market, and 70% share of the MP3 player market as a whole. Very impressive I’m sure you will agree.


Apple has managed to keep their grip on the mp3 player market by releasing several different versions of the Apple iPod. The main iPod is now in its 5th generation and although the design is largely similar to the original, it has been made more compact and available with much large storage capacities. The latest models can display color photos and movies.

Apple iPod mini- Apple’s first iPod spin off was the iPod mini. This mp3 player was fairly similar to the original although smaller in size. It was the first iPod to be available in different colours and was designed to target a slightly different market.

Apple iPod nano - Apple decided to discontinue the mini in 2005, to replace it with the ultra small iPod nano. These are 62% smaller than the mini players and feature coloured screens. Apple has come under some criticism though for the screens on the nano as many users have complained that they damage too easily.

Apple iPod shuffle – This is another ultra small iPod and was the first flash drive based iPod. They only have a limited capacity of 512MB or 1GB and do not have a display screen. Users can either listen to the songs on the player in a random order or set a playlist in iTunes.

The dominance of the Apple iPod in the MP3 player market can be seen in other industries. Cars are now being designed with docking ports to make integrating iPods to the in car system easier. Clothes manufacturers are making clothes with special pockets to hold iPods. All manner of other iPod accessories are being created by various electronics companies.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the Apple iPod was the only mp3 player available, well it isn’t. There are many other players out there, that some will tell you are actually a lot better than the iPods, just maybe not as fashionable.