Competition In The Mp3 Player Industry

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Introduction:

Do you remember a time when Transistor Radios were the most technologically advanced form of listening to music? Or how about in 1984 when Sony introduced the Walkman? These are the key radios and handheld devices that led to the creation of the handheld CD player, and into the craze that is now the MP3 Player. Technology is a fast paced market. Much like Darwin used the term “Survival of the Fittest” to play upon natural selection and predominance, it can be found in the technology industry today. There are over 100 producers of the MP3 player, however, there are only about 7 key companies who stand a chance to rank as the top in the industry, a title currently held by Apple.

The invention of the portable Music Player or MP3 was brought on by a need. The need was to overcome the need for limited music space. Not to mention that there was a need to capitalize on the trend of consumers downloading music onto their computers. The first MP3 player was introduced in 1997 by SaeHan, and it was called the MPMan F10. In 1998 Diamond Multimedia came to market with the Rio PMP300. The success of this MP3 player in its first year is what led the investment into the MP3 player industry. However, in 2005 this company decided to shut down production after a 5% increase in revenues, due to the high level of competition that faced the market.

Key Problem/Issue:

The main problem and issue in this case is for Apple. Apple is obviously the industry leader when it comes to the MP3 Player, with their iPod, iPod Nano, and iPod Shuffle. However, the main problem is how will Apple continue to be the industry leader in the ever more competitive MP3 Player Market? Although Apple was not the first mover in the MP3 Industry they did however set a precedent on the MP3 Player and the attributes that should be associated with it. One advantage that I feel Apple has is that they are known for their quick product innovation and marketing.

Analysis:

Apple’s strategy in regards to the iPod is simple: quick product innovation and marketing. There were many trends that faced the MP3 industry, the pace of technology was key, people wanted smaller devices, larger memory storage, longer battery life, and something that was fashionable. Companies were competing on all of these trends to see who could come out with the smallest MP3 player that could do all of these things.

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