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iPod “fatigue”? Just look under the Christmas trees

Yesterday there was a news item indicating that iPod “fatigue” was setting in. And, presumably, broadcasters should take this as a good sign.

This conclusion seems to be based on observations that some college students increasingly feel they don’t have the time to update the darn thing and as a result its value is diminished – hence the “fatigue.”

First, the evidence for this may be anecdotal, since no statistics were noted to prove it.

Second, what do you call an iPod with your favorite music that isn’t updated all that often? Sounds like “radio,” doesn’t it?

Third, the sales of iPods and other mp3 players speak volumes about which way the trend wind is blowing. In fact, I remember reading that the new Nano is the number one item on consumers’ tech wish list this Christmas. Yeah, I know, fatigue in use and fatigue in sales are not the same thing. But don’t confuse a transition from hysterical to normal use for “fatigue.”

Fourth, anyone who has ever been or researched a youth knows that whenever something becomes a popular (and especially popular adult) phenomenon it is very cool to tell a researcher that this phenomenon is uncool. This, in fact, is why Apple keeps minting new versions of their cash cow – to stay one step ahead of the backlash.

A constant theme of this blog is not to take superficial feedback at face value. Read between the lines and, most importantly, check the sales figures.

Anyone who assumes that iPods have anything in common with CB radios does not understand the fundamental forces driving the popularity of the product. And anyone concluding that presumed iPod fatigue can be linked to presumed HD radio success is connecting the wrong dots.

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