Will iPods feature FM tuners? Nope.

I love the annual Jacobs Media Technology Polls – they provide some great insight into where the hearts and heads of Rock radio listeners are moving.

In this tidbit from their latest they note that, of all the new features iPod owners would like from their iPods, the one that tops the list is an FM tuner. Thus, Steve Jobs & Company should add such a tuner to the next generation iPods.

The odds of this happening are zero.

And for good reasons.

First, the iPod is not an island. It’s an mp3 player, and there are many mp3 players out there equipped with FM tuners. That is, the thing these folks say they want is already available on a different branded unit, and they deliberately chose not to buy that unit and purchased an iPod instead. What does that tell you about what they say they want vs. what they really want?

Second, Jobs knows full well that there’s demand for an FM tuner in the marketplace. And that’s why Apple makes such a tuner as an add-on for the iPod. Indeed, the iPod is deliberately manufactured to be the centerpiece of an ecosystem of products that “plus” the iPod, and an FM tuner is one such “plus.” So arguably, this problem is solved even before it’s posed as a problem.

Third, why should Apple burn their iPod batteries to empower the radio industry’s agenda when those batteries could be alternatively burned playing video and audio purchased from Apple’s own iTunes, a proposition which not only drives the value of iPods but fills Apple’s coffers to the brim?

The larger take-away from this latest release is the pretty stunning growth in mp3 player ownership – approaching a mind-boggling 50% of the Rock listener market this year! Wow!

Well done, Jacobs Media. And there’s more to come.

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