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MEMO PAD - The New York iPod Phenomenon

by , 11:05 AM EDT, July 16th, 2004

NEW YORK, NY -- We've all heard how popular the Apple iPod is in New York City. But I'm here to tell you folks, the little portable music device isn't just popular, it's an obsession in the Big Apple. No, check that, it's a phenomenon that has to be seen with your own eyes.

Example: This Friday morning, walking 9 blocks from my hotel to the Jacob Javits Convention Center where I'm covering DV Expo East, I saw 42 people with iPods. Now I'm no statistician, and maybe that number is normal for a huge city like New York, but I find it amazing to see that many Apple icons walking the streets. It's caught on like wildfire here and it's showing no signs of slowing down.

What I found particularly interesting is that the majority of them were white iPods. Only about four were of the mini variety, which flies in the face of recent surveys that said Americans are more interested in a device that only stores about 1000 songs. Maybe it's a just an issue of time before it catches on, but maybe what this really says is that people are willing to pay just a little more regardless of whether they need it or not.

Also an interesting observation...none of the 42 were wearing designer sleeves. No Gucci leather cases, no rubber pink booties. I wonder what that says about all the companies selling iPod accessories. Are they really penetrating iPod owners?

Keep this in mind...the 42 I saw this morning was only in a one hour, morning commuter period. I can't tell you how many I've seen since Tuesday. It would have to be well over 150. Seriously, I have never seen anything like it; and the number of people I saw walking around with Sony Walkman's or other CD players? A fraction of the iPod owners.

If you ever had any doubt as to why Apple fractured the company into separate divisions - one Mac, one iPod - you only have to look at how popular the iPod is in the city that never sleeps. Apple only has to look at its bottom line to see the fruits of its labor.

So if the New York saying, "If you can make here, you can make it anywhere" still holds true, the Apple iPod has made it, and it has a firm grip on this city.

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