MarketWatch: Competition Only Helps Apple's Brand

Marketwatch has published a piece on the portable music market, in which commentator Bambi Francisco argues increased competition is only helping to bolster the strength of Appleis brand. Ms. Francisco writes, "are the new rivals actually providing a tailwind for Apple, at least for the next several months, if not longer?"

Ms. Francisco highlights Nokia and Microsoftis music partnership, announced yesterday, and the roughly analogous Apple-Motorola deal. She also mentions the HP-branded iPod and reminds readers that rival portable music players do actually exist -- for example, those made by Creative Technologies. Amidst the bustle of the crowded market, Ms. Francisco argues, "More competition just elevates Appleis brand to another seductive, unquantifiable, cool-factor level that consumers are willing to pay for." Instead of trying to compete, like Creative and Nokia, she argues companies should try to partner with Apple, like Motorola and HP.

Ms. Francisco also argues, "there are competing products that are cheaper and offer more features. But Appleis brand is just too strong to sway anyone."

There is more, including a summary analysis of the iPodis competition, in the full piece.