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iPod Adoption Outpaces Sony Walkman

November 30th, 2004

One of the “must have” gifts this holiday season is the Apple iPod, the digital equivalent to Sony’s popular Walkman. The iPod, which stores music files downloaded from the internet, accounts for about 90% of the unit sales of hard-drive based players and more than 65 percent of the overall segment, according to Apple.

But the price — $299 for the basic model — means it isn´t likely find a home in every stocking this Christmas.

Throughout the week, consumers thronged the Apple Store San Francisco, a tribute to all things Macintosh in the city´s popular Union Square shopping district. But many were holding out for lower prices.

Prices did drop for a single day — the day after Thanksgiving — for shoppers at Apple´s retail and online stores. The price of each iPod model was cut by $21.

San Francisco resident Jason Veitzer, 37, visited the store earlier in the week and is contemplating buying an iPod for his wife. But the price $399 price tag on the extra-memory model that he´s eyeing kept him from making an impulse purchase.

“I´ve wanted one for a year, but the price has kept me from buying one so far,” Veitzer said. “At this point, I´ve converted all of my CDs to MP3s and listen to them on my computer, and it would be nice to have digital files that we could actually move around with us. I´ll probably get one.”

Deborah Kettner, a 35-year-old store owner from Mendocino, Calif., had trouble prying her 3-year-old son, Oliver, from an interactive iPod display. The family already has one iPod, but it´s contemplating a second for use during long plane rides and road trips.

“We burn kids´ disks and it keeps him entertained for hours,” said Kettner, who also owns an Apple G4 computer. “Once my brother got one, I was hooked. It´s really user-friendly.”

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