Think of It as More of a "Zune-Killer"
It’s interesting the iPod has been out for three years and it’s only this past year it’s become a raging success. Well, those things that become fads rage, and then they drop off. When I was growing up there was a product made by Sony called the Sony Walkman–a rage, everyone had to have one. Well, you don’t hear about the Walkman anymore. I believe that one-product wonders come and go. You have to have sustainable business models, sustainable strategy.”
– In 2005, former Dell Chief Executive Kevin Rollins utters the words he would dine on a short while later
A glutton for punishment, Dell. Though its foray into the MP3 player market was about as ill-starred as they come (remember DJ Ditty (mascot at right)? Yeah, didn’t think so.), the company is gearing up for a second attempt. Unfazed by its Ditty disaster, Dell (DELL) has reportedly developed a second, ahem, “iPod killer.” Designed to connect to online music services via a Wi-Fi Internet connection, the device will use software developed at Zing, a company Dell acquired last year, to retrieve and organize digital media. The device will sell for less than $100 when it arrives at market in September.
Dell’s first MP3 player lasted three years before the company scuttled it. That was back in 2006, when Apple’s iPod was somewhat less ubiquitous than it is now. How long will its second player last in a market that’s 71 percent-controlled by Apple (AAPL) and dripping in iPod branding? History would seem to suggest not long at all, though Microsoft’s (MSFT) maligned Zune music player has managed to stick around for a few years. Perhaps Dell can steal a point or two of market share from its sad, little four percent. All aboard the FAIL-boat. …