I was reading this article on MobHappy about how “Mobiles Will Kill iPods and Video Cameras” earlier today. I agree with some (but not all) of the issues raised in this article. As the owner of a Sony Ericsson W800 phone, I can say that the device has reduced the amount of music I consume on my iPod. For example, I no longer bring my iPod to work; I have enough music on my W800 for walking around the campus or listening to music during the work day. However, when I am working out, on public transportation, or on an airplane, I want a more optimized device. My iPod is better for a pure audio experience and my phone will have to get a lot better (especially in terms of battery life) before I truly shelve my iPod. The central premise is true, though; mobile phones will eat into the iPod’s share of casual music consumption and on-the-go music consumption.
This situation is analogous to what happened when the Blackberry really started getting momentum. People said it would make the laptop irrelevant. Well, that hasn’t happened. But what has happened is that businesspeople are doing a much larger share of their email, calendar, etc. on their Blackberries. Many might like to get rid of laptops, but they can’t do it today. My guess is that mobile music players will face the same dynamic.