It makes very little sense that Apple’s iPod became the leading MP3 player in the world. Before it came out Apple
had very little experience in the consumer electronics game, and even less in the music distribution business.
The company that everyone was betting on to own the future of music hardware was Sony. However, as Randall Stross of the New York Times points out, winning the digital music war is about the combination of software and hardware, not just cool gadgets. Apple has the perfect combination of the iTunes Music Store, the iPod, and the iPod software that makes its device the easiest to use.
Sony figured they could just build another Walkman and the game would be over (the first Walkman took just 4 days to make, so how hard could electronic music be?). Read Stross’ article and you will see just what Sony did wrong, and find out why Apple is doing such a great job with the iPod.