Chang­ing dig­i­tal trends si­lence the iPod

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

TWO years ago, a tech blog­ger wrote rhetor­i­cally, “So, who are iPods for?” and an­swered his own ques­tion by say­ing: “They’re for peo­ple who don’t have a smart­phone, and that’s about it.”

In the dig­i­tal world, change is un­nerv­ingly rapid.

A lit­tle more than 10 years ago, the iPod was a sen­sa­tion, as the fol­low­ing re­port shows.

iPod even more in­tox­i­cat­ing than beer for US stu­dents

Ap­ple’s iPod por­ta­ble mu­sic player has proven more in­tox­i­cat­ing to US stu­dents than even beer drink­ing, a new sur­vey has con­cluded. Stu­dents from 100 US uni­ver­si­ties sur­veyed by Stu­dent Mon­i­tor, a mar­ket re­search firm, ranked the hand-held hard drive a full two per­cent­age points above so­cial drink­ing, ac­cord­ing to the poll.

Not since 1997, with the rise of the in­ter­net, has cam­pus booz­ing been knocked from the top spot on the list of favourite stu­dent pas­times.

“Ap­ple has been sell­ing iPods faster than it can make them,” Eric Weil, man­ag­ing part­ner of Stu­dent Mon­i­tor, said. “For stu­dents, the iPod is not a fash­ion ac­ces­sory, it’s func­tion­al­ity.”

The iPod’s “in” fac­tor has leapt more than 20 per­cent­age points from last year’s stu­dent sur­vey. Part of the ex­plo­sion in its pop­u­lar­ity may be due to the iPod’s use as a learn­ing tool in the form of “pod­cast­ing”, tech­nol­ogy that al­lows stu­dents to down­load lec­tures di­rectly onto their hand-held de­vices to be lis­tened to and viewed at their con­ve­nience, sug­gested Weil.

“Pro­fes­sors are us­ing what­ever way they can to jam in­for­ma­tion into stu­dents’ brains,” said Weil.

US col­lege stu­dents, known by mar­keters as “early adopters”, are gen­er­ally con­sid­ered to be six to 18 months ahead of the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion in na­tional trends.

“But don’t sell your brew­ery stock just yet,” warns Weil. “Just like 10 years ago, beer drink­ing could be back on the top of the heap by next se­mes­ter.”

Ap­ple sold 28 mil­lion iPods in 2005, a 409% in­crease over the pre­vi­ous year. – Sapa-AFP

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