Saturation Point

For the first time in an age, I visited the electronics department of Grace Bros Myer yesterday to check out a few things.

First up, they’ve started stocking Apple products - in much the same manner as David Jones (same island display stand etc). Suffice to say I was pleasantly surprised.

While I was there I had another bash on a Mac mini. Unlike last time, this mini seemed to be quite healthy. Running a multitude of apps and rapidly switching between then seemed to be fine, no problems. Launching iPhoto slowed things down a little as before, hanging the machine for a couple of seconds but not locking it entirely like my previous attempt. The demo machine was running Freefall which looked pretty hot, very smooth indeed.

Across in the ‘personal audio’ department, there was a sign above the iPod display case that roughly translated to

Don’t even think about asking if the iPod mini (in ANY colour) OR the iPod shuffle is in stock - it’s not!

whilst the recently launched Olympus m:robe player sulked in a nearby corner. I’ve yet to come across a shop that has had any shuffles in stock, I wonder what the delay is like when ordering from the online Apple Store?

On my way home I was thinking a little about iPods seemingly exponential growth. Its current penetration is simply stunning. ‘iPod’ has quite easily become the generic term for a portable mp3 player, in the same manner of the ‘Walkman’ before it.

Based upon my straw poll, most iPodders seem to be packing 4G models, with the mini following closely behind. This would be in line with what I believe was the iPods tipping point in Australia - the Christmas 2004 shopping season. Everyone was talking about getting or buying an iPod for Christmas last year, I’m really starting to see the impact of this now.

Last night I even managed to sight my first iPod shuffle in the wild, a guy on the ferry wharf wearing it around his neck on the lanyard.

It will be very interesting to see the impact all this has on Apple’s desktop computer market share in Australia. The iPod as ‘the hook’ to convert PC users across to Apple has been talked about ad nauseum, whether or not this is having an positive impact on their market share remains to be seen. I like to think that it is.