I felt odd sitting at the airport chatting with a group of teenagers about why they all carried BlackBerry Phones. The conversation started off with 4 kids, but, soon ballooned into a brain storming session with nearly 30 talking about how they liked BlackBerry. I was not shocked these kids liked the BlackBerry as Robb has talked about how his daughter and friends love BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) on the Simple Mobile Review Podcast. What was interesting was almost every kid had an iPod Touch, and those without an iPod touch, had an iPod for music. I suspect no one here is shocked by this fact, but, it was interesting how this fact perfectly supported the statements of Michael Gartenberg on the Engadget Podcast 195.
In the title of this post I am very deliberate in asking if MP3 playing phones can compete with the iPod as compared to the iPhone because, for at least the foreseeable future, the iPhone itself, is still a niche product, as compared to the emergence of of smartphones and feature phones that can play MP3s.
I’ve just purchased my first BlackBerry that can play MP3s and, to be totally honest, although it is kind of a cool feature, I cannot see my BlackBerry Pearl decreasing my use of my iPod even slightly. I’ve got an iPod Video and have 55 gigs or so of music, movies, and podcasts that I couldn’t move to my BlackBerry even if I wanted to.
On a side note, I still carried around my iPod Video even when I was regularly lugging my iPhone around because I only had the 4 gig model which was good for only about 2 or 3 DVDs worth of movies.
The other problem that I see is that songs tend to cost more through the wireless companies music download sites than via iTunes. Granted, on some of the newer devices, you can transfer your CDs to your device or even buy music online on your PC and transfer it, but I have yet to come across any combination of MP3 phone and music download service that make it as easy is iTunes.
I admit that I am probably biased towards iTunes and the iPod, however, so are probably the tens of millions of iPod users out there that are the exact demographic for MP3 playing mobile phone market.
What do you think?