July 17, 2006
Live'n the WiFi Lifestyle: iPod bows to the Router
Andy Updegrove writes "According to a survey by Kelson Research, 8 out of 10 people that own both an iPod and a wireless router would give up their stylish Apple device before they'd do without their boring, clunky WiFi router. Surprised? Don't be, because the iPod/iTunes system comprises a closed, proprietary environment, while WiFi products are based on a continuously evolving family of open standards. The result? On the vendor side, hundreds of hardware, software, silicon and consumer electronics companies are promoting as well as selling WiFi products, while only Apple and a collection of accessory vendors push iPods. And on the service side, not just coffee shops, but entire cities are now gearing up to offer wireless access, because of the indirect value providers expect to receive by doing so. Sales numbers also prove the point: 140 million WiFi chipsets were sold in 2005 (up 50% from the prior year), with 430 million projected to be sold in 2009. In contrast, iPod sales now appear to be flattening. This explosive demand for pervasive Internet access has been enabled by an open standard that provides something for everyone, leading us to now expect Internet access all the time - and everywhere as well, including from our favorite couch. Even if we have to trade in our iPods to get it."