Will Mobile Phones Outpace the iPod?

    May 12, 2005

Bill Gates predicts the mobile phone will outpace the iPod as the mp3 player of choice in the near future.

Bill Gates

“As good as Apple may be, I don’t believe the success of the iPod is sustainable in the long run,” he said in an interview published in Thursday’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

“You can make parallels with computers: Apple was very strong in this field before, with its Macintosh and its graphics user interface — like the iPod today — and then lost its position,” Gates said.

Apple has around two thirds of the global market for MP3 music players and sold more than 5 million iPods in the last quarter.Gates

OK, but maybe he made the prediction because “Microsoft is now positioning itself to be a key player in the growing market for digital movies, pictures and music and grow beyond its core Windows operating system business, partly in response to pressure from Apple.”

Microsoft is working with partners such as Samsung to provide its Windows Mobile smartphone software to 40 handset makers. “If you were to ask me which mobile device will take top place for listening to music, I’d bet on the mobile phone for sure,” Gates told the newspaper.

Mobile phones can surely become a handy, Swiss-army knife of a utility…we’ve only started to tap into their capabilities in my opinion. But are we asking too much from a device where small size is clearly an advantage? I mean, several mobile phone models are starting to look more like a choking hazard than a wireless communication device.

Gates goes on in the interview to discuss retiring at 60 and he predicts that “Microsoft will make wireless e-mail ubiquitous.”

Is it me or do the CEOs of US-based companies get awfully chatty with international media? Gates knows that any paper can have a truly international readership in the age of the Internet. Perhaps this is a calculated move, hoping international media are more likely to quote him directly?

Read the article Bill Gates was quoted from

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Kevin Dugan is the author of the popular Strategic Public Relations blog. Kevin is Director of Marketing Communications for FRCH Design Worldwide.

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