Case Study: The Development of the Apple iPod

Kieran Kelly

in Music, Sound and Multimedia

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780748625338
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671038 | DOI:
Case Study: The Development of the Apple iPod

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This chapter uses a political economy approach to inspect the phenomenal success of the Apple iPod. It highlights how integration and competition are important to a product's success within a capitalist economy. Apple Corporation entered the market with an offering above and beyond that of the multitude of other MP3 players offered by hardware companies. The success of the iPod has depended on the ability of the company to connect music company catalogues, protected by law, to music distribution to a machine developed by an independent development company. The Apple iPod is actually quite clearly a computer device, using all the aspects of the modern PC. A key element in its success has been the creation of the iTunes server. The proprietors of Real Player broke Apple's digital rights protection using a method known as reverse engineering. The technological capability of music distribution and replicability is partly a technological issue.

Keywords: political economy; Apple iPod; Apple Corporation; music company; music distribution; iTunes server; Real Player

Chapter.  6033 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies

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