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Lessons Learned: the iPod's Cool Factor

iSuppli study compares the iPod Shuffle vs. Rio Forge Sport -- "In the trendy market for MP3 players, the cool factor counts for a lot. But what makes one MP3 player cooler than another? A dissection of two hot products shows the design tradeoffs and marketing choices made by MP3 manufacturers as they strive to attain coolness, while attempting to balance off other considerations, such as cost and power consumption. The teardown also illustrates how a small, simple and elegantly designed product can be more appealing to consumers -- and cheaper to manufacture -- than a larger, more complex device with a less sophisticated design. The MP3 player represents one of the fastest-growing electronic products today. Shipments of flash-memory based MP3 players will rise to 75.8 million units in 2009, expanding at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 22.9 percent from 27 million in 2004."

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