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EMI: Cellphone makers could learn from Apple

updated 03:30 pm EDT, Wed March 28, 2007

EMI on iPhone at CTIA

The cellphone business needs to take a cue from Apple if it hopes to survive, EMI's chief Eric Nicoli urged at a CTIA phone expo keynote on Wednesday. The record label head pointed to the iPhone as a prime example of where the cellphone music industry should be headed, noting that Apple and its future handset put their emphasis on an affordable, simple, and desirable product above all else.

"Apple makes stuff that people love to own," Nicoli observed. "They love the simplicity and user-friendliness of the iPod and iTunes. Apple doesn't employ any sorcery or dark magic to achieve this. They listen to what consumers want. And that shouldn't be Apple's unique privilege."

The exectutive indirectly criticized much of the existing industry in the process, pointing out that current musicphone strategies often result in a three-way conflict between device makers, cellular providers, and content creators that often act primarily in their own best interests. This could potentially be self-destructive, Nicoli warned.

"We will not reach our goals if we carry on as we have been doing," he told the gathering. "We have in our grasp an incredible opportunity to create a colossal business through mobile. But we only have a chance to achieve this if we work together in a more thoughtful way."

Apple's creation of the iPod/iTunes ecosystem has often been cited as a key ingredient to its success over rivals, many of which aren't explicitly designed to interoperate with particular online music stores. Cellphone music stores are often locked to individual carriers but are seldom created with the functionality of a given cellphone in mind.

Nicoli's discussion also briefly dovetailed with Apple's on the question of digital rights management for music, commenting that EMI's trials with selling DRM-free music were "promising" but refrained going into details on the company's future plans. His stance appeared to support Steve Jobs' open letter calling for an end to DRM restrictions and directly challenged the claims of Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman, who has simultaneously attacked Jobs for suggesting the removal of DRM but also praised the iPhone as a more elegant proposition for cellphone music.

Despite its being the center of activity, however, the iPhone itself was almost entirely absent from the CTIA show's proceedings. Apple's presence at the event amounted only to a brief apearance of its future handset during an opening keynote on Tuesday.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. JEB

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2001

    0

    yes, quality works

    "Apple makes stuff that people love to own," Nicoli observed. "They love the simplicity and user-friendliness of the iPod and iTunes. Apple doesn't employ any sorcery or dark magic to achieve this. They listen to what consumers want. And that shouldn't be Apple's unique privilege."

    YES; I AGREE -- quality works!!!

    (And, just think how awesome Apple's products would be, in the event that the slightest hint of sorcery or dark magic *were* put to work -- yeehaw!!!)

    GO APPLE!!! GO iPHONE!!! GO EMI CHIEF ERIC NICOLI!!!

  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    0

    User experience

    Apple takes their que from that quote that goes along the lines of, "people who are intrested in making good software should make their hardware." (sorry, forgot who said it) By taking control of the whole experience, they know that the devices work from beginning to end. Design by committee or, especially ones with such disparate entities with self-serving goals, is rarely thought of as effective or worthwhile. Normally it's common sense, but you can bet the current system developed over time. Design by checklist doesn't fair well either.

    This basic understanding has grounded Apple thinking in something that just works. Surprising how so many other companies can't keep such a focus.

  1. Uncommon

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2000

    0

    Affordable?

    How does the iPhone emphasize affordability?

  1. shawnce

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2000

    0

    I believe...

    I believe Seymour Cray said someting like "people who are intrested in making good software should make their hardware."

  1. numero

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2000

    0

    re: i believe...

    I'm not sure if he said that (maybe he did), but my favorite quote of his is:

    If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use: Two strong oxen or 1024 chickens?

    I just can't help but think of two lines of chickens attached to a plow.

  1. ibugv4

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2003

    0

    um

    The RAZR was $500 when it debuted and it sold faster than any other phone I've ever seen (except the penny Nokia 5120s from back in the day). The iPhone, for the features, is dirt cheap at the fixed price.

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002

    0

    the iPhone

    will get cheaper and have more features [look at the progression of the iPod]

    If you don't want one then don't buy it_

    "Apple doesn't employ any sorcery or dark magic to achieve this"

    No say it ain't true_ I thought Apple always employed Sorcery and Dark Magic to do everything they did otherwise they'd be like Dell and Microsoft and the rest that actually don't_ I know I read it someplace on Apple's Support Site thru the years_

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002

    0

    iPhone, iPhone,

    iPhone, iPhone, iPhone...3 more months and I can get one_ Yay !!

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