Last minute blogging that just pop into my head, still related to Apple's new iPods announcement. Steve Jobs mentioned that 90% of car manufactures offer iPod integration. Well, guess what. 90% of those sux. Even worse, car manufactures now have simple AUX in and/or simple USB interface, and advertise them as "iPod integration." I haven't seen any car manufactures that actually openly advertise iPod integration, other than maybe Scion or VW. Most are still touting having a simple CD player as a big feature. There are great options from 3rd party, which is still a pain in the @ss to install (since most car manufactures go above and beyond to make it so difficult to upgrade the stock audio), but still fall short (lack of unicode display for once). I suggest Apple do a reference model of iPod integration, meaning fully support all iPod features (including rating songs), and unicode display. For now, iPod "integration" in most cars are simply treating the iPod as glorified CD-changer.
Couple things I noticed on the new nano "Now Playing" screen when it was demoed by Steve Jobs: Album name now scrolls! In previous iPods, only the track title scrolls. If you have a long album name, it's just displayed partially with a .... However, I don't see the ratings on the "Now Playing" screen. 1 thing I like about the 3G nano is that the rating is displayed on the "Now Playing" screen, which is a nice feature. I have to see the new nano in real life to see if this is not the case anymore. :(
Lastly, the competitors. When people are discussing the iPods, the main competitor mentioned is the Zune. Well, look at the marketshare that Steve Jobs showed, and look at Sandisk. They did pretty good, and they probably spend less money and less hype than Microsoft. Sandisk has a big retail presence, sold in Bestbuy, and even Costco. Now, the kicker is the rumor that Samsung is buying Sandisk. Samsung is one of the main supplier of flash memory for Apple. Although Samsung have their own DAP line, they don't seem to be that popular outside Asia. Combined with Sandisk, and their control over flash memory, it would be interesting to see how the market would shape up if the rumor s true.