The iPod Influence

Business 2.0: Why Did ROKR fail and RAZR didn’t? Call it the iPod effect. Apple, which has sold 25 million units of its popular music player so far, has had a huge impact on product design in the consumer electronics industry at large. Now, perhaps more than any other industry, the world’s cell-phone makers are using the iPod to inform the design of their latest models. This holiday season, Motorola, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson will each sell high-end handsets that feature a complete design makeover. Sony Ericsson’s recently released W800 Walkman Phone — a palm-size device that includes a great MP3 player and megabytes of storage — features a sleek industrial design that’s helping it fly off the shelves, despite costing nearly $400. Meanwhile, Nokia’s steel-encased 8801, set to launch in the United States later this year, costs more than $650 and, with its brushed-steel exterior and handy slider mechanism, resembles something that came straight from Apple’s design labs. continue reading….