iPod Fatigue

My students at USC have begun to utter the "F" word in public. It's unthinkable, but it is happening. "Fatigue" like in i-Pod "Fatigue" is the buzz. There is no chance -- zero -- that these members of the next generation are angry with their iPods and ready to throw them away with traditional media. But what is significant, I think -- and would be worth monitoring -- is that they are looking for Apple's iPod to do more. The question of how much more is also up for debate. In our informal classroom polls, the students seem evenly divided on whether they want their iPods to be telephones or their telephones to be iPods. There is no doubt that these Gen Y'ers value their cell phones above all other cool technology, but the iPod is right there. iPod -- an "oldies" channel for young people. So it is that they are beginning to utter "what's next". Gen Y'ers are a generation looking for something new on a regular basis and it may very well be time for Apple CEO Steve Jobs to wow this generation to their roots. What could it be. The rumors are out there. Is it WiFi capability. Downloading music on the fly. Would Apple dare to introduce an iPod phone -- many of this generation are suspect. Whatever the outcome the next move is up to Apple and you can bet they know this generation well enough to know that the next iPod may make or break the device as a cool item for the next few years. For those in traditional media looking on -- there is little good news. In an interactive world, the ipod has already inflcited its damage on the record business and the radio industry. Traditional media can't hurt Apple. Sony can probably not hurt Apple. Only Apple can do that going forward.