While the Android OS might be giving tough competition to Apple in the smartphone market, its impact on music players doesn’t seem very significant as Apple holds a majority of the market there and it doesn’t appear to be relinquishing its foothold. Sure, there might be some impact because of Android music players, but the seamless UI of the Apple music players, and not just the iPod touch, has made them very popular indeed.
In a recent surprising move, Sony Ericsson launched two new Walkman devices running Android 4.0 and it is not the company’s first move at using Android in media players, like it did with the Z series. Moreover, Sony isn’t the only company doing this as Samsung launched a Galaxy Player 4.2 that used Android. The open source OS from Google has been more than just successful in smartphones and has given the Apple iPhone a run for its money but the same is not and probably will never be true for the media players segment.
The main reason for Android media players not ending up as successful as the Apple ones is because of the price of other Android devices. When the Nexus 7 comes out, it will be priced at $199 and will feature a quad core processor. The idea that a smaller device dedicated for music doesn’t really seem appealing when there is a fully fledged tablet available for a bit more. Moreover, the tablets will have the entire app store at their disposal while the same will not be true for media players that have less powerful hardware.
On the other hand, in terms of size, Android smartphones already have everything you need. In fact, since phones come with data plans, they will end up being cheaper than the media players and it seems counter intuitive to buy something that will do less and cost more. Even if data and call plans end up costing more, they are inevitable as everyone seems intent on buying a smartphone and they are selling like wildfire. Right now, it appears that the media player market solely belongs to Apple and it is hard for any other device to make a dent. The only possibility that might work is if there is a portable device that is reasonably priced with mid-range hardware having access to all the applications.