There’s been enough yammering on the Web about an all-black U2-branded iPod that allegedly will be announced next Tuesday at a special Apple event that I suppose I should add my voice the choir. The problem is, I’m more excited about what the device means than the iPod itself.
Apple may sell a bajillion of the things (or sell as many as they’re willing to make if it’s decided this will be a limited edition device), but this isn’t about selling a black iPod full of U2unes. Rather, it’s about being able to drape your product all over a group of U2’s stature (a group that has never endorsed a product in the past) while, at the same time, thumbing your nose at every other music player and music service on the planet.
While Bono may still not have found what he’s looking for, my guess is that one of the things he’s no longer seeking is money enough to pay the rent. U2 doesn’t need this deal. The fact that U2 is willing to paste their silhouettes all over an iPod commercial, offer an exclusive track to the iTunes Music Store, and possibly bundle their new album with a special edition iPod does nothing but enhance Apple’s credibility as an innovator and serious entity in the music business.
And, of course, Jobs and company have the satisfaction of doing down the other guys.
“Branson, you got stores, planes, hot air balloons, and Janet Jackson’s over-exposed breast. When you gonna put your boys, the Stones, on TV and sell your big-ol’-tongue-sticking-out-Stones-logoed Virgin Player?”
“And speaking of the Rolling Stones, Microsoft, whatchoo done since you hauled Mick Jaggers skinny butt out for the Windows 95 launch?!”
“And Napster, you… you… aw hell, you ain’t even worth my time you trade-your-pirate-flag-in-for-a-three-piece-suit sellout….”
Though I hardly expect next Tuesday’s event to feature Steve Jobs calling out the competition while performing the Balmer Bugaloo, sharing the stage with Bono and The Edge can’t help but give Apple’s CEO a feeling of pride (in the name of love