TWICE: Are PC- and IT-industry brands winning the hearts and minds of music lovers at the expense of traditional audio suppliers and CE suppliers?
Bales: Yes. iTunes has proven this to be the case, and it continues to be a primary force behind the demise of legacy audio products like CD and cassette decks. While the CE industry no longer corners the market on music sources, it is quickly adapting by providing connectivity, distribution, and enhancement of Internet and satellite-based music sources. Network capabilities from CE manufacturers will further enhance their position for Internet entertainment at home and should ultimately expand to include the access, storage, connectivity, distribution and enhancement of compressed HD-Video content via the Internet.
Bente: I haven’t found a heart or a mind (let alone ears) that favor the experience provided by PC/IT manufacturers over that provided by traditional audio suppliers. The fact that PCs are ubiquitous and compact may be the most significant factor here. Many more retailers devote far more attention to this category as well. Certainly the PC and software guys have tons more money to spend to attract customers, but we know that ultimately most will return to the higher fidelity experience provided by companies like us.
Klipsch: The Apple iPod absolutely won the hearts and minds of music lovers. No other PC or IT company has been able to reach consumers at that level. But in my opinion, people still want to get their high-performance home audio solutions from companies that have a longstanding tradition in manufacturing such products.