I'm a Windows/Android user. I like and respect Apple for their ability (Steve's really) to take existing technology and design and see where it should be going. I probably wont buy one though because I can't abide a company that will outright ban, disable, or hobble its developer community because they've done something that cuts into the revenue stream or has an idea that they want to steal.
I can develop what I want on Windows or Android. There are more risks, but I won't be shut down because I've found a niche that the parent company missed monetizing.
Just some quick numbers. About 700 discs, maybe $5 average across all, $3500. Seven years of the Magazine at $45 (when CD based) or now $35 (MP3) based, $280, with about 2000 songs out of that subscription. So I spent about $3800 on about 10,000 songs over the last twenty years. Not bad at all.
Or a very wise shopper. I have subsribed to a magazine for several years that used to provide a free CD with 20 songs every month and now provides 28 DRM-free MP3s every month, as part of the very resonably price subscription. In addition, I purchase most CDs second hand.
For most people, a 64 GB SDXC card wil hold plenty of music, so in general, a cell phone will suffice for a music player.
It annoys me that the courts are forced to hear these Apple and Samsung patent arguments when their time would be better spent deciding a case related to the unfair trade practice of locking phones to particular carriers. Phone locking should already be banned in the US. It is really no different than when AT&T would not allow any but their land line phones to be used with their service, and that practice was determined to be unfair long ago.
I'm down to an iPhone, iPad, and a MacBook Pro with two extra displays for work (one via USB) when it's parked, though I still fire up Windows and Linux boxes sometimes for testing software. All three can, with various degrees of convenience, get me to most websites, do email, play music and videos, look things up on maps, or let me read a document, but each is optimal for some tasks. On a recent trip, I shared iPhone photos of a house we were looking at with my wife back home (via iCloud) in near-realtime by simply leaving the iPad behind. Effortless for both of us. At the opposite extreme, I spend 3/4 of my time on my laptop in the UNIX shell. And it's all the same ecosystem, and much of it's the same code underneath. Apple has been smart and taken chances to get to where they are, I can't blame them for trying to fight people who copy the easier parts of what they sell.
As long as Apple continues making the products that solve my needs the best, I'll continue paying their higher prices - their products have a long working lifetime, and are very reliable; I have never felt that I didn't get my money's worth. If other companies want my business, they'll have to build families of products that work better for me than my Mac/iPad/iPhone combo. I'll keep looking, but I don't see it yet.
People don't want to *have* to worry about security, but the more open the system, the more they *should* worry about security. When I worked as a security researcher, we used to joke that "the product of security and utility is a constant" (and I joked that I made my living trying to raise the value of the "constant"). You don't have to like Apple's closed system, you are certainly free to choose a more open one. And caveat emptor.
I've seen other posts like these stating the "size of someones MP3" (or other format) collections. The first thing that pops to my mind is at even $0.99 a song that's over $22 grand. So, we have a great amount of disposable income or we just admitted to stealing...
As we spend more of our air-time on internet use rather than speech, anyone who values information will want a bigger screen and easier user interface. Personally I use a low-tech phone for voice calls and prefer a larger screen (10" and up) device for internet use. For serious work I use a serious computer.
Brian: I have not found a way to get below four devices. (1) 160GB iPod. Criteria: Storage to hold my full collection of currently 22276 songs and portability beats my laptop, especially in the gym ;) (2) My laptop. Criteria: Most efficient data entry and availbility of productivity tools. (3) iPad: Criteria: Display size and quality when on the road and boot up time, which beats my laptop. (4) iPhone. Critera: Stay connected, some audio and some video some data entry. But not efficent enough or good enough to beat the other two.
So I am with IDC - they predict thre devices. My iPod storage will eventually be merged into the phone, not sure when though.
Sorry to sound like a contrarian, but I have to put in my 2-cents comment. On the reasons you stated for chosing apple products, I could state the same buyt in the opposite direction, I rather see a larger screen than to strain my eyes, even if that requires for me to carry a small back pack. On the topic of selecting a brand over othere just for spite, I rather chose the best value item, rather than the overpriced gadget. And brand loyalty is one thing, but religious fanatism is near mental illenss, so I would recommend a more balanced and merit based analysis when making a decision. ;-)
I think your average shopper is less conernced about being hacked, and likes to wath youtube. But that doesn't mean youtube will always be a dominant media conduit. I, for one, am getting tired of all the commercials on youtube.