United is starting to offer ipod docks on their international flights. They will even be able to play video though the built in screens. This is exactly why the entire industry needs to settle on a standard. Or at the very least apple needs to open their dock standard to anyone.
What entire industry?
The entire industry of portable audio players that also sometimes play video and are likely to be owned by many people traveling on planes? The “industry” may not have settled on a standard, but the market sure has: the Apple iPod Dock connector. Because the market has settled on a device: the iPod (including the iPhone).
And there are plenty of instances where there was no freely available “standard” in a marketplace, yet consumers accepted the tradeoff:
- DVDs (owned by the DVD Consortium)
- Blu-Ray (owned by Sony)
- FAT32, the filesystem used on every Flash memory card (owned by Microsoft)
Consumers will keep buying iPods because they want to — and they’re so prevalent, with such a massive majority of the market, that companies can make iPod-specific accessories or options without alienating any significant amount of portable music listeners.