Growing iPod market share is great for Apple and its iTunes Music Store, but the iPod's mainstream appeal is driving some long-time users into the closet.
Closet iPod use is particularly acute among early adopters, said consumer behaviorist Tom O'Guinn, because they don't want to be identified with the Johnny-come-latelies.Was the iPod really that much cooler back when it was underground?
"The phenomenon in question is 'desired marginality,'" he said. O'Guinn said for some Mac users, for example, Apple's marginal status and low market share is a "source of pride." And as the iPod goes mainstream, some early adopters are affronted by its lack of exclusivity.