Apple CEO has dismissed other companies' attempts to win MP3 market-share from the iPod, saying they "don't think about design innovation".

Jobs told the New York Times: "As technology becomes more complex, Apple's core strength of knowing how to make very sophisticated technology comprehensible to mere mortals is in even greater demand.

"The Dells of the world don't spend money on design innovation. They don't think about these things."

Jobs added: "Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what a thing looks like. People think designers are handed a box and told, 'Make it look good.' That's not what we think design is. It's not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."

Jonathan Ive, Apple vice president of industrial design, told the newspaper: "The iPod's design is about being very focused and not trying to do too much with the device, which would have been its complication and, therefore, its demise. The enabling features aren't obvious and evident, because the key was getting rid of stuff."

However, report author Rob Walker believes the iPod's success is not guaranteed.
He writes: "While the iPod does not play songs in formats used by any other sellers of digital music, like Napster or Rhapsody, it is competing against a huge number of players across multiple business segments, who by and large will support one another's products and services."

This view is shared by Rob Glaser, founder and CEO of RealNetworks who tells the NY Times: ''It's absolutely clear why five years from now Apple will have three to five per cent of the player market.''

Jobs isn't phased by this though - confident that nothing measures up to the iPod: "They're all putting their dumb controls in the shape of a circle, to fool the consumer into thinking it's a wheel like ours. We've sort of set the vernacular. They're trying to copy the vernacular without understanding it."

"We don't underestimate people,'' Jobs continues. "We really did believe that people would want something this good, that they'd see the value in it. And that rather than making a far inferior product for $100 less, giving people the product that they want, and that will serve them for years, even though it's a little pricier. People are smart; they figure these things out."

Jobs adds: "The superior product has the largest share. Sometimes the best product does win. This may be one of those times."