ArsTechnica reports that Neil Young’s Pono Player is facing some tough times right now. Not having much more capital left, they are unable to expand to new markets.
It is hard for me to believe there is any real growth in a market that even Apple, the portable music player leader, is pulling back from. Having recently demoted iPods to the accessory rack in their own stores, nothing more could signal weakening demand. Couple that with the fact that no one can easily tell the difference between the “hi-fidelity” pono player and “lower quality” music players, spells a tough business case for expansion.
The dire market and business case also tells why it is difficult for them to find a CEO. I don’t think anyone will want to take that position without a bit of a parachute and an assurance.
The player is definitely something niche that could fill a role, but it is definitely something that will never be much more than that.