The problem with Apple is their marketing is very strong so that is why it's a clear winner on this poll. It's all about marketing your product. If you see almost every where there is an iPod user but not the rest. As human nature when you see your friends have an iPod you will want to get one as well to blend in with the crowd. Not because it sounds great but because you have something in common you can share with.
Those who appreciates music will know that iPod does not produce the best sound of an mp3player. Good ear/headphones also helps the music to sound better as well.
For my own personal opinion, I think iRiver produce a better sound quality than iPod.
In fact just one month ago a couple of my friends of mine did a blind test on 5 mp3 players.......iRiver L Player 8GB, iPod Touch 8GB, Creative Zen 16GB, SONY NWZ-A820 16GB and Microsoft ZUNE 8GB.
Using 2 ear phones (Shure SE310 Sound Isolating Earphones and Sony MDR-EX90) and 2 headphones (Kenwood KH-K1000 and Sony MDR-V900HD) in a sound proof room (yeah we had a friend's place which had one of those high end home theater system).
Guess which came up tops?
3. Creative Zen
5. Microsoft Zune
The test was conducted with 7 panelist whom uses mp3 almost every single day. They too were surprise with the results. The best part was, there was one die hard iPod user chose either Sony and iRiver as his favourite in the blind test. The very next day, he gave his iPod Touch to his son........and bought himself a SONY NWZ-A820 16GB.....wahaha.....