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Old Nov 13, 2012, 06:38 PM   #1
slowtony
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Is the iPod Doomed?

Barry Ritholz, a professional money manager, just posted an insightful blog that reviews 11 years of the iPod . It's filled with data about the devices, including the fact that 350 million have been sold, and that Apple's share of the MP3 player market last year was 78 percent. The problem comes when you look at the data on the iPod as a share of Apple's revenue. When the iPod launched in 2006, it was responsible for over 40 percent of Apple's revenue. Then the iPhone was launched the following year, and the iPad in 2010. This year iPods contribute less then 5 percent of Apple's revenue.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 06:46 PM   #2
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5% of 56 billion is still 2.8 billion dollars..they certainly aren't going to stop making the iPod.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 07:11 PM   #3
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It would say the Touch is a success, quite a major one. They even add significant improvements for the 5th gen, so it looks like they are diverting their resources here as well.

Can't say the same for the new Nano, I don't like it.

But I do hope they revive the Classic. Although now is the iPhone/iPad era, I really hope they give the classic a 2nd life.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 07:33 PM   #4
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Everyone has his own view of what the perfect iPod is, which is why Apple keeps popping them out of the oven. The nice thing is that most of them aren't too hard to keep compatible "in advance" with later iOS, since they're relatively unsophisticated in their requirements. So they're that nice combination of fairly inexpensive, quite sturdy, quite useful.

I like the 6th and 7th gen nanos a lot. I didn't like the ones with the cameras and the curved side. Loved the 2nd, thought the 3rd was ok and I still use mine but I sort of make fun of it too, it seems awkward somehow. It was sort of a pause... enroute to iPod touch or something, even though the nano line didn't die out then and in fact seems still to be going strong.

Personally I feel that iPods make wonderful gifts. When I am given one, it means I don't have to reload some other model I already own, I can just put some newer music or video on the latest addition to my collection. I love grabbing an iPod and just taking it along for the ride when I go someplace I'm likely to have to wait for an appointment. Whatever's on it is my surprise of the day but with the advantage that I personally chose that content at some point and stashed it on that device.

If they made a Classic-dimensioned device but thinner, with ssd and a screen taking up most of the front the way the new nano does, it would sell like crazy even though it would lack the wheel of the classic. Yeah yeah i know it wouldn't be a "classic" at all, but it would still sell for people who are more into these portable devices for music and video, not so much other apps, not that you couldn't use it for those or at least whatever they stuck on there. Something with nano-like capability, radio etc. not many apps. I'd love a "mega nano" iPod!

Last edited by LizKat; Nov 13, 2012 at 07:48 PM. Reason: Clarify ideas for the classic transitioning to ssd
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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If you want a 'mega' nano, buy a Touch. If they update the classic, it has to keep some sort of click wheel... Maybe some sort of hybrid touch/Click wheel interface. Or they could just drop the Classic name, update it how they want and simply call it 'iPod'. Or give the Touch 128GB's and discontinue it...

I always thought they'd do that, make the Touch have the same capacity as the classic so you can get rid of it... Then they should've kept the nano the same, but make it cheaper to get rid of the shuffle, and obviously make the nano the awesome watch it was nearly destined to be...
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 12:52 PM   #6
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This question keeps coming up... I guess when you look at the record profits the iPhone has made for Apple and figure in it has been cannibalizing the iPod, one could wonder if the iPod has a future. As iEvolution stated, it's still a very profitable product for Apple to produce. Anecdotally, I know someone who manages a gym where lots of iPods used to get forgotten. Most were claimed by their owners, but around 2008 there was a steep drop off in iPods ending up in the lost and found. At the time, I thought it was the economy tanking and people were being more careful with their electronic devices. I still think that's partly the case, but certainly the advent of the iPhone and Touch impacted iPod sales and someone is less likely to leave behind a device that has so much personal information and day to day reliance. I think in the last 4 years, only 2 iPod Touches went unclaimed, both several years old. No 5th and 6th gen iPod Nanos, not surprisingly, because of the clip.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 01:41 PM   #7
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I have the new Touch, the new Nano and a Shuffle - all have their various uses.

I also have an Android Sony phone which I don't use for music.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 03:23 PM   #8
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I started this thread with some factual information, but there is another reason that I'm worried. All the young people I see (high school age) have their earbuds connected to their iPhones. The next generation of consumers has passed the iPod by.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 03:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by slowtony View Post
I started this thread with some factual information, but there is another reason that I'm worried. All the young people I see (high school age) have their earbuds connected to their iPhones. The next generation of consumers has passed the iPod by.
Of course the iPod is doomed. But the point is that Apple effectively killed the iPod, not someone else.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 05:06 PM   #10
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The iPod is old news. Especially the Classic and Shuffle. The classic might have its place as long as Apple keeps limiting the HD space on the touch but as soon as the Touch gets a HD bump the Classic is dead. And I don't know anyone who has a Shuffle anymore. This may be the last year for it. 2 gigs is nothing and who wants to keep resyncing a device to keep the music fresh?

iPod is dead, or at least dying. I use my iPhone for most of my music playing now and even the iPad Mini is quickly becoming my main car music player. It's small enough to carry now and with the Bluetooth in my car I don't even have to take the mini out of my backpack. I bought a new nano when they first came out and returned it a few weeks ago. I didn't use it at all.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 06:38 PM   #11
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Only thing I use my classic for is my car stereo. Throw new music on there from time to time, aside from that it permanently sits in my glove box connected to my alpine unit.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 09:36 PM   #12
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I still use my iPod Nano 3rd gen for jogging.

Most people I see jogging are using something similar; it's kind of a pain to use an iPhone or iPod Touch to go running. I've never liked those armbands, always felt like I was getting my blood pressure taken.

Last edited by Drunken Master; Nov 16, 2012 at 08:12 PM.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowtony View Post
When the iPod launched in 2006, it was responsible for over 40 percent of Apple's revenue. Then the iPhone was launched the following year, and the iPad in 2010. This year iPods contribute less then 5 percent of Apple's revenue.
Umm... The iPod was first launched in 2001 not 2006.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 05:51 AM   #14
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Funny, I use my classic every day. I like having my entire music library on there, interesting how someone said as soon as the capacity of the touch reaches the classic level then the classic is dead, but how much would a 160gb iPod Touch cost?
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 10:16 AM   #15
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I know it would never happen, but there is little to stop Apple from building a hard-drive based Touch. The ever-greater focus on thin would get reversed but there does seem to be a good number of people who would like an iPod Touch with >64GB of storage... and don't want to pay the premium for that to be accomplished with Flash storage. Marginally "fatter" case with big hard drive storage and the crowd wanting to carry "my whole library" gets what they want within the other niceties of an iPod Touch.

Or maybe this fusion drive concept could be applied.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 11:55 AM   #16
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The OP mentions the iPod launched in 2006 but it was sooner than that since I bought my first iPod in 2004.

I prefer to use my 160GB iPod Classic over my iPhones because it holds all my 120GB of music and my 15GB of podcasts. It sits in my glovebox 24/7 even n the winter. I just take it in once in awhile to add what little music I may have added but mostly to add new podcasts.

If and when Apple does kill the Classic, I will buy another one as a backup.

Both of my cars have stereos I purchased just for the fact that they are iPod ready and have the iPod connectors.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 03:43 PM   #17
SeattleMoose
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I bought the original "stick of gum" shuffle in 2004 and I loved it. But I wanted to see what was playing on a screen so eventually I bought the "fattie" iPod 3G (still my primary music player). A couple years later Apple came out with what turned out to be (in hindsight), the best ipod ever...the Nano 5G.

It's ONLY shortcoming was that it topped out at 16G. I thought (foolishly)...I'll just wait for them to expand the capacity in the Nano 6G to 32G and I'll have my "forever" iPod. I had no idea Apple would throw out such a beautiful design and start over with the Nano. But start over they did. In the 6G Apple eliminated the clickwheel (for a tiny touchscreen!!??), the camera, the ability to play movies, and the beautiful form factor. It became what the Shuffle should have evolved into...a swatch!!! Then the 7G came out out and yet again, another shot in the dark with a total transformation (iTouch lite). Apple has no clue where to take the Nano.

I realize now that the Nano will never be what I want it to be and as such, I may just get a "classic" and be done with having to worry about the iPod any more. But the Nano 5G was so very close to being perfect (just lacking more capacity)....sigh.

With Apple the new paradigm is that you never "get it all" anymore. The features/functionality are purposely "strung out" and/or changed to keep the pressure on to "buy the latest model" (hoping that you'll finally have that "forever" design).

Here is an idea...build to order Apple products where you can get a freshly built device with "modern guts" encased in an older form factor.

Last edited by SeattleMoose; Nov 15, 2012 at 05:58 PM.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 05:19 PM   #18
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iPod launched in 2001, not 2006. It's still making Apple a lot of money and although one day it will die, that day is not even close yet.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 05:37 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by pooleman View Post
The iPod is old news. Especially the Classic and Shuffle. The classic might have its place as long as Apple keeps limiting the HD space on the touch but as soon as the Touch gets a HD bump the Classic is dead. And I don't know anyone who has a Shuffle anymore. This may be the last year for it. 2 gigs is nothing and who wants to keep resyncing a device to keep the music fresh?

iPod is dead, or at least dying. I use my iPhone for most of my music playing now and even the iPad Mini is quickly becoming my main car music player. It's small enough to carry now and with the Bluetooth in my car I don't even have to take the mini out of my backpack. I bought a new nano when they first came out and returned it a few weeks ago. I didn't use it at all.
I think Apple is still acquiring customers in the music player segment. People that had other branded players to start with and now they're into the iPods. I see kids around here who started out with music on Juke cellphones, Zune players, etc. and still don't have fancy cellphones but they do now have nanos, shuffles, iPod touch. It doesn't cost Apple much to roll out another version of one of these lower-end devices so if the market's there at all, they can serve it.

The market for this stuff ranges from somewhat to quite different when you get away from urban areas. I live in one of the poorest counties in New York so there are just not going to be that many iPhone sales here, especially considering poor cellphone reception due to terrain and low potential revenue for carriers. Nanos and such, those are another story. They're big in rural areas. Those long bus rides to and from school!
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 06:26 PM   #20
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iPod...

i rather go with iPod Shuffle and iPad Mini than iPod Touch
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 06:47 PM   #21
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While iPod has its niche, with streaming audio (e.g., Spotify) and iTunes Match, the need for larger storage capacity is becoming less important for music listening. Some people will always insist on locally storing their entire music library (for either cost or wanting higher audio quality), but Apple has largely gave up bumping storage capacity.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 11:25 AM   #22
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I gave my iTouch 4th generation to my 10 yr old granddaughter who loves it. She has her music and games on it and her house is on WiFi. I bought the 5th generation and love it for a number of actions. It is my go to point and shoot camera since I carry it in my shirt pocket. I can also use it to read books while waiting for doctor/dentist appointments, or when my wife is shopping. I can sit and read and we are both happy. It is an elegantly designed piece of equipment. I don't have or need a cell phone so this works great for me. I have an iMac at home and a 3rd generation WiFi iPad for travel but I use the touch for language translation and money conversion. So I don't see the iPod touch going away any time soon. Oh yes, there is an old iPod nano residing in my glove box that plays my music in my car. Also very nice.
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 11:06 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by LizKat View Post
Everyone has his own view of what the perfect iPod is, which is why Apple keeps popping them out of the oven.......

.......So they're that nice combination of fairly inexpensive, quite sturdy, quite useful.
.............

Personally I feel that iPods make wonderful gifts. When I am given one, it means I don't have to reload some other model I already own, I can just put some newer music or video on the latest addition to my collection. I love grabbing an iPod and just taking it along for the ride when I go someplace I'm likely to have to wait for an appointment. Whatever's on it is my surprise of the day but with the advantage that I personally chose that content at some point and stashed it on that device.

If they made a Classic-dimensioned device but thinner, with ssd and a screen taking up most of the front the way the new nano does, it would sell like crazy even though it would lack the wheel of the classic. Yeah yeah i know it wouldn't be a "classic" at all, but it would still sell for people who are more into these portable devices for music and video, not so much other apps, not that you couldn't use it for those or at least whatever they stuck on there. Something with nano-like capability, radio etc. not many apps. I'd love a "mega nano" iPod!
Good post & I agree with you. I'd love a 'thinner' classic with a SSD (large one, bigger than 64GB which I already have on my Touch). And, like you, I still think they make a marvellous gift - it's the sort of thing I'd love to be given, even now. In any case, I always have a classic in my briefcase or rucksack. It goes everywhere with me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pooleman View Post
The iPod is old news. Especially the Classic and Shuffle. The classic might have its place as long as Apple keeps limiting the HD space on the touch but as soon as the Touch gets a HD bump the Classic is dead. .........

..........

iPod is dead, or at least dying. I use my iPhone for most of my music playing now and even the iPad Mini is quickly becoming my main car music player. It's small enough to carry now and with the Bluetooth in my car I don't even have to take the mini out of my backpack. I bought a new nano when they first came out and returned it a few weeks ago. I didn't use it at all.
It'll be interesting to see what - if anything - Apple decide to do with the classic. If they produced one with a decent SSD (say, 128GB) I'd buy it in a flash (all puns intended).

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Originally Posted by TheRdungeon View Post
Funny, I use my classic every day. I like having my entire music library on there, interesting how someone said as soon as the capacity of the touch reaches the classic level then the classic is dead, but how much would a 160gb iPod Touch cost?
Well, yes. I'm one of those who likes to be able to carry my entire music library around with me, too. And yes, I'd probably cheerfully consider mortgaging my late granny if a 160Gb Touch of myth and legend were to make an appearance....

Quote:
Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
I know it would never happen, but there is little to stop Apple from building a hard-drive based Touch. The ever-greater focus on thin would get reversed but there does seem to be a good number of people who would like an iPod Touch with >64GB of storage... and don't want to pay the premium for that to be accomplished with Flash storage. Marginally "fatter" case with big hard drive storage and the crowd wanting to carry "my whole library" gets what they want within the other niceties of an iPod Touch.

Or maybe this fusion drive concept could be applied.
Well, I'm one. I have a 64GB Touch - great device, but listening to music is still its main function, believe it or not. And yes, I'm part 'of the crowd' that wants to carry 'my whole library' with me wherever I go.

I travel a lot (mostly for work, but also for pleasure), sometimes for months at a time, and frequently to countries with inhospitable governments and prudent populations.....which means many evenings by yourself, listening to your iPod while writing reports.
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 03:19 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by slowtony View Post
Barry Ritholz, a professional money manager, just posted an insightful blog that reviews 11 years of the iPod . It's filled with data about the devices, including the fact that 350 million have been sold, and that Apple's share of the MP3 player market last year was 78 percent. The problem comes when you look at the data on the iPod as a share of Apple's revenue. When the iPod launched in 2006, it was responsible for over 40 percent of Apple's revenue. Then the iPhone was launched the following year, and the iPad in 2010. This year iPods contribute less then 5 percent of Apple's revenue.
If Apple hadn't started selling iPhones and iPads, the share would be higher. So what?


Quote:
Originally Posted by nutmac View Post
While iPod has its niche, with streaming audio (e.g., Spotify) and iTunes Match, the need for larger storage capacity is becoming less important for music listening. Some people will always insist on locally storing their entire music library (for either cost or wanting higher audio quality), but Apple has largely gave up bumping storage capacity.
iTunes Match doesn't help on my way to work. Cost of data is more than an iPod.

Last edited by gnasher729; Nov 17, 2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 04:42 PM   #25
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The iPod is old news. Especially the Classic and Shuffle. The classic might have its place as long as Apple keeps limiting the HD space on the touch but as soon as the Touch gets a HD bump the Classic is dead. And I don't know anyone who has a Shuffle anymore. This may be the last year for it. 2 gigs is nothing and who wants to keep resyncing a device to keep the music fresh?
Would be nice to see Apple replace the shuffle and/or 7th gen nano w/ an improved 6th gen nano at a lower price point. I bought a 6th gen nano before it was pulled and it is very useful at the gym and while traveling. It complements my iPhone well because of its size and it doesn't eat into the battery or data usage on my iPhone. But it could definitely benefit from wifi and bluetooth.

As far as the classic, it must be a novelty item. It doesn't fit in Apple's plans with everything moving to cloud integration. Also, I think the classic still uses a spinning hard drive which is a technology Apple is completely moving away from.

Would be interested in seeing sales figures for the classic, shuffle, and 7th gen nano!
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