Can Steve Jobs rev up the iPod again?

“One of the unintended consequences of the success of the iPhone is that it has rendered the classic iPod and its diminutive sisters — the nano and the shuffle — nearly irrelevant,” Phillip Elmer-DeWitt blogs for Fortune. “What do you need a second MP3 player for if you’ve already got a few hundred tunes in your pocket?”

MacDailyNews Take: Who said it was unintended?

Elmer-DeWitt continues, “Enter Steve Jobs, who is expected to appear in person at the Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts in San Francisco next Tuesday for a special media event entitled ‘Let’s Rock.’ Jobs has made an annual ritual of introducing new iPods in September — giving the company plenty of time to ramp up for holiday sales. In 2005 the star of the show was the original iPod nano. Last year it was the iPod touch.”

“This year, according to several converging rumor threads, Jobs will introduce a brand new edition of the iPod nano, a slightly modified iPod touch, [possible price cuts], and a jazzed up version of the iTunes software that feeds content to them both,” Elmer-DeWitt writes.

“Will these changes be enough to bring back the days of double- or triple-digit sales growth? Probably not. But if the price cuts are steep enough and there are enough new and interesting things you can do with iPods — like download applications from the App Store — the latest versions could find their way onto Christmas wish lists for a few more years,” Elmer-DeWitt writes.

Full article, plus the taxonomy of iPods, here.

19 Comments

  1. Geez, irrelevant? What is there about an iPhone that would make an iPod Shuffle or Nano obsolete? Different demographics, folks!

    Or perhaps different uses? Maybe I’d like to take my shuffle outside while I cut the grass, while leaving my expensive iPhone inside so it doesn’t get damaged.

    Idiot…

  2. When You consider Apple is maintaining and still increasing it’s Market share at the cost of Zune Sales and well everyone else. One would expect sales to slow. As not everyone in the world will be a portable media player consumer.
    But, with the slow decline in all portable entertainment devices such as CD players, DVD players, cassette, and radios. A large spike in iPod sales will most likely occur. The Question is timing as the supply and lack of choice of in the portable entertainment device market reached the tipping point for the majority of the consumers of the old tech starts looking to the new tech for a suitable replacement for their beloved portable entertainment device? My guess is not this year but, perhaps next year.

  3. Why does Apple need growth there? It’s not enough to just sell 10 million profitable iPods every quarter and maintain an iron grip on the portable media market with no competition in sight?

  4. MDN – whoa, good going, you made me look up a word

    At first I was afraid if I followed the link

    Full article … here

    I would find in some diabolically bizarre display of sadism

    Little iPods stuffed and mounted

    (ouch, ouch, they gutted my hard drive and replaced it with sawdust)

    Whew, just glad no iPods were injured in the creation of that article

    BC

  5. How can you call the iPod market irrelevant when they keep selling millions, and the sales are still growing? Especially when you don’t count iPhones as iPods, even though they include one . . .

  6. Where do I fit in that article?

    I have a Shuffle for when I am going on a 4 hour bike ride

    I have an iPhone that goes with me most places, if I have an urge to listen to a bit of the music I have on it or internet radio it is fine.

    And lastly I have a 160gb classic that is up over 100gb of music. No iPhone could replace that amount of storage. If I want to maintain the ability to listen to whatever I want, whenever I want, wherever I want and it takes carrying an iPod Classic and iPhone so be it.

  7. Irrelevant!?!

    I only wish that were true. You so seldom see iPods available at garage sales. I was sort of hoping that the iPhone and iPod Touch popularity would cause all of that older iPod equipment to be sold at garage sales and flee markets, but not so much, huh?

    Maybe it’s because it has people’s favorite music on it, that your iPod is a very personal object that still gives enjoyment. Who would want to get rid of that?

  8. I reiterate, I Pod Touch is Apple’s main mobile product. The iPhone is a temporary ‘foot in the door’ device to lure the masses into the fold. As wireless access becomes ubiquitous more users will move to VOIP services and the cellular technology will dry up and die. There is no future in the current proprietary cellular technologies that only carry voice.

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