Enderle: Apple’s iPod looks like obsolete technology at this point

“Apple’s latest batch of iPod announcements was fairly well received, save for a few corners grumbling that the event was lacking in any big news, other than an energetic albeit thin Steve Jobs on stage,” Andy Patrizio reports for InternetNews.

“The challenge for Apple is starting to become what else to do with a music player now approaching its ninth birthday. There are only so many ways to skin a cat and despite a few nifty new features like shake to shuffle, in the end, it’s just a music player,” Patrizio reports.

“‘The iPhone clearly is overshadowing the entire iPod line,’ said analyst Rob Enderle, of The Enderle Group (Enderle is a consultant for Dell, which is reported to be working on an iPod competitor),” Patrizio reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Enderle would actually be right if he added “iPod touch” along with iPhone.

Patrizio continues, “‘Apple has clearly signaled that their focus is on the iPhone and the iPod looks like obsolete technology at this point. It’s hard for people to get excited about the iPod because the best iPod is a stripped down iPhone,’ said Enderle.”

MacDailyNews Take: People who are in the market for the world’s best digital media player are definitely excited about the iPod touch and also seem to really like the new iPod nanos from what we’re hearing and reading.

Patrizio continues, “But there’s no way Apple will get 160 million unit sales from the iPhone, like it has enjoyed with the iPod, since Apple can’t control the mobile phone ecosystem like they can with the iPod, Enderle argues.”

MacDailyNews Take: iCal’ed. The mobile phone market is so much larger than the digital media player market that Enderle will eat those words. It’ll take a few years, but iPhone will sell more than 160 million units.

Patrizio’s full article, which seems to have been dictated to him by know-nothing Enderle, including a bunch of gobbledygook about iTunes needing subscriptions (because that seems to be what Enderle is pushing on the Dell dopes who hired him to “consult”), here.


  1. Apple doesn’t *need* to sell 160 million iPhones to equal the success of the iPod because, well, it makes a lot more money on each iPhone. That doesn’t mean it won’t sell at that level. With a billion or so cell phones sold every year, getting just a few percent of those will allow Apple to reach that target in less time than it took iPod.

  2. Enderle is a tool. And his commentary is so consistently transparent in its aims, it’s a true wonder anyone gives him any kind of credibility anymore. I think it’s the fact that people still do that actually bothers me more than anything. He’s the Pete Hammond of tech criticism — utterly predictable and therefore completely pointless to listen to. (If you’re unsure what I mean, google “Pete Hammond” and “quote whore”.)

  3. Is Dell still sending all their tech support to India?
    Did Enderle consult on that great idea too?
    While the Iphone and iphone touch interface are by far the most forward thinking new technology, there is still a huge demand for a industry leading product to provide superior music storage and playback for those who dont desire to use the features offered on the iphone/iphone touch. If Enderle would have consulted with anyone in-the-know he would have bought plenty of Apple stock years ago.

  4. Enderle is right–the straight iPod is going to disappear completely in the next 18 months. Already, it seems bizarre to me to spend money on one of these devices that *doesn’t* have wifi. In 18 months, all iPods will have wifi, and will probably all be of the “touch” variety.

  5. Remember the patent Apple applied for (or got) for touch screen plastic displays? That is what they are waiting for. The nano will go all touch when they can get it to be as cheap as the Nano is now. I’d assume that the costs of adding a touch display and the weight and size is what is keeping it from happening. When they get the plastic thing happening, they will get rid of the wheel and make it all touch.

    The one thing I think they are really missing is a Touch with a hard drive. Classic is fine and all, but a Touch with a 160gig hard drive would be rather cool.

  6. Given the fact that most of the people (i.e. idiots) that get press coverage these days are what my mother called “troublemakers”, and want to create nothing but controversey and consternation, I think it’s time Enderle and people like him get what they deserve: nothing.

    No press coverage; no attention; no nothing.

    He’s worthless, and contributes nothing positive to his readers (sheep).

    Most importantly, he contributes nothing of value to the industry.

    Fsck him.

  7. The radio is somewhat obsolete technology but millions are sold every year.
    The secret to stellar sales is to make punters buy the next gen model time after time. How many iPod owners own not one but a drawer full of them – and a youch or phone ?

  8. What’s wrong with milking a cash cow, especially when one has new products on the rise to eventually replace it? This is Marketing 101, brilliantly executed by Apple.

    I can’t wait to see what “innovations” Dell brings forth to back Enderle’s words that the ipod is obsolete.

    Finally, if one less iPod means one more iPhone, that’s a deal I’d take any day.

  9. It’s pretty obvious astroturfing.

    “What if MacDailyNews and other Mac sites stopped republishing his articles?”

    Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
    – Sun-tzu, Chinese general & military strategist (~400 BC)

  10. I would say the signs are already there for a product transistion.

    The iPod Touch is the replacement for the classic. The classic is now down to 1 model. By Jan or Jun next year it will probably be discounted assuming a 64-128 GB flash based iPod is cheap enough.

    The changes to the Nano are interesting. Making the screen in portrait mode is comparable to the touch. The accelerometer and other features suggest the direction Apple are going. Next up would be a touch screen nano in a year or so.

    I think this will lead the way to a nano phone. Remember Apple made a huge leap in market share with the mini / nano. The same will happen with the iPhone if they offer a smaller and cheaper version. Not everyone can afford a luxury purchase like the iPhone, but would go for something that is less than $100 after subsidies.

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