iPod EOL? How Apple’s new product announcements – not an iPod among them – affect the music industry

“Another Apple special event spectacular has come and gone, and once again people are buzzing with what was announced and what wasn’t,” Bobby Owsinski writes for Forbes. “Apple is clearly a consumer electronics company, but one that’s highly influential in the music world, and this series of products will influence music more than you might think.”

“The first significant announcement was pretty much glossed over, and that’s the fact that iTunes Radio now has 20 million users and has served up over a billion songs. Considering that it’s only been a little over a month since the service was introduced (and only in the US at that), and you can see why the service add-on is shaping up to be the monster that Pandora and Spotify feared the most,” Owsinski writes. “The prediction here is that by this time next year iTunes Radio will have surpassed the cumulative listeners of both Pandora and Spotify together, and you can be sure that will jeopardize the existence of at least one of these services.”

Owsinski writes, “But this was an event centered mainly around hardware, and while the brand new iPads look nice and more powerful than ever, most music production is still done on desktop machines and to a lessor degree, laptops that have become almost as powerful. The new Mac Pro (which will finally be shipping in December) touted at the event will have a deeper impact than most analysts believe, basically because it’s more of a strategic product than almost anything else in the Apple line… But maybe the most significant bit from the event is what you didn’t see, and that was the absence of anything having to do with the iPod. It’s more than likely that the product is at end-of-life, and after all, why shouldn’t it be?”

Read more in the full article here.

33 Comments

  1. People (Analysts, Trolls, Fanbois) don’t get the new Apple. Take iWorks: the new iWorks is more than enough for my parents, or my aunt & uncle. However the same cannot be said for my brother (running his own business) or me (Scientist). I replaced PowerPoint with Keynote years ago and was hoping to replace Word and Excel with Pages and Numbers when the new update will “finally” arrive.

    Well, it did arrive and it shows Apple’s new strategy: give the largest number of users a consistent experience across all devices, be it iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Web. While this strategy is immensely successful and profitable, it is also the technological equivalent of the “For Dummys” books. And that is simply not good enough for many of us.

    I’ll still use Keynote 09, and maybe Apple will get a Keynote Pro out of the door, but I am not hopeful – it’s been too long.

    1. People (Analysts, Trolls, Fanbois, scientist, brothers running his own business) don’t get Apple.

      You have to include yourself and your brother inside the parenthesis. If you are saying iWork is not yet cutting it for real work, that doesn’t mean you understand Apple.

      I’d say your parents and ant and uncle understand Apple more than you do.

  2. iPod EOL??? Do we need another iPod, is the current iPod falling behind? no, there was no new iPods because the ones we have already are years ahead of its time.
    Apple customer don’t buy just for compulsion like other customers that need a new product (or 35 new new android models) every month. Apple’s customer buy because there is something really useful they can take advantage of.

    1. Yup, the current iPods are already best music-focused devices on the market. Spending time improving them further at this point would just be diluting the efforts in the 1000 other updates that they announced. Next year will see new iPods, and the EOL of the classic iPod.

      1. I agree. Fact is its a declining market and no end of updates will do much to affect that and if it did it would likely be at the expense of other products to a degree. It just isn’t worth the investment any longer as there are few desperate for new version customers out there. IPods will now have longer update cycles or may eventually evolve into something else but will remain for some time yet.

  3. For now we can only see this is tabloid BS, because Apple switched to one update per two years for iPod touch long time ago already. And other iPods do not really need an update. The more so possibly upcoming iWatch could replace iPod nano (with wireless headphones).

  4. I’m sorry but there is an iPod in my iPad, there is an iPod in my iMac, there is an iPod in my iPhone and, last but not least, there is an iPod in my watch.

    I don’t need another one so I gave my iPod to my 5 year old nephew.

    1. Right – all iPhones and iPads have iPods.

      The iPod Touch seems to get updated with iPhones. I think that will keep getting upgraded for the near future. I suspect the classic will be kept as is.

  5. It’s kind of sad that the iPod line is being discontinued. The iPod practically defined an era. If the Walkman was for the 80s, then the iPod defined the 2000s decade. I am glad that Apple changed the face of music distribution though. Back in the dark ages when I had a ‘Droid (don’t judge me, please) I went into the Android Market (as it was called at the time) to find some Aphex Twin music. The only album the had was 2001’s “DrukQs”. They didn’t even have classics like “The Richard D. James Album”, or “Windowlicker”. I was disappointed. But when I got an iPhone, all that changed. Not only did iTunes have those albums, they even had the hard to find “Acoustica” Aphex Twin Orchestral Suite! Apple truly is a life saver!

    1. The line is not being discontinued. It just wasn’t updated. I think it will be at the very least 5 years before all iPod music players are discontinued. I love my nano when exercising. Lightweight and I don’t get interrupted.

      1. I don’t think that the iPod will be discontinued for the foreseeable future. Some models might be EOL’ed, such as the classic, but the ones that effectively serve a role, such as the shuffle, will keep on going. I use a shuffle for gym workouts. It is small and runs for a few weeks on a singe charge. I don’t want to strap an iPhone to my arm and I don’t have to worry as much about losing a shuffle ($69).

        Apple’s forte is designing focused products that fulfill a particular customer need in a simple and elegant fashion. iPods are not going away anytime soon. The are just not the primary focus anymore.

  6. iPods still have value – I use an old fat nano in my car for listening to podcasts. The Podcast app is not terribly useful (terribly not-useful?), and I don’t want to have to keep dragging my phone out of my pocket to use it. Much simpler to have a single dedicated device that just sits, there, hooked up all the time except when I bring it in to refresh it. It doesn’t need to play games or videos. I have a separate nano in a sealed case for my kayak – don’t want to use or lose my phone on the water, and don’t need the bulk.

    I’m a little surprised they didn’t drop those prices, but I assume that means they’re still selling well enough, with an even higher profit margin, for those consumers who want them (compared to the competition).

    1. You can’t listen to podcasts at 2x on a nano, can you?

      Also, the nano won’t download podcasts for you..

      I’m not saying the Podcasts app is perfect, but it’s a lot better than the previous situation.

  7. In reality, the iPad mini is just a large screen iPod touch. Just because the industry wouldn’t count the iPod as a small screen tablet doesn’t mean it wasn’t a small screen tablet.

    Now, there is the iPad mini and the iPad Air. The BIGGER iPads!

  8. Apple does not release a new iPod every year. The iPod 5, released last year, reflected 2 years with the iPod 4.. And what? the iPod 4, was recently replaced with a 16GB iPod (grey-no camera, other than iSight) The other smaller devices in existence see even slower upgrade cycle. Does this mean something? It means it’s not all that important. It’s not a keystone or halo anymore.

    iPod, currently the lowest consumer product on Apple’s lineup, has no competition, (zilch). Sure others come and go, but the iPod has basically swallowed the whole echo system, with simple fringe cockroach MP3 players, lapping up tears from the blood bath. Additionally every single iPad/iPhone is also an iPod. Shhhhh don’t tell anyone that, it’s a secret.

    Silly rabbit! iPods are for kids!

  9. iPod EOL? Nonsense. Media player iPods have evolved to a point where annual refreshes are not necessary. A brand new iPod nano was release last year. The iPod shuffle got a new batch of colors last year, and you can’t do much more to a shuffle in terms of design. And iPod classic appears destined to continue “as is.” (iPod touch is not really an “iPod”; it’s more “iPad nano.”)

    I don’t want to carry around an iPhone when I go running. I use my nano. Even when I have my iPhone with me, I often use my shuffle to listen to music, because it is more convenient for that purpose. A very small media player is useful.

    What Apple does need soon is a way to use future iPods with iOS devices, for syncing. More and more consumers will only have an iOS devices as their primary “computer.” Current iPods cannot be used without a Mac or PC running iTunes.

  10. Apple does not kill the music industry! It will give the new opprotunities to music industry to get more revenue. Apple never kills anything especially when Apple makes their small 30% cut of it. iPods are already perfect for its purpose.

  11. Ok. Guess I’m odd. But there are many times when I still dig out my old iPod 5th gen. Road trips. Times when Im away from WiFi. A massive storage, music/podcast/video player really is nice when Im away from civilization. I will need to replace that old one soon. When I do, I hope there is a high capacity option available when I do.

  12. You gotta wonder, how many original iPhones/3/3GS, maybe even the occasional 4 by now have had their SIM cards ripped out and been handed down to a youthful relative as an iPod Touch?

    1. iPads are NOT iPods. They have iPod functions, but if you seriously think that anyone is going to use an iPad Mini, or worse, an iPad, as a music player, then you obviously imagine that an iPad Mini would function as a phone as well.
      Answer me this; it’s a hot, sunny day, you’re wearing shorts and tee, and you want to listen to music while you’re out and about. Where, exactly, are you going to put the iPad? My iPod, or my old iPhone 4 that has replaced my Nano goes into a back pocket, or small internal jacket pocket; where the hell are you going to stick an iPad?

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