The end of an era for Apple’s iPod? In praise of a truly global gadget

“When the iPod was first launched back in the November of 2001, reactions were mixed to say the least. It only worked with Macs, making it a niche new contender in the portable music market, and it cost £300, which is the equivalent to £420 today. ”Breakthrough digital device’ might be pushing it,” wrote one particularly sceptical American critic,” Rhiannon Williams writes for The Telegraph. “But breakthrough it was, its entry into and eventual domination of the market saw the iPod sell over 350 million units worldwide by 2012.”

“Now, however, Apple’s recent results revealed that just over 6 million iPods had been sold during the fiscal quarter ending December 28 last year, compared to the 12.7 million units shifted during the same quarter in late 2012. The decrease of 55 per cent in terms of revenue and 52 per cent of with regards to units sold is all the more significant when viewed in comparison with Apple’s other products lines; the Mac, iPhone and iPad,” Williams writes. “During a conference call earlier this week, Cook admitted the company ‘have known for some time that iPod is a declining business.’ Little wonder Apple haven’t issued any major rejigs in the product line for over a year, besides replacing the fourth-generation iPod touch with a modified version.”

“But the iPod isn’t failing. Jump-started by Apple itself, the world is simply moving on; just as the iPod swept through the portable music device market like a breath of fresh air, a product must digitally evolve or die,” Williams writes. “And in truth the iPod isn’t dead at all –it’s simply evolved into the iPhone, which offers users the convenience of a phone and mp3 player in one, rather than carrying around an extra device for their musical needs.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, as we wrote last Wednesday:

iPod sales are ‘disappearing’ because every iPhone and iPad is an iPod, too. Just counting iPhones and iPads, Apple sold 77 million ‘iPods’ last quarter alone.


  1. I’ve been hoping for a bigger capacity Classic, mine is full up, but technology has taken up the slack: LaCie’s wifi-capable 1Tb self-powered portable HDD does just what I want, gives me a personal cloud I can stream all my music to regardless of network connections, and I can upload photos to it as well.

    1. I’d say it’s highly unlikely Apple will ever offer a larger iPod than the 160GB Classic only because I think you’re in the minority as far having to carry such a large music collection (or you’re using large format music files. Plus the fact that streaming is becoming very popular if not the norm. Besides, Apple would never go out of its way to please the last 5% users of its products..

  2. Why do you need 1tb of songs? I don’t think we need a larger classic we need something new something as revolutionary as the original iPod was. Not everyone wants an iphone. Personally I don’t think my daughter needs one an iPod woks just fine.

    1. I’d like 1TB of storage on my portable device. I want to be able to take all of my music and a bunch of videos with me. I’m tired of juggling my music/video collections.

  3. iPod – the device that reinvented music and Apple too. It reinvigorated my interest in music and widen where and how I could listen. Thanks SJ and the rest of the Apple crew.
    If you add up all iPod, iPhone and iPad sales, it’s going to be getting close to 1 billion soon.

  4. Or maybe the iPod branding is still sticking around but it will be applied into whatever wearable (ie; iWatch) that Apple is working. Just maybe. Apple could introduce it as the next generation iPod.

  5. I never bought an iPod until the touchscreen iPods were released – the 6th gen. nano and 2nd gen. touch. I tried a couple of the click wheel ones in the store and found them to be incredibly finicky to operate. The B&W screen was too backward for my taste – like a throwback to the B&W Apollo moon movies.

    I’m glad Fadell lost the internal iPhone war to Scott. I would never have bought a click wheel iPhone.

      1. @STFUBLN — That’s for sure! I’ve wondered before if the occasionally seen reasonable BLN is somebody posting rational comments as a subtle joke on the real BLN.

          1. Obviously you’ve not read any of his unprovoked diatribes recently.. People put up with trolls like him instead of calling them out.
            Tomorrow he’ll be off his meds again and back to the usual BS.
            He needs help.

          2. I disagree.

            The are raving jerks who don’t care what other people think — who will carry on with verbal abuse, bullying, sexual harassment, and physical violence because they are sociopaths. The only things that will stop them are severe consequences – jail time, physical violence, or such.
            For one example — In the case of stalkers, such sociopaths will often ruin their own lives, losing all their friends, children, spouse, money and job rather than alter their behavior.

            Then there are people who have some degree or a large degree of reasonableness. They have have poisonous jerky behavior. But they are simply not realizing or seeing their behavior the way others see it… or not having an empathy with the effect of their actions.
            This type of stalker will often correct their behavior when they have “a good talking to” by a police officer who clarifies for them that the testimony of the woman involved is not necessary for prosecution and the consequences of prosecution will be x, y and z.

            For the second group, I would suggest an important first step is to hear from others that their behavior is ugly and/or hurtful and/or offensive and/or unacceptable. A REASONABLE person will take in feedback from others – especially when “others” are numerous… perhaps realizing and then saying, “Oh wow! I didn’t really realize I was being such a jerk. I’m sorry. I’ll do my best to not be pushy and obnoxious”.

            NOT saying anything does nothing to change unpleasant and negative circumstances — whether the jerk is a wife beater or a poison spewer in a forum.

  6. I had a clickwheel iPod nano and its interface was simple and very effective. It was very easy, straightforward and quick to operate it and to do what I wanted to do.
    Now with my iPad it’s another story! It’s unnecessarily more complex and confusing. I do miss the iPod.

  7. We’re in a rural area and would dearly love to have an iPhone, but we are stuck in the choice of being raped by either AT&T or Verizon. We currently only carry a cell phone (the cheapest POS we could get at Costco at about $30 per month) in case of emergencies. We are real believers in our two iPod Touches (3rd & 5th gen). We use them for just about everything, most of the functionality of our iPads, just smaller. The funny thing is that we rarely use the iPods to actually play music! If only Apple would include the GPS chips in the ‘Touch, it would really be a killer device. That would put a nice hurt on Garmin. I really don’t think Apple is going to can the Ipod Touch any time soon. the other models may be a different story.

  8. I’m not sure I would like a bigger classic. But what I would like is if Apple would make an external Battery powered iHDD that I could put all my iTunes library on and have it recognized by my iPad, iPod, or iPhone and an extension to it’s drive when connected.

  9. Let’s not forget Slashdot’s infamous 8-word review of the iPod in 2001: “No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame.”

    In retrospect, that might have marked the beginning of that site’s long, slow slide into irrelevancy.


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