Is the iPod officially dead?
When was the last time you bought an iPod? Even an iPod Touch for that matter?
Just recently, Apple quietly pulled out all iPod listings on their online store (except for the venerable iPod Touch). Besides, they haven’t really updated that product line for a long time.
This move signals an end to the era of dedicated music players. For most people, the iPod was their first true taste of the Apple ecosystem. Aside from having a smartphone on hand, the iPod Shuffle, Nano or Touch were a must-have especially if you’re a music junkie. Literally, you have access to hundreds or thousands of music at the palm of your hands.
A decade ago, iPods were so popular that everybody else was making their own dedicated music players, even knock-offs of the original iPods. It was a huge business, especially for Apple.
However, the need for a dedicated music player has waned in the past few years. It’s a combination of several factors, some of it can also be attributed to Apple’s success:
- The iPhone became much more popular that the need to have an iPod on top of an iPhone doesn’t make any more sense. Besides, Android smartphones have become way cheaper that they’re now more affordable than an iPod.
- Bigger smartphone storage is now very common. The iPod used to be very convenient because it gave you a lot more space to store your music outside of your mobile device. In time though, smartphone storage has gotten so much bigger (32GB to 512GB) that the need for additional storage for music (and videos) wasn’t necessary. You’ve also got microSD cards as an option for expandable storage.
- The growing popularity of music streaming services like Spotify killed the need to store music on the phone. You have access to millions of songs instantly and there’s no need to buy a song or an entire album just to be able to listen to them. It’s also way cheaper and if you can deal with radio plugs, you can also get it for free.
Apple now has to rely on the iPhone as their major money-maker (almost 80% of Apple’s revenue comes from iPhone sales) and that too is also not growing as fast as it used to be.
Still, the iPod had quite a good run. I still have an old iPod Touch somewhere in the closet. Maybe it’s time to take it out, polish and frame it on the wall. Anybody else still has an iPod lying somewhere around the house?