Is it time to say goodbye to the iPod?

When Steve Jobs launched the iPod in October 2001 and claimed that it was a breakthrough device for digital music, most trade pundits wrote him and the iPod off owing to its price ($399 then). But within in a few years, the iPod really took off and was termed as one of the biggest innovations in technology. Like many critics said — only Steve Jobs could prove the Beatles wrong. Apple also classified them into categories like Shuffle, Classic, Nano and Touch.

ipod-touch

In 2007, the sales of the iPod had peaked and Apple had claimed to sell than 1 million units; making it the most sold digital music player of all time. But 2007 was also the year when Apple launched its first iPhone — a device with an in-built iPod. Slowly the sales of iPod went downhill as people found it pointless to carry two devices when one could easily serve the purpose of both. But, despite that, parents still prefered buying the iPod touch for their kids as it functioned just like the iPhone barring the calling feature.

The decline in sales hasn’t surprised Apple as its CFO, Peter Oppenheimer said in June 2009: “We expect our traditional MP3 players to decline over time as we cannibalize ourselves with the iPod Touch and the iPhone.” Apple hasn’t even released a new version of the iPods for the almost two years. So is it time for Apple do away with the iPod category or maybe only sell the iPod touch? We do think so. Although the iconic iPod classic will be missed (and its 160GB of storage), simply because it today it isn’t too outlandish to expect a similar capacity in the flash-memory based players. The iPad mini has a 128GB option after all. Or perhaps Apple is coming up with an iPod touch with more focus on streaming music, specially after the Beats take over.

Anyway, the only competition the iPod has in the market today is the iPhone. Somewhere in fact it is the iPhone that killed the iPod as it has a much bigger market share. We don’t think Apple is complaining as in the past a new product has invariably killed the sales of another product of the same company. Like, the iPad too has slowly been eating into the Mac’s business. Or even how tablets in general are usually blamed for the decline in the PC industry. Or even how Motorola’s pagers were outed once their mobile phones came in.