Reign of the iPod Over?

21 06 2008

Is it possible to imagine a world where Apple isn’t dependent or even manufacturing the iPod anymore? This may be approaching a lot sooner than one may think. If you look back at the keynote from Steve Jobs almost two weeks ago, he outlined the three central items that make Apple who they are: Mac, iPhone and “Music”. What’s interesting here is that he did not explicitly mention the iPod during this. Which is surprising, considering for one, that 40 percent of Apple’s profits ($24 billion) were generated through iPod and iTunes sales – the other half being from its iMac, Mac Pro and MacBook series, which have been increasing in sales immensely due to poor acceptance of Windows Vista and the popularity the iPod has created for the company. In 2007, the personal computer division sales rose around 40%. Now, if you contrast this with iPod growth, you see a totally different story. In 2004, the year-over year sales growth topped 500%; in 2005, it was around 207%; 2006 it was 50% and in 2007 it was only around 6% increase. Based on these trends, it is completely feasible that the iPod may reach a 0% increase, and even possibly a decrease in the iPod’s sales y/y.

Apple has obviously realized that the seemingly endless rise of the iPod can’t continue forever, seeing as they excluded even the title “iPod” from the keynote. They have begun to focus on the “new gadget” – one which they will try to repeat the phenomenon displayed by the iPod. The iPhone in essence, is an iPod, but with many more capabilities. It is where the current market is quickly heading – the all-in-one device. As society has progressed, we have seen more and more creations being packed in to smaller and smaller packages. Prime example – the calculator. How many people, unless they’re still in school, still buy a calculator? What’s the need? Most devices carry them in some form or another: computers, cell phones, even the iPod touch has one. Is this the direction the iPod is headed? I believe so.

If you take a look at cell phones nowadays, they already have the built in MP3 capabilities of an iPod plus the functionality of a phone. Why would anyone want an iPod when they can get a similar MP3 player with a phone included. Also, a large amount of people use their cell phones as their lifelines – all the more reasons to have everything in one device. A well designed interface can’t stave off the incoming challengers forever.

Instead of placing all of their eggs in one basket, Apple has done the right thing and hasn’t put itself into a corner where it can’t escape. Instead they’ve branched out into other markets (eg. iPhone) and tested the waters there. So will there be a day when children ask their parents, “What’s an iPod?”. I believe this future is closer than we think.





Cool Apple Product Timeline Wallpaper

19 04 2008

Check out this neat wallpaper…click the image above to view it at its full dimensions (3200×2451).








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