There really isn’t any debate that Apple has seen better days with its iconic iPod. Having sold over 300 million units worldwide since its launch in 2001, the decade old product has without a doubt been a huge success. In fact, had the iPod not been such a runaway hit, we would not have the other iProducts like the iPhone and iPad. However, the iPod has passed its maturity and is rapidly declining in sales and importance.
Last week, despite its record sales growth as a company, Apple announced that its iPod sales fell 20% from the previous quarter to 7.54 million units sold. To provide comparison numbers, the company moved 20 million iPhones and 9.25 million iPads during the same time period.
Having sold 7.54 million iPods in a three month timespan is something that Apple shouldn’t feel anything but happy about. But, with declining numbers split between four different iPod models and sales instead going to smartphones, like the iPhone which comes with a built-in iPod app, it’s high time for Apple to amend its lineup.
The four models are all fairly different, but simplification is needed. For those who aren’t fully familiar with the current offering, Apple sells a tiny, 2GB, screenless Shuffle; a small, 8 and 16GB, touchscreen Nano; an iPhone-like, 8, 32, and 64 GB Touch; and a beastly, 160 GB Classic. So, this begs the question, which model, or models, should be given the axe?
First off, it’s safe to say that the iPod Touch should stay. It has all the same features as an iPhone, except the actual phone and texting capabilities. The Touch is great for children who do not need a fancy smartphone, yet who still largely enjoy the gaming and multimedia functions of the device. Additionally, with Wi-Fi capabilities and the soon-to-be released iOS 5’s Messaging feature, Touch users will be able to basically text other iOS devices and remain connected.
Because the Touch has all the same features as the Classic, in addition to many more, the Classic can be terminated. At 64 GB, the Touch has enough space to please nearly everyone’s media requirements. However, if Apple wanted to play it safe, it could provide the Touch in a larger, 128 GB version.
Lastly, because the Shuffle only plays music, has a small storage capacity, and lacks the ever-popular touchscreen, Apple should forego selling this model too. The Nano is a better choice for Apple because it is only a little bit larger, yet provides a nice touchscreen and up to eight times more space than the Shuffle.
As Apple is turning users to its iPhone and iPad, it is, in effect, killing its iPod. But, it is better for Apple that it is cannibalizing its own product, rather than a competitor.
Where do you see Apple taking its iconic iPod?
August Drilling works for CliqStudios.com, a website that sells discount kitchen cabinets, and loves Apple more than anything.