Apple's iPod Is One Click Wheel Away From Extinction

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apple0Photo: Courtesy of Apple.
Think twice before you trade in your ancient click-wheel iPod: That pup could be worth something in a year or so. According to new sales statistics, Apple sold 52% less of its iconic MP3 player than it did last year.

This isn't the consumer's fault, though. Apple has been, in its own words, "cannibalizing" the iPod with each new generation of its MP3 player/cellphone/mini computer known as the iPhone. Way back in 2009, Apple's CFO Peter Oppenheimer laid claim to the brand's trajectory: "For traditional MP3 players, which include Shuffle, Nano, and Classic, we saw a year-over-year decline which we internally had forecasted to occur. This is one of the original reasons we developed the iPhone and the iPod Touch." With the rise of streaming music services like Spotify, Pandora, and even Apple's new iTunes Radio, however, even the iPod Touch has become a cold sell. (A Touch owner has to be connected to WiFi if they want to use streaming services, which kind of defeats the whole mobile purpose when they're out running in the wilderness.)

Since the iPhone and iPad are basically iPods on steroids, it's not the biggest loss to the company. The iPod (especially the classic) will likely become what the record player is today: a novelty item. The Verge believes that Apple isn't nixing the MP3 player altogether, though. It's good to remember that it took Apple three years to update the Mac Pro, and now we have an intimidating cylinder housing all our software, browser history, vacation pics, and guilty-pleasure iTunes playlists. However, convincing the world it needs a smaller cylinder-like music player will take more than brightly-colored, dance-filled commercials. (The Verge)