Nearly eleven years ago, the late Steve Jobs introduced what would become the most successful portable music player ever released. No one imagined that this little white device would be so iconic that it would be the poster child mp3 player: when it was first released, critics dismissed the iPod as a passing fad, claiming that it would be too expensive for consumers to have one. To their surprise, more than 300 million iPods have been sold as of October 2011.
The iPod’s Decline
Since its conception, Apple has moved forward with other devices that have further integrated functionality such as the iPhone and the iPad. With the iPod’s claim to fame as a portable music player being integrated into other post-PC devices, has the iconic music player of the decade started to dwindle? Has the iPod reached its end of life as a consumer product?
Popularity: It Still Matters
Each year since 2008, sales for the iPod line of products have started to diminish in lieu of Apple’s post-PC products. People have been flocking towards more integrated devices as they meet more needs than a standalone music player does. It is quite apparent, however, that the iPod sales peak during the holiday quarters — in short, iPods become popular during the holiday season. And why wouldn’t they be? They arguably make the perfect holiday gift: compared to other music players, they’re small, functional and popular. In the train, on the streets, and everywhere else we see those ubiquitous white earbuds being toted around with an iPod. The iPod is just too iconic to pass by.
Fashion Meets Function
And with those pretty little white earbuds, the iPod has transcended the music player world. For instance, the iPod nano’s bright, vivid colours showed just how chic it is when clipped on. To add to that, several manufacturers popularized the nano as a watch, creating bands that held the iPod on the user’s wrist for extra svelte. If one recalls one of those old iPod ads where a silhouette of a person dancing with the iconic earbuds, there is only one thought that comes to mind: the iPod had became a fashion icon.
People Value Their Music
Everyone who owns an iPod knows how valuable music is to their lives. The gargantuan 160GB hard disk space of an iPod classic can only hold but 40,000 songs — more than 3 months’ worth of music played through once. People love listening to music, and a standalone music player as iconic as the iPod only shows why. Users do not get distracted by blaring notifications on an iPod nano or Classic; they just listen continuously for hours on end. The iPod, for music lovers, still does what it has done best for almost 11 years.
What do you think about the iPod’s relevance in today’s market? Do you think Apple will phase out its iconic music player, instead integrating it to their other post-PC devices?