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Apple co-founder believes iPod has about run its course

post #1 of 146
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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak this week likened the iPod to a fad whose days atop the consumer electronics market are numbered while lamenting the limitations of the iPhone 3G, for which he'd like to write certain applications but can't due to restrictions.

"The iPod has sort of lived a long life at number one," he told The Telegraph in an exclusive interview. "Things like that, if you look back to transistor radios and Walkmans, they kind of die out after a while."

Woz, who retired from the daily grind at Apple more than 20 years ago, says the media players are approaching a saturation point where "everyone has got one or two or three." It gets to the point, he adds, where they "get real cheap," become omnipresent, and don't sell as well as a result.

He also spoke out about the direction Apple has chose for the iPhone, specifically the limitations the company has imposed on developers, which, in his opinion, stifle innovation.

"Consumers aren't getting all they want when companies are very proprietary and lock their products down," he said, arguing in favor of Google's open approach to the Android platform that offers developers more freedom. "I would like to write some more powerful apps than what you're allowed."

Woz is also hesitant to embrace the cult following that Apple has managed to achieve. While it may provide some shelter during times of economic recession -- given that loyalists are likely to remain devoted in their purchase decisions -- it also stands in opposition to change.

"I would like to have the users influence the next generation," he said. "With a religion you're not allowed to challenge anything. I want our customers to challenge us."

Woz, who is consider naming his child Zowoz "because it's a palindrome," offhandedly remarked that Apple's next big thing could be an "iWatch," claiming that nobody, including chief executive Steve Jobs, really has the foresight into the next blockbuster gadget.

"I think he would be sitting there [unaware] right up until the day it is introduced," he said of Jobs.

In his interview with The Telegraph, Woz also sides with analysts who've recently downgraded Apple stock and predicts that Web 2.0 and social networking websites could be in a for a mini version of the dotcom crash that erased $5 trillion in market cap near the turn of the century.
post #2 of 146
It's true, the iPod is saturated. I think at this point all that is left is the rest of the world and lower income families. I have purchased 4 and an iPhone 3g. Admittingly, I'll probably purchase another nano for running... but refurbished most likely.

While I respect Woz, and completely agree with what he says about apple's restrictions on the developers... I don't think Jobs is as completely oblivious to the next "gadget" as he says.

I also agree with him that more consumers should CHALLENGE apple. Make them produce products they want. ahem*xMac*ahem.

 

 

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post #3 of 146
Woz sounds like he is self medicating. Completely off in left field. Great spelling and grammar in this article BTW

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post #4 of 146
What's stop the man from writing for the Desktop World?

I'll tell you what? He lacks the software skills for such high level develop to pull it off. He never had them and its clear ever since the days he designed computer hardware. He's not a software engineer. He was a hardware engineer.
post #5 of 146
Woz for all his genius was more an engineer and not the visionary of Apple. He makes some obvious points about iPods and saturation but this is true of all technologies, evolve or go extinct. Just look at what has happened to the telephone and the first recorded music player and you will see how people will always want the ability to communicate at a distance and being entertained with music. The next big gadget? If history tells us anything it will be based on gadgets we use today but most like a smaller and more portable version.
post #6 of 146
Sure, as a music player, many many people do have a flavor of iPod. But the market is wide open again for the Touch/iPhone platform. Getting a Touch in everyone's hands will send a lot more business Apple's way than music ever did.
post #7 of 146
While the iPod has become long in the tooth, there isn't anything we know of in development to replace it.

As long as people want to carry around their music, they will be using an iPod.
post #8 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Woz, who is consider naming his child Zowoz "because it's a palindrome," offhandedly remarked that Apple's next big thing could be an "iWatch," claiming that nobody, including chief executive Steve Jobs, really has the foresight into the next blockbuster gadget.


first of all, PLEASE spare the child. Zowoz? wtf?!

secondly, I'd buy an iwatch if it was my cell phone, mp3 player, etc..
post #9 of 146
The iPod market may be "mature" but it is far from over. The transistor radio gave way to portable cassette players when people wanted to transport their own music. The cassette Walkman gave way to the CD Walkman; and both of these gave way to the iPod when downloadable digital music became the new standard. Digital music players will remain the standard until someone comes up with another, better way to transport music.

Each day there are thousands of kids reaching the age where they want to download and carry music around. Then there are international markets to be reached. Then there are the existing iPod owners who need to replace their units or want the new, improved model. So the iPod market isn't going away anytime soon. This almost sounds like sour grapes from Woz.
post #10 of 146
While the Woz is obviously a legend and a hardware engineering genius, he's also a huge nerd. "iWatch"? Do you know anyone who wears a watch anymore? And didn't Gates talk about that five years ago?

Woz should stick with what he knows. What he has never known is the average consumer. He's a geek with no social skills. And I love him to death, but he's way out of his league here.

The same goes for all his talk of "Open" software platforms. Geeks love to talk about the Utopia that is Open Source. But no one has ever made a truly successful business model out of pure open source practices. (Except maybe Google, but even they are on thin ice with the coming economic downturn.)

And of course no one will be using an iPod in five years. They'll be using a cell phone that has an iPod built into it. Good thing Apple thought ahead and already made one of those.
post #11 of 146
He's right about it becoming saturated, but that's only at at current price points and with the current models. This does not address future product iterations.

It's fine that he shoots off his mouth every now and then. Keeps everyone on their toes.

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post #12 of 146
I think the iPod has about run its course. And its ultimate destination is pretty nice: transition to touch computing (the first mainstream pocket computer platform), revolutionizing of the music industry, and international success of an integrated model that includes hardware, software, and online services. None of which has any other company come close to duplicating.

Now that that journey is over, I look forward to the next one
post #13 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

While the Woz is obviously a legend and a hardware engineering genius, he's also a huge nerd. "iWatch"? Do you know anyone who wears a watch anymore? And didn't Gates talk about that five years ago?

I wear a watch!!! It's a black Fossil, so it's not a gadget or a calculator watch with buttons all over it. By the way, 80% of the people I know wear a watch.
post #14 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by themoonisdown09 View Post

I wear a watch!!! It's a black Fossil, so it's not a gadget or a calculator watch with buttons all over it. By the way, 80% of the people I know wear a watch.

The death of the watch has been greatly exaggerated. A watch is a far more reliable piece of technology than a cell phone.

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post #15 of 146
There is no way that the iPod will 'run its course' -- just as television sets or automobiles or sunglasses will not -- but rather, it'll evolve, get better, and perhaps be integrated with a whole lot of things that we use (e.g., car, TV, sunglasses, perhaps even a watch) . It may or may not be Apple that makes it happen (although, I'll place my bets that Apple will be in the space with whatever emerges, and will make it look/work better), but there is little doubt that a portable music-playing object (standalone or not) will exist for a long time. And Apple certainly has a head start in pushing the iPod's boundaries along these lines (iPhone, Nike, @TV.....).

Woz sure sounds like he does not hold any Apple stock any more (Hint: It might be a good time to buy, Woz!).
post #16 of 146
Woz was a world class hardware engineer. And maybe that's as broad as his talents reach. He needs to stop commenting on all-things Apple as they make me cringe.

Woz is to Apple what Bill Clinton is to Obama. The good news is he's goofy enough and nice enough that we all give him a pass. We can all just chuckle about it and remind ourselves that he rides a segway.

I don't see a lot of Model Ts driving around and Ford really saturated that market good. Turns out people buy new technology. So Apple's goal is to keep innovating. I will buy thousands of computers and iPods and gadgets in my lifetime. Just for the fun of it.
post #17 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

While the iPod has become long in the tooth, there isn't anything we know of in development to replace it.

As long as people want to carry around their music, they will be using an iPod.

The thing is that the iPod is morphing, what you say by iPod now is not what it will mean in the years to come. What it is now is not what it was three years ago, and the landscape will be very different in three years. It's evolving a lot quicker than computers do. I think the predictions about the phone and touch replacing the more conventional models may well run true.
post #18 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... Apple co-founder says iPod has about run its course...

It's worth noting that Wozniak actually says nothing of the sort in the article.

One could certainly imply from his statements that he believes something to that effect, or that he believes that the iPod is *approaching* that status, or will inevitably *achieve* that status, but he does not actually say anywhere that this is the case with the iPod today.

He actually just says something rather obvious. That all products have cycles of popularity or their "time at the top" and that the iPod is no exception. He further says that the iPod has reached a sort of level of ubiquitousness, but doesn't comment on when or if the decline will take place.

This is why journalists go to school and bloggers are not journalists.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #19 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by themoonisdown09 View Post

I wear a watch!!! It's a black Fossil, so it's not a gadget or a calculator watch with buttons all over it. By the way, 80% of the people I know wear a watch.

Hel I just went out and bought 5 new watches (different style watch, for different dress options once a geek, always a geek

Skip

PS 2 Guess Watches, a Bulova and 2 Natica
post #20 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post

Woz was a world class hardware engineer. And maybe that's as broad as his talents reach. He needs to stop commenting on all-things Apple as they make me cringe.

Woz is to Apple what Bill Clinton is to Obama. The good news is he's goofy enough and nice enough that we all give him a pass. We can all just chuckle about it and remind ourselves that he rides a segway.

I don't see a lot of Model Ts driving around and Ford really saturated that market good. Turns out people buy new technology. So Apple's goal is to keep innovating. I will buy thousands of computers and iPods and gadgets in my lifetime. Just for the fun of it.

I'm looking forward to the day I can slap a 6"x2" flexible clear membrane Apple computer on my arm that runs on solar power and thermal body heat, enables me to communicate with other computer users through a subvocalization mic and is constantly tapped into a global neural network.

When can I pick one up?

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post #21 of 146
I'm sorry, but the WOZ has pretty much lost all relevancy in my eyes. I think he carries a big chip on his shoulder about Apple and Jobs. And pretty much all of his comments reflect this.

Glor
post #22 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The death of the watch has been greatly exaggerated. A watch is a far more reliable piece of technology than a cell phone.

I find it depends on the age bracket. I don't know many people under 30 or 40 that wear a watch, and most of them wear it as jewellery, not to tell time. Woz's watch is a good example, my best friend has the same one (the binary one), and it's more of a conversation piece, or a "show off" piece than it is to tell time.

Almost everyone over 50 or 55 wears a watch in my experience though.
What does that tell ya?
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post #23 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

There is no way that the iPod will 'run its course' -- just as television sets or automobiles or sunglasses will not -- but rather, it'll evolve, get better, and perhaps be integrated with a whole lot of things that we use (e.g., car, TV, sunglasses, perhaps even a watch) . It may or may not be Apple that makes it happen (although, I'll place my bets that Apple will be in the space with whatever emerges, and will make it look/work better), but there is little doubt that a portable music-playing object (standalone or not) will exist for a long time. And Apple certainly has a head start in pushing the iPod's boundaries along these lines (iPhone, Nike, @TV.....).

Woz sure sounds like he does not hold any Apple stock any more (Hint: It might be a good time to buy, Woz!).

careful; bit of a false analogy there.

Yes cars are still around. But are Novas still around? (i'm not much of a car guy, i'm sure there are better examples).

the iPod is an Digital Media Player, which will be around for a while. Woz might be saying that "iPod" digital media players might die out (I think he's probably wrong, at least in the near future)

OR

(like other people are saying) iPods need to change/adapt etc. (perhaps more so than the classic/nano have done recently, as they look fairly similar to 2 years + ago.

After all, the Corvette is still around, it just looks (and drives) different throughout the years.
post #24 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The death of the watch has been greatly exaggerated. A watch is a far more reliable piece of technology than a cell phone.

Yeah and that's what people once said of the slide rule and before that the abacus.
post #25 of 146
I've always thought of Woz as a quiet storm. Kind of the back up guy to SJ. If he says these things they truly must have merit.

Next Big Things at our favorite fruit company. The iCortex

Embedded Brain Chips...eliminates the need for a physical device altogether.

Taps right into all of your sensory inputs.....
post #26 of 146
And, as usual, he's clueless.

Sorry, The Other Steve, but this is as true now as it was when I originally wrote it.
post #27 of 146
Just as a clarification: the "iWatch" example wasn't literal. The point Woz was trying to make is that it's seemingly difficult to predict what the consumers will line up for next--and that it could be anything. Not that the "iWatch" was a good idea.

At least, that's how I took it.
post #28 of 146
I like Woz but come on does he always got to throw something negative about Apple everytime he talks about it, sure the original ipods will die out but the touch will take it's place, just look at best buy.com for example, the 3 best selling MP3s are all iPod touch and are all sold out
post #29 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

As long as people want to carry around their music, they will be using an iPod.

Carrying around music is becoming quickly obsolete... With 3G+ available everywhere, one would you need to carry something on limited storage while you could just as easily grad it over the air as you need it?
Actually, why would you bother with owning music when you can just stream content for free from platforms like Pandora or Deezer? And why limit yourself to music when TV shows are the big thing?
post #30 of 146
Alright, a bitter Woz.
Why does everyobody keep listening to him? He hasn't done one great thing in decades! Alright, he made the original Mac, but so what does that change? Of course now that he works at Google, he's going to pitch the Android as the most innovative and open and free platform in the universe. But seriously, he's totally not relevant these days. Jobs on the other hand is extremely relevant.
Second, Apple is in the business of making money and they also happen to posess a certain sense of style. So if they find out that there's a huge market for iWatches then there's gonna be an iWatch, plain and simple. Religion is just a side-effect, it's not relevant to Apple these days. Most of Apple products users are just that - ordinary users.
post #31 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

careful; bit of a false analogy there....
the iPod is an Digital Media Player, which will be around for a while. .....
OR....(like other people are saying) iPods need to change/adapt etc......
After all, the Corvette is still around, it just looks (and drives) different throughout the years.

I guess you must have completely missed the fact that I was saying the same thing -- I am sure I could have said it better.
post #32 of 146
Woz = Sour Grapes. Here's a parallel: Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Paul Allen went his own way and has an impressive body of work since his days clocking in at Microsoft. He doesn't get Bill's spotlight, but he doesn't want it either.

Woz is more like the awkward brother or uncle who embarrasses everyone at the wedding. I haven't read tons about Woz, but from what I've seen he's something of a man-child who revels in cutting steak with a metal credit card, a sad attempt to impress flight attendants. Do I admire his accomplishments? Absolutely. Is he ruining his image with his negativity? Definitely.

For those who don't know, Woz crashed an airplane he wasn't qualified to fly, and suffered from amnesia. A brain injury could explain some of his offbeat behavior. Personally, I suspect it's mostly jealousy of Steve Jobs and his celebrated cool-guy image.

As for the iPod: Mine took a giant leap forward over the summer when I could control my Apple TV with it. With the App Store and location-based apps it's hard to tell what iPods will be able to do next. My iPod has me hooked on podcasts. I can keep my laptop closed more often now, thanks to mobile Safari. I can check on my kids via a wireless web cam - on my iPod!

I don't think the iPod is done. But maybe Woz is.
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post #33 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by treestman View Post

And, as usual, he's clueless.

Sorry, The Other Steve, but this is as true now as it was when I originally wrote it.

Well he and a previous Apple CEO started a company name Jazz that didn't do to good, so am not sure if the guy can be taken to seriously, i mean they flush about 50 million of shareholders money down the toilet
post #34 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The death of the watch has been greatly exaggerated. A watch is a far more reliable piece of technology than a cell phone.

I don't think anyone really contests their reliability. But from what I've seen, the purpose of the watch seems to have moved a lot more towards the side of a fashion accessory than its function.
post #35 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

It's worth noting that Wozniak actually says nothing of the sort in the article.

One could certainly imply from his statements that he believes something to that effect, or that he believes that the iPod is *approaching* that status, or will inevitably *achieve* that status, but he does not actually say anywhere that this is the case with the iPod today.

He actually just says something rather obvious. That all products have cycles of popularity or their "time at the top" and that the iPod is no exception. He further says that the iPod has reached a sort of level of ubiquitousness, but doesn't comment on when or if the decline will take place.

This is why journalists go to school and bloggers are not journalists.

Virgil,

These are the direct quotes from Woz:

"The iPod has sort of lived a long life at number one. Things like, that if you look back to transistor radios and Walkmans, they kind of die out after a while. It's kind of like everyone has got one or two or three. You get to a point when they are on display everywhere, they get real cheap and they are not selling as much."

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K
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post #36 of 146
Anyone ever hear about anything else The Woz says if it isn't about Apple??????

And does this guy even work any more? I'd say he's about as "In Touch" with the marketplace as my cat is concerned about what's on TV.

I'm sorry.... Woz is a "has been"..... while Jobs is still "In"......

I couldn't give a crap about anything coming out of that guys mouth.

I'd like to carry forward the motion that "The Woz"..... now be called.... "The Waz"....

Would anyone like to second it?

Z

P.S.... and didn't Balmer also "Squirt off" something similar to what this dinosaur just said???
post #37 of 146
While I thank Steve Wozniak for helping to start Apple, I really wish he would shut up. I don't think that he says anything really useful these days.
post #38 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphodsplanet View Post

Anyone ever hear about anything else The Woz says if it isn't about Apple??????

And does this guy even work any more? I'd say he's about as "In Touch" with the marketplace as my cat is concerned about what's on TV.

I'm sorry.... Woz is a "has been"..... while Jobs is still "In"......

I couldn't give a crap about anything coming out of that guys mouth.

I'd like to carry forward the motion that "The Woz"..... now be called.... "The Waz"....

Would anyone like to second it?

Z

P.S.... and didn't Balmer also "Squirt off" something similar to what this dinosaur just said???

I almost made the same point but you were a little meaner

You're right. Wozniak is sort of a has been.
post #39 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Woz sounds like he is self medicating. Completely off in left field. Great spelling and grammar in this article BTW

Yeah, everyone who speaks the truth and doesn't just parrot company marketingspeak must be self-medicating.

I can't see one thing that was even slightly off the mark in what he said. Web 2.0 remark was especially on the money. The iWatch thing was obviously a joke or a throw away line.
post #40 of 146
Why that's really great for him to make that statement as the stock market keeps declining.
Are we sure it wasn't Ballmer in his Halloween costume?
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