ipod touch 6?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2015
What is the story with the next iPod? Will it be discontinued or will a new model be released?

My classic just kicked the bucket and I need one for the car/travel/gym... And as I live in part of the world that hasn't got Spotify etc. I need an mp3 player besides my phone.

When will the new iPod be released/if?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    joelsaltjoelsalt Posts: 827member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Graphite View Post



    What is the story with the next iPod? Will it be discontinued or will a new model be released?



    My classic just kicked the bucket and I need one for the car/travel/gym... And as I live in part of the world that has Spotify etc. I need an mp3 player besides my phone.



    When will the new iPod be released/if?



    Total blind guess – if there is indeed an iPad Pro coming in April/May as i think has been rumoured, that seems like a time they could introduce iPod Touch "6" - supply for the iPhone has normalized and a new phone would be out not long after to overshadow it.

     

    I think iPods used to get refreshed in April long ago, did they not?  

     

    Anyway I use a touch solely, no phone, and would love an upgrade. I think there is still a market

  • Reply 2 of 10
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,548moderator
    graphite wrote: »
    What is the story with the next iPod? Will it be discontinued or will a new model be released?

    My classic just kicked the bucket and I need one for the car/travel/gym... And as I live in part of the world that has Spotify etc. I need an mp3 player besides my phone.

    When will the new iPod be released/if?

    I believe the Apple Watch is the new iPod and will play music wirelessly. Streaming would be a problem with it for now though because it has no networking except for being paired with the iPhone. It will have quite limited storage too. I'm sure I saw a Beats icon in one of the Watch demos or marketing images but I might be mistaken.

    iPods last year made $2.3b on 14m units, which is down nearly half since last year. iPhones outsell them somewhere like 20:1.

    I reckon they'll continue selling them for a short time but I don't expect any new models. If sales continue to drop, they will most likely discontinue the lowest sellers.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Marvin wrote: »
    I believe the Apple Watch is the new iPod and will play music wirelessly. Streaming would be a problem with it for now though because it has no networking except for being paired with the iPhone. It will have quite limited storage too. I'm sure I saw a Beats icon in one of the Watch demos or marketing images but I might be mistaken.
    I suspect we will need at least two generations of iWatch before it is as useful as some want.
    iPods last year made $2.3b on 14m units, which is down nearly half since last year. iPhones outsell them somewhere like 20:1.
    Here in lies the problem, who in their right mind would buy an iPod Touch today when it is obviously outdated. Apple has moved on to metal and 64 bit technology, making the Touch grossly out of date. Touch is a massively poor investment right now if you expect software support for any length of time.
    I reckon they'll continue selling them for a short time but I don't expect any new models. If sales continue to drop, they will most likely discontinue the lowest sellers.

    IF? Apple has made certain that sales will drop, until the unit is updated sales will continue to slide.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    I've been searching for answers to this...

    There still seems to be a market for mp3 players, but possibly on the upper end of the scale. Sony and Neil Young have both launched high capacity; high quality players, at a premium cost.

    There are plenty of people who travel allot who can't use internet based services due to lack of data roaming and need a player with lots of GBs.

    Add the fact that Apple bought beats. It would be madness for them not to take advantage of that tie up... Even though beats is more a fashion brand than a quality audio one...

    I just hope they don't tie their iPod strategy to the iWatch...
  • Reply 5 of 10
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,548moderator
    graphite wrote: »
    There still seems to be a market for mp3 players, but possibly on the upper end of the scale. Sony and Neil Young have both launched high capacity; high quality players, at a premium cost.

    There's some kind of a market in audio for companies who have failed to sell smartphones (like Sony), they'll take what they can get. Apple is so busy selling smartphones, there's no point in giving attention to devices much fewer people are buying. I don't know what Sony is thinking bringing out an audio player at $1199:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2015/01/07/return-of-the-media-mp3-player/
    http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/5/7493145/new-sony-walkman-zx2-ces-2015

    The problem these players have is they are just controlling the playback, the quality comes from the headphones you attach to them.

    Apple could integrate storage into Beats (think iPod Shuffle inside Beats) and play audio at whatever quality they wanted and sell it at the same price it is now and just control them with the Watch or iPhone.

    I noticed JBL brought out headphones that bring ambient sound and noise cancelling together into headphones, I would have thought that had been done before but they say they did it first:

    http://news.harman.com/Press-Releases/JBL-Announces-the-World-s-First-Sport-Headphone-with-Ambient-Aware-and-ANC-no-batteries-required-208.aspx

    When you are at a live music event, there's ambient sound between your ears and the audio source that normal closed-back headphones don't replicate and they tend to sound muffled. Open-back lets sound out and ambient audio in but they leak sound so other people hear your music, which is no good in public places. Using mics on the outside of closed-back lets ambient sound in without letting your music get out and they'd probably have to simulate how the music audio would change too. Apple can put a sampler on open-back and closed-back headphones in isolation and then listen to the capture on each and adjust the closed-back to sound the same.

    JBL is powering theirs with the Lightning port but Beats can just be wireless and use the battery. Right now Beats charges with a USB cable and takes 2 hours to charge to give 12 hours of bluetooth playback and 20 hours of connected playback. Apple has their own battery tech so I reckon they can improve on that and with the music player internal, there would be no wireless use unless streaming. They can have another cable to get power from Lightning when the battery is out. Given that they have their own AA batteries, they could just have the outside cups unclip and remove a single AA from each side, bundle it with 4 AAs and let people switch them out so they never have to charge but if they get over 20 hours then charging overnight isn't so bad.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    But I have headphones...
  • Reply 7 of 10
    Speculation today that they are winding down supply of the current model:

    http://www.stableytimes.com/news/ipod-touch-6th-generation-release-date-5th-gen-ipod-shuffle-vanish/23324/
  • Reply 8 of 10
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,548moderator
    graphite wrote: »
    But I have headphones...

    Headphones that you didn't buy from Apple. The potential lost users that want to use 3rd party headphones is small vs the potential upside of selling them new headphones and they sell iPhones that people can use with 3rd party headphones. Having people own Apple/Beats headphones is marketing in itself.

    They still sell around 14m iPods per year at an ASP of $160, which is now lower than the number of Macs they sell (~18m) at an ASP of $1200-1300 so there's some appeal left but it's important to look at how quickly the figures are falling. The market dropped nearly half in a single year.

    While some will say that's because they didn't update them, they did update them in 2012 but they still fell massively between 2011 and 2012: 25% drop in revenue, 17% drop in volume. The year after, around 20-25% drop in both. Then 40-50% last year.

    The drops are accelerating the cheaper that smartphones are becoming. Headphones are always going to be needed because they wear out. The margins are higher on headphones too. If they dropped the iPod line and converted 1/4-1/2 of them to a new Beats headphone that had independent music playback, they'd make about the same profit with higher recurring revenue due to upgrades and replacement.

    If they updated the iPods this year, it may slow down the drop but I'd still expect further drops in revenue and volume. It's very rare that Apple focuses resources on shrinking markets but they make exceptions. The iPod is one of their iconic lineups so they may try to prolong its lifespan but they can't do it forever. I expect they'll drop the lineup if the sales fall into low single digit millions per year because the revenue wouldn't justify the manufacturing of new models. If the drops keep up at the same level, that would be in 2 years.

    To keep it going, they really have to figure out what people want from a music player. The iPod Touch makes up most of the sales volume and not everyone is using those primarily for music playback. They are used heavily for games, social media and web browsing. iPod Touches are like cheaper iPhones that parents can give to kids without worrying about phone contracts.

    I don't think that music lovers care at all about the player itself. Once you hit play, you don't need to look at the device - if anything, that's a distraction. Headphone cables are also a nuisance to deal with getting all twisted up and plugging them in. When I listen to music on my computer, I don't even want to bring iTunes to the front, just hit the play button on the keyboard and listen. But control is essential because you want to play the right music effortlessly so there has to be some kind of interface to getting good music you like and music you will like but don't own, very efficiently. The player itself plays a very small part in that process.

    If someone decides they want to lift their mood because they are feeling down, it doesn't matter if you have a Pono, Sony or iPod, the important part is being able to get to the right content fast. The integrated ecosystem that Apple has makes it one of the best solutions because you can organise playlists easily and sync them easily to multiple devices but that ecosystem has no discoverability for new music nor efficient means of controlling the huge music libraries people have collected, nor would a new iPod.

    Years ago when I had a smaller music collection of a few hundred tracks, it was a bit easier to deal with but nowadays, sorting music in iTunes is just a chore. I expect that's why they've been continually simplifying the UI. The computer can go further though. Why do I have to even manually name tracks at all that I add to iTunes when they have things like Shazam that can analyze music and fill in every single track field for me? More than anything though, I want it to know my tastes and my listening habits and give me more of the same. It doesn't need to know anything about personal details, just a musical profile and push similar music. I get so annoyed when I randomly come across music I like that's been available for years but only found it by chance through an advert. Take the following singers:




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    how would someone not aware of them actively find them? There's no way of asking for music with a particular sound the way you can for an image with a particular appearance. You just get broad identifiers.

    Ultimately the product is music, the iPod and iTunes are facilitators to that product. There were plenty of music players when the iPod arrived but the iPod+iTunes did the best job of connecting users to the product. Smartphones now do a better job because they are always connected to the web and because you tend to have them with you. To improve on this is to improve on connecting the customer to the product. Streaming has been trying to do this but it's not really doing it the right way because it's just letting people listen to music without paying and monetizing the service with advertising. What it should be doing is letting people discover new music and then giving easy options to buy it. That has to be personalized, it can't be like radio.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    Thats allot of words, but tbh i have no idea what youre trying to say. The question is wheather apple will release a 6th gen iPod touch for those who want one. Its not a speculation on the future of the headphones business, or whether apple will invent a spotify clone that is more magical or more innovative...

    It has probably clear that the future of music distribution is changing and that it could become more of a social sharing platform and that music will most likely sit on the cloud... But for many people around the world that is not a reality right now and will not be for a very long time... The reason being the lack of data roaming... Cloud services are useless to anyone who travels... That's allot of people - remember America is only one country & quite an insular one, so even though the business model might work there, it ignores the majority of apples market... Also apple is notorious for taking many years to agree music rights in each country around the world, often holding back key prouct components from anyone outside of USA.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,548moderator
    graphite wrote: »
    Thats allot of words, but tbh i have no idea what youre trying to say. The question is wheather apple will release a 6th gen iPod touch for those who want one.

    What would a 6th gen iPod Touch do that the 2012 5th gen doesn't do as a music player?
    graphite wrote: »
    Its not a speculation on the future of the headphones business, or whether apple will invent a spotify clone that is more magical or more innovative...

    Apple already bought a streaming service and a headphone manufacturer.

    http://recode.net/2014/05/28/tim-cook-explains-why-apple-is-buying-beats-qa/

    "So we’ve always loved music and believed in the power of it and believed that it could transcend language, culture and bring people together and produce emotions and deep feelings that other things can’t. And we’ve stood at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts. So I see this right in the — if you were drawing a line, this would be the logical next data point.

    We get a subscription music service that we believe is the first subscription service that really got it right. They had the insight early on to know how important human curation is. That technology by itself wasn’t enough — that it was the marriage of the two that would really be great and produce a feeling in people that we want to produce. They’ve also built an incredible premium headphone business that’s been tuned by experts and critical ears. We’re fans of that. It’s a reasonable-size business that’s fast-growing.

    But mostly, backing up — it’s because we always are future-focused. So it’s not what Apple and Beats are doing today. It’s what we believe pairing the two together can produce for the future.

    Financially, it’s great, because even in the short term there are synergies. Using Apple’s global footprint, there’s hitting the gas on the subscription service, there’s distributing the headphones globally in countries that they’re not in today. There’s lots of things like that.

    So we’re projecting it’s going to be accretive in fiscal year 2015, which as you know for us, only starts in a few months.

    But the real thing that gets us excited is that feeling that you only get so few times, are the things that we can jointly do together, that neither company could do on their own.

    But that’s what’s so confusing from the outside: You’ve been selling digital music since 2003. You could certainly launch a music subscription service on your own. And you’re very good at hardware already.

    We could build just about anything that you could dream of. But that’s not the question. The thing that Beats provides us is a head start. They provide us with incredible people, that don’t grow on trees. They’re creative souls, kindred spirits.

    That’s the reason to go from dating to steady to marriage. It’s all about the future. It’s seeing around the next corner.

    What sort of stuff can you build with Apple that you couldn’t do on your own?

    Iovine: Obviously, we can’t talk about that."
    graphite wrote: »
    It has probably clear that the future of music distribution is changing and that it could become more of a social sharing platform and that music will most likely sit on the cloud... But for many people around the world that is not a reality right now and will not be for a very long time... The reason being the lack of data roaming... Cloud services are useless to anyone who travels... That's allot of people

    Whether people stick primarily with offline playback or online, an iPod isn't needed because mobile phones replace that function.

    If lots of people wanted iPods instead of phones, they'd be buying them but the sales figures aren't showing that.
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