iPod's disappearance from top of Apple website signals further slide into obscurity

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited June 2015
Apple quietly removed the iPod category from the top menu of its website earlier this week, in yet another sign that Apple is further sidelining the aging portable media player product category.




The iPod's place in Apple's website main menu has been taken up by Apple Music, which was announced during Monday's WWDC keynote. In the company's current product lineup, the menu space is otherwise reserved for hardware, including the Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch.

The disappearance from the top menu does not mean the end of the iPod yet: iPods are still being sold, but can only be found by going to the online Apple Store, or scrolling to the bottom of the Apple Music page.

The iPod lineup has become increasingly marginal to Apple financially, with sales declining every quarter for the past several years, and the company even declining to reveal quarterly sales going forward. This was precipitated at first by the iPhone, and then by the general popularity of smartphones, which have all but eliminated the need to carry a separate portable device for music.

No major iPod updates have been made since 2012. The iPod classic was in fact discontinued in September 2014, and recently the only sign of life has been a rumor that a product refresh could happen later this year.

If it does happen, changes are expected to revolve around the iPod touch, which might gain things like a faster processor and more memory. Less certain is the fate of the Nano, which sports an operating system that mimics iOS without using the same software architecture.

Apple could be grooming the Apple Watch as a kind of replacement. Although it costs at least $349 -- $50 more than the most expensive 64-gigabyte iPod touch -- it includes 8 gigabytes of onboard storage, capable of music playback when an iPhone is left at home. Future versions of the Watch could increase that storage and come down in price, and offer greater connectivity, such as tapping into the Apple Music streaming service.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 70
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,396member
    I certainly wouldn't mind a second tier of Apple watches that only had iPod and health tracking (plus watch) functions. It could look like the Sport watch, but be priced closer to an iPod.
  • Reply 2 of 70

    Click "Music", scroll down, and you run into iTunes and then iPod. Honestly I think they're fine there.

     

    The Nano is an odd product, yes, it's smaller than the Touch, but only $50 cheaper. Unless you really needed tiny or wanted FM radio, I'd get the 16GB Touch over it. So I think either a pricing or product move needs to be made.

  • Reply 3 of 70
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,396member
    Click "Music", scroll down, and you run into iTunes and then iPod. Honestly I think they're fine there.

    The Nano is an odd product, yes, it's smaller than the Touch, but only $50 cheaper. Unless you really needed tiny or wanted FM radio, I'd get the 16GB Touch over it. So I think either a pricing or product move needs to be made.

    I always wanted an FM radio in the iPod touch.
  • Reply 4 of 70
    iPod are still shown in the Apple Music page, but at the bottom of the page.
  • Reply 5 of 70
    fred1fred1 Posts: 337member
    Personally I'd be sad to see the demise of the iPod. My first ever Apple purchase was a Nano and then the Touch. The Touch is a great device for people who don't need cellular capability and I see a lot of parents getting them for their teenage kids.

    Of course "everyone likes progress, but almost no one likes change"

    Upd: I just checked the Apple iOS app and the iPods are still very prominently displayed. Is this story another attempt at creating news?
  • Reply 6 of 70
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    I always wanted an FM radio in the iPod touch.



    The Nano is a better value at the $99 refurb price, but then it doesn't support Apple Music...

  • Reply 7 of 70
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,288member
    I wonder what effect, if any, the new ?Music will have on iTunes Match? I am in the midst of digitizing hundreds of vinyl disks in order to get pristine digital copies. Would hate to finish this laborious process only to find that Match has disappeared.
  • Reply 8 of 70
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post



    I wonder what effect, if any, the new ?Music will have on iTunes Match? I am in the midst of digitizing hundreds of vinyl disks in order to get pristine digital copies. Would hate to finish this laborious process only to find that Match has disappeared.



    Match sticks around. It's now under the "iCloud Music Library" banner. It's listed as "separate but complimentary" to Apple Music.

  • Reply 9 of 70

    Speaking as a fan and not an investor (though I am both), I sort of miss the time when there were yearly overhauls of the iPod line... over the years, Apple threw a lot of ideas out there to see what would stick.  It felt like Christmas morning, when you had no idea what you would get, but you knew it would be good, and something to look forward to.

     

    Those yearly iterations may not have been all that efficient in terms of ROI, but there was something intangible in play: a sense of, dare I say, corporate whimsy which seemed to reflect well to consumers.  I guess it's still there, in the software, but the hardware side seems to have a more mature outlook these days.  Different times, I guess.

  • Reply 10 of 70
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,300member

    I have a third generation iPod 10GB (Dock connector) from 2003. It still holds a charge and still works fine after 12 years.

  • Reply 11 of 70
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post

     

    Speaking as a fan and not an investor (though I am both), I sort of miss the time when there were yearly overhauls of the iPod line... over the years, Apple threw a lot of ideas out there to see what would stick.  It felt like Christmas morning, when you had no idea what you would get, but you knew it would be good, and something to look forward to.

     

    Those yearly iterations may not have been all that efficient in terms of ROI, but there was something intangible in play: a sense of, dare I say, corporate whimsy which seemed to reflect well to consumers.  I guess it's still there, in the software, but the hardware side seems to have a more mature outlook these days.  Different times, I guess.




    Yeah.

     

    The Nano got a yearly refresh from 2005 to 2010, then a break until 2012, and now...nothing.

     

    The event ran long so it wouldn't have worked, but I had held hopes they'd intro new iPods alongside Apple Music.

  • Reply 12 of 70
    I love my nano for working out due to its small size and in fact just bought another.
  • Reply 13 of 70
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member

    Please Apple make an iPod Touch 5.5 inch Screen. For those who don't want an iPad Mini and want portable gaming.

  • Reply 14 of 70
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 593member

    I wonder if they will someday list it under iPad? Maybe they will eventually just do away with the iPod name but keep the product? I think iPods are great for children.

     

    Kids probably get phones now when they are 10 or 11, but with an iPod, they could have music, email, FaceTime for the grandparents, and Safari much earlier than that.

  • Reply 15 of 70

    It looked like the iPod Touch would have to be updated this year, given the internals it has and the fact that it barely qualified for iOS 8 (looking at the equivalent internals on the iPhone side and what does/doesn't qualify). Now that iOS 9 will be able to install on all the same devices as iOS 8, though, it could hang on another year. Still, going 4 years between updates for a device that's supposed to run apps seems a bit ridiculous and anyone who buys an iPod Touch this year could easily be put in a position where they can't even install next year's OS, which seems counter to Apple's usual practices. So, hopefully this fall? Otherwise, they pretty much have to kill iPods in 2016, it would seem.

  • Reply 16 of 70
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    Hopefully, iPods won't drop out altogether. There's still a market for them, including:

    1. Parents who don't want or can't afford the expense of an iPhone for their small child but still want them to have a music player.

    2. People whose business supplies them with and expects them to use, even in off hours, a smartphone. Getting a second smartphone with its added bother and expense makes no sense for them. Their employer doesn't care if they use that business smartphone for personal calls. But they don't want to mix their music, audiobook and other tastes with their business phone.

    Alas, I sometimes worry that Apple doesn't realize just how big they're grown and that market-dominating companies like today's Apple need retain products in smaller markets both to satisfy local customers with unique needs and to avoid leaving an entering wedge for competitors.

    Apple realized that when it kept the smaller-screen iPhone 5s and and iPhone 5c available when it released the larger-screened iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models. It needs to do the same in other areas, including:

    1. Retaining music players like the iPod touch and Nano.

    2. Create products for frugal, cost-aware markets such as schools and those with limited incomes. These are NOT junk products. They're products built skillfully but with a more utilitarian purpose in mind. They're built to be rugged, upgradable, and repairable like the white MacBook and (until recently) the Mac mini.

    Apple doesn't have to spend a lot of money marketing those products, but they need to be available, in part, to enable users to start with them and later transition to Apple's more fashionable products. One illustration would be a kid who has a MacPractical computer at his high school, and later gets a MacBook Air when he goes off to college.

    Savvy automakers do that. They have a line of sturdy, practical cars to create a brand loyalty, knowing that later people may move up to their fancier models.
  • Reply 17 of 70
    joelsaltjoelsalt Posts: 827member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    Hopefully, iPods won't drop out altogether. There's still a market for them, including:



    1. Parents who don't want or can't afford the expense of an iPhone for their small child but still want them to have a music player.



    2. People whose business supplies them with and expects them to use, even in off hours, a smartphone. Getting a second smartphone with its added bother and expense makes no sense for them. Their employer doesn't care if they use that business smartphone for personal calls. But they don't want to mix their music, audiobook and other tastes with their business phone.



    Alas, I sometimes worry that Apple doesn't realize just how big they're grown and that market-dominating companies like today's Apple need retain products in smaller markets both to satisfy local customers with unique needs and to avoid leaving an entering wedge for competitors.



    Apple realized that when it kept the smaller-screen iPhone 5s and and iPhone 5c available when it released the larger-screened iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models. It needs to do the same in other areas, including:



    1. Retaining music players like the iPod touch and Nano.



    2. Create products for frugal, cost-aware markets such as schools and those with limited incomes. These are NOT junk products. They're products built skillfully but with a more utilitarian purpose in mind. They're built to be rugged, upgradable, and repairable like the white MacBook and (until recently) the Mac mini.



    Apple doesn't have to spend a lot of money marketing those products, but they need to be available, in part, to enable users to start with them and later transition to Apple's more fashionable products. One illustration would be a kid who has a MacPractical computer at his high school, and later gets a MacBook Air when he goes off to college.



    Savvy automakers do that. They have a line of sturdy, practical cars to create a brand loyalty, knowing that later people may move up to their fancier models.



    I agree.  I could afford a phone, but i'm in a wifi area 95% of my life in the city i'm in (home/work/downtown) and 95% of the people I talk to have iMessage (and all have email) - so far I've saved roughly $3000 not having an 80$ plan for the past 3 years! edit: in case not apparent, i have an iPod touch, and personally would love the option to upgrade to an iPod Touch "6"

  • Reply 18 of 70

    I bought the first iPod Shuffle. I thought it was so cool. All white, about the size of pack of chewing gum. I loved that thing. 

     

    Got the original iPhone and gave all my iPods, Shuffle, Nano (RED), etc. to my nieces. :)

  • Reply 19 of 70
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    New iPods would have been perfect this year!!

    Give me TouchID and NFC and I'll drop my iPhone.

    I use wifi for service anyway. Phone providers ra** people.
  • Reply 20 of 70
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 593member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cali View Post



    New iPods would have been perfect this year!!



    Give me TouchID and NFC and I'll drop my iPhone.



    I use wifi for service anyway. Phone providers ra** people.

    Agree. I'd love to give my daughter, 7, a new iPod. But the current hardware will not stand the test of time. So now she has to wait 4 years until she is ready for a phone? And will I really buy her an $ 600 iPhone? Doubt it.

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