The iPod served Apple well, turning the company from a computer maker into a consumer electronics powerhouse. It ignited sales of digital tracks and transformed the way people purchased and consumed music. A hundred years from now, people will marvel over how the iPod was the catalyst for so much change and disruption.
But now it’s time to lay the iPod to rest. Its work is done.
Apple held its quarterly earnings report yesterday where it announced record sales of iPhones and iPads. Computers also continue to do well. But the iPod? Not so much.
In the last quarter, only 6 million iPods of all shapes and sizes were sold worldwide, a drop of 52% from a year earlier. Compare that to 26 million iPads and 51 million iPhones. And even though the iPod was responsible for nearly a billion dollars in revenue, that’s pocket change for Apple. Hardly worth the bother, really.
The iPhone and iPad have cannibalized iPod sales as people opt for a more full-featured device over something that just plays music (and maybe a few other things if you opt for the iPod Touch. But then again, the price of a Touch makes that kind of purchase a little silly.)
And it’s not just Apple products. The age of the standalone MP3 player is coming to an end.
The iPod isn’t quite dead yet–I mean, I love my little wristband-mounted nano when I go for a run–but the end is certainly nigh.