The iPod has been slowly slipping away into obscurity, but it recently might have been the last straw, as the iPod category was removed from the top of Apple’s website.
Taking the iPod’s place at the top of Apple’s website in the navigation bar is Apple Music, which is a new music streaming service that the company announced earlier this week at WWDC. Of course, if anything was going to dethrone the iPod from the navigation menu at the top of Apple’s website, Apple Music is more than deserving of it.
However, it does make us wonder what the future holds for the iPod, and whether or not this recent move is a sign that the iPod is finally dead.
Now, it’s important to note that Apple is still selling iPods on its website, and if you go to store.apple.com, you’ll see that “Shop iPod” is still featured at the top of the page. The iPod Touch, iPod Nano, and iPod Shuffle are still up for sale, with the 2GB iPod Shuffle being the cheapest non-accessory product that Apple sells at $49 a pop.
The iPod Touch, though, is Apple’s flagship iPod, if you will, and too many times we’ve heard rumors about a possible 6th-generation model releasing at some point, but we have yet to see that happen.
The last time the iPod Touch was updated was almost a year ago when Apple improved the camera, added more color options, and lowered the price by $30 for the 16GB model to just $199. That’s not a huge refresh by any means, but most likely just a lazy attempt by Apple at trying to keep the iPod relevant in some way. Other than that, the iPod Touch hasn’t received a major overhaul since 2012.
The iPod has always been thought of as the iPhone for frugal users, giving owners the experience of an iPhone without the hefty service charges required for a monthly data plan. The $199 price tag is certainly feasible for a lot of users and you can even get them for pretty cheap on eBay, with some models selling for less than $100 used.
However, it seems like many consumers are still going for the iPhone, which isn’t too surprising considering the yearly hardware updates and the overall support that it’s getting from both Apple and third-party app developers. And since many users would be paying for a monthly cell phone bill anyway, they might as well use an iPhone with it.
Still, the iPod Touch is the cheapest touch screen iOS device that you can buy, making it great for kids to play games on during road trips.
As for the iPod Classic, it was quietly discontinued last year after Apple announced the iPhone 6, but if there’s any proof that the high-capacity iPod is still loved and cherished by the community, it’s that shoppers were buying them up on eBay for hundreds of dollars.
The truth is, there’s no mobile device from Apple that offers more storage than the iPod Classic. The device could fit 160GB worth of music, while the iPhone and iPad are currently maxed out at 128GB.
The iPod Classic was launched in 2005 as simply just the 5th-generation iPod, but it was also the first iPod that could play video, which was a huge milestone for Apple at the time, as this was before the iPhone even released.
In any case, it’s really no surprise that the iPod is becoming obsolete, and I’m sure Apple expected it to happen eventually as the iPhone became more and more popular. Apple sold an insane 51 million iPhones during the holiday season last year, while only selling 6 million iPods. That’s a roughly 50% decrease compared to the same time period a year before that, which was one of the biggest drops in sales that the iPod has seen in the last several years.
Apple certainly knows this, but I don’t think the company is afraid to kill the iPod once and for all. It’s just wants to milk it for all its worth.