Does the iPod Matter Anymore?

by Hadley Stern Jul 16, 2008

Poor iPod. It once had all the glory. Remember when it first had video? That was so exciting. Or, remember those iPod games? Now it is the forgotten child, it's identity swallowed up by that thing Apple won't stop talking about. The iPod has been relegated to a menu item on the....iPhone.

Which begs the question, does the iPod matter anymore?

Not really, no. It will still make money for Apple of years to come, but as an innovative focus for Apple the iPod is done. What else can Apple do with it? Make it smaller? Sort of, but not that much. Put more hard drive space into it? Sure, but that isn't particularly innovative. Wait, wait, they could put a phone in it!


What this does mean is that Apple is betting all of its portable eggs into the basket of the iPhone. And it is a worthy investment. The iPhone is a very respectable heir to the Newton and iPod all wrapped up in one, with a phone. It has a development platform (which the iPod doesn't) and a revenue model that has all the aspects of the iPod (music, movies) and way more (applications, monthly fees). For all these reasons Apple has its attention in the right place but one can't help feeling sorry for the device that, arguably, is the genesis of the iPod. Without the iPod, Apple would not have had a success (since, depending on how you define success, the Newton) with a portable device. The iPod saved Apple, making the iPhone a possibility. Without the iPod Steve Jobs would have been laughed out of AT&T, and consumers would never consider an Apple phone.

So we should all respect the iPod, and continue to enjoy it. After so many years we are at risk of taking it for granted, and we shouldn't. But we should also recognize the iPod for what it is, a stepping stone in the evolution of Apple as a company. The iPod started it all, and something tells me the iPhone is the first of many iterations of portable devices that we are going to see coming out of Apple.


  • it does to me, because of the much larger capacities available on the ipod.  until the iphone has that kind of capacity, i’m still going to want an ipod.

    johnthrax had this to say on Jul 16, 2008 Posts: 1
  • I’m with Johnthrax on this one. My 80Gb iPod Classic is great, and I even use it to (nightly) back up 5Gb worth of work from that day.

    Frankly, the iPod touch is the one I’m watching—all the features of the phone without the restrictions. Soon as it hits 160Gb, I’ll upgrade. And I can carry a tiny Sony Ericsson phone in my other pocket!

    evilcat had this to say on Jul 16, 2008 Posts: 66
  • As long as Apple only wants a minority of cell phone users as its iPhone customers, it should not neglect iPod customers.  So many people don’t have the option of using an iPhone.

    And it probably should compete for children’s iPods as well.

    Howard Brazee had this to say on Jul 17, 2008 Posts: 54
  • I have a 160GB iPod Classic.  Unfortunately, now that I have an iPhone, it is not really acceptable for video.  I will continue to use the classic until my iPhone (first generation, the best thing I have ever purchased in my life) has equal or grater capacity.

    bluegirl had this to say on Jul 17, 2008 Posts: 19
  • I agree with the general sentiment of previous posters. For me, the “phone” function of the iPhone is its least attractive feature. It’s clear that Apple would rather not be in partnership with the phone companies. The iPod Touch is the future: everything you want from a mobile platform without being leeched by AT&T;, O2 etc etc. And imagine an extention of the Touch range that included the options of super-slim paperback book and A4 sizes that would, in the case of the former, blow the Kindle out of the water and, in the case of the latter, be a true multi-media and hugely-enhanced replacement for print newspapers and magazines. Add a free Skype-type technology to the iTouch,  iBook and iPaper (for want of a better name) models that works consistently enough and the idea of signing up for an iPhone looks a bit lame.

    nicsaint had this to say on Jul 17, 2008 Posts: 1
  • I am among the many that get a free cell phone from my office. I have no need for an iPhone, nor am I willing to pay AT&T;the outrageous monthly fees to get all the features that the iPhone can deliver. I am using a Palm Z22 for the other features that an iPhone can deliver which I find useful. I still have my 1st. generation 4 gig nano that works great as an MP3 player, and Apple’s new Mobile Me service works great on my company supplied Dell laptop. If I needed a GPS, I would buy a portable model that had turn by turn capability. The only thing I am interested in getting would be an iPod Touch. There is a market for iPods that play music and do it very well.

    flyboy had this to say on Jul 17, 2008 Posts: 30
  • I’m still waiting for them to announce the “iPretendI’mAPhone” model… which simply connects via Bluetooth to any cell phone.  There’s no technical reason why it couldn’t be done; there is already third-party software available for MacOS X which can be used to dial your phone through the Bluetooth connection, and allows you to use your Mac’s built-in microphone and speakers to talk. (  Steve has already told us that the iPhone and iPod Touch both use a version of MacOS X… so where’s that new iPod Touch that lets me make and receive calls through my Bluetooth enabled Sprint phone?

    Oh yeah… they have an exclusivity contract with AT&T;for the iPhone, don’t they?  Which means that my mythical new iPod can’t actually be brought to market until the contract ends—unless of course, Apple can make a case that the exclusivity contract doesn’t cover changes made to the *iPod* product line….  Hmmmmmmm…......

    Zarmanto had this to say on Jul 18, 2008 Posts: 4
  • Of course they matter you simpleton!
    8GB or 16GB.
    Wow!!! That will fit not even a 1/4 of my music.

    And the IPhone Isses:
    * lack of any real storage space (you can get 16GB USB pens nowadays)
    * battery performance on the iPhone 3G is abysmal
    * buggy applications
    * issues with I-Tunes
    * reception issues
    * Iphone Enterprise for Exchange has massive security issues
    * it goes on and on…

    The IPhone is a hybrid, and it seems it does not execute any of its multiple functions well at all.
    So your statement that the Ipod does not matter is quite frankly… rubbish.
    Unless, of course, you like to move backwards instead of forwards.
    You have your 16GB of music and vids.
    I’ll sit back with my 160GB, and I am certain there is more storage space to come.
    You can’t replace an audio/video device with a phone dude.
    Not for a few generations yet.

    Damon Perucich had this to say on Sep 18, 2008 Posts: 1
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