For all the negative publicity Apple has received this year, 2013 has turned out to be rather eventful. In just the past few months Apple has updated just about everything in the product line. From MacBook Air to iMac. From iOS to OS X Mavericks. From iPhone to iPad. From MacBook Pro to Mac Pro.
Which product do you think has been left on the shelf to become a has been?
If you thought Mac mini, you’d be wrong, though the mini could use an Intel Haswell upgrade. Even that’s not likely to even be worthy of a press release, let alone a spot in the next Tim Cook and Phil Schiller Present-a-thon.
Apple has been busy, yes. There was iTunes, iLife apps, iWork apps, on both iOS and OS X. iTunes Radio seems to be doing well. Both App Stores are humming along and developers are getting paid for their wares.
Other than a quick update to iPod touch, Apple doesn’t seem to have any engineering or manufacturing capacity or design chops to come up with a new 2014 iPod line. The colorful iPod shuffle is unchanged at $49, while the iPod nano remains unchanged in color or features at $100 more. Even the unchanged iPod classic remains, a 160GB anachronism among Apple’s flashiest flash-based devices.
Apple’s real riches began when the iPod became popular and created a halo effect around the company’s Mac and other products, a veritable launch pad for the Apple stores and the precursor of the iPhone.
That was then and this is now and Apple just doesn’t have anything left to put into a portable media player that isn’t already in the more expensive, faster selling, and more profitable iPhone and iPad line.
It may take a few years to exit the stage, but it’s time to applaud the iPod as it nears the December of life. Apple successfully transitioned itself from media player to smartphone and tablet. It’s time to wish the iPod a wistful goodbye.
Unless… unless the iPod isn’t really dead, but like a caterpillar in a cocoon, it’s merely getting prepared for the next great thing. Wearable vs. carry technology.