Tim Cook: iPod is a 'Declining Business'

Monday January 27, 2014 3:17 PM PST by Richard Padilla
During the company's earnings conference call today, Apple CEO Tim Cook commented on the state of the iPod, noting that the product is a declining category for the company:
The way we look at it, our business is a sell-through point of view less iPod -- all of us have known for some time that iPod is a declining business.
iPod Sales
The iPod was Apple's "halo" product for years, getting new customers to buy Apple products for the first time. Since their peak in 2008, however, iPod sales have seen a fairly steady decline as the iPhone and iPad have captured more of the market that the iPod occupied previously.

Apple's last change to the the iPod line came with the debut of a new Space Gray color option for the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle at its September 2013 iPhone event. However, Apple has not updated the iPod classic in over four years, with that device more likely to be discontinued rather than refreshed.

Related roundups: iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod touch

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

Posted: 10 months ago
The Classic is still the best option for people that actually collect MUSIC and have a car with a USB input.

My Honda has tight integration with my iPod Classic
Rating: 34 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago
I'm not a fan of this. I'm 13, can't get an iPhone, have no reason to get an iPhone, but I like iOS, and the iPod touch seems to be on the chopping block as more and more kids just get iPhones. Even Steve Jobs said that the iPod touch was just training wheels for the iPhone, and so when kids just get iPhones instead, the iPod touch is basically selling 0 units. So....If the iPod touch doesn't survive until I get a driver's license and have a reason for a phone (GPS plus contact with my Mom) I'll basically be boned. I'm not really angry with apple or saying that they should keep the iPod touch for 1 person, I'm just saying I'm kinda screwed. And also iPods are just generally cool, I love the things for some reason.

And I think that the iPod Classic can really only be discontinued if they bring out a similar capacity iPhone or iPod touch, my Dad's entire music library doesn't even fit on 64GB (He has tons of albums, and also 320Kb per second files) so really the only thing he CAN use is an iPod classic.
Rating: 23 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago
Next year bump next gen iPhone to 32 gigs and add 64 gig and 128 gig options, do the same to the iPod touch. Get rid of the classic since it now has no purpose.

Spec bump nano and make it 99$ Drop shuffle.

Spec bump iPod touch and drop it to around 200$-230.
Rating: 10 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago
To Apple,

You want to sell more iPods? Remove the built-in memory and add a micro SD card slot. This should allow you to reduce the price. People will see the iPod as having more value and be willing to buy it again.

The real problem with iPod sales has to be that everyone who'd want one already owns three of them.
Rating: 10 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago
Nothing wrong with cannibalization by your own products. The iPod ran its course.
Rating: 9 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago
I hope they keep the Classic around for a lot longer. I really wish they had one with a higher capacity that could play 24bit files. I have a large music library and prefer the interface of the Classic over that of IOS, which is nearly useless for browsing large libraries. I bought my Classic last March at my local Apple store and the sales kid told me they still sell quite well, better than most people assume. My dream Ipod would be a classic with 2 or more terabytes of flash storage that could play 24 bit PCM and DSD files. Probably not going to happen. I just might have to buy a Calyx M or Astel & Kern AK 120/240.
Rating: 9 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago
Declined? Sure. But does that chart still say $5,000 *million* dollars?
Rating: 9 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago
Keep the classic, update the connector to Lightning, use the current HDD or SSD - RAM chips on PCB instead. Cost vs Capacity you cannot go past the iPod Classic, and like myself I don't buy Apps for a music player so no need for a touch screen at all. Plus it can be used as an external hard disk as well. Plus it does video playback, despite a smaller screen. Wireless not needed on the Classic, no extra power drain for features you don't need.

The iPod touches' cannot beat the iPod Classic for price vs capacity, you lose too much for the sake of "convenience" or "cool factor", plus I don't need a camera on a music player. We have to start thinking of features for price, not just convenience. Plus I don't buy Apps for a music player, it's just another gimmick tacked on, on top of the lower capacity device.
Rating: 8 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago

Steve Jobs would have seen opportunity to do something drastic to revive the iPod.


Nonsense, there is nothing that can be done to revive this product category as it is being replaced by iPhones, Touches and iPads. Not even Steve Jobs would have been able to change that.

Go and take a look at this (http://productlifecyclestages.com)

The only way to break out of a product decline is to provide a new product with additional value to the customer, and that is exactly what Apple did with the iPhone.
Rating: 8 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago
In other news: Macintosh LC sales down 100% since 1992. Analysts forecast doom and gloom for Apple.
Rating: 7 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]