Death of the Apple iPod

Can a newly released iPod change the declining fortunes of this aging gadget and reverse a long sales slide?

Past Its Prime or Primed for Rebirth?

In mid-2015, Apple released a new addition to its iPod Touch series, along with a new Apple venture––Apple Music. The tech giant hopes the new edition will arrest a long sales slide and save the iPod.

To be sure, sales of iPods has decreased over the years. Sales peaked in 2008, when Apple sold over 54 million iPods. However, since then the sales of iPods has fallen––reaching an all-time low of 14.38 million sales in 2014. 

Many attribute the declining sales of the iPod to the changing times. Tony Fadell, who was the senior vice president of Apple until 2008, admits that the iPod was born to die: “It was inevitable something would take its place.” Undeniably, the development of smartphones, especially the iPhone, as well as the popularity of online streaming tools such as Spotify have gradually dug the iPod’s grave. 

With all of this in mind....this Silk is a retrospective on the iPod. 

On October 23, 2001, Apple released its first line of portable media players––the iPod. Since then, Apple has released five models of the iPod and various generations. Apple’s iPod has grown over the years; from using a FireWire for connectivity to implementing USB charging; the iPod’s capacity grew from a mere 5 GB in 2001 to an astonishing 160 GB in 2007; its functions transformed from a simple scroll wheel to a 3.5 inch (diagonal) touchscreen. 

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The iPod Collection

iPod Classic

Source: Apple.

For more information, explore each iPod and visit the iPod Classic page

iPod Mini

Source: Apple.

For more information, explore each iPod and visit the iPod Nano page. 

iPod Nano

Source: Apple.

For more information, explore each iPod and visit the iPod Nano page

iPod Shuffle

Source: Apple.

For more information, explore each iPod and visit the iPod Shuffle page

iPod Touch

Source: Apple.

For more information, explore each iPod and visit the iPod Touch page

Apple iPod: in numbers

Top-10 iPods with the highest rated battery life 

Source: Apple.

In terms of rated battery life, Apple's Touch  and Nano collections have the highest rated battery lives, along with Apple's first iPod line––the Classic.

Number of Generations and Number of Versions of Model datacards

Source: Apple.

When the first iPod models were released, Apple was keen on creating various versions of each model. Classic iPods, for example, have six generations with over 10 different versions. 

Today, Apple usually limits the number of different iPod versions and generations they release. The Nano, Apple's best-selling collection, has the highest number of generations (7). Meanwhile, the Mini iPod line has the lowest (2). 

Number of Total iPods sold, all-time trend

Source: Apple.

Steve Jobs once famously said that the iPhone is "the best iPod we've ever made." Regardless of the declining annual sales of the iPod, the iPod nano, for example, remains the best-selling music player in the world. As of 2014, Apple has sold over 387 million iPods worldwide.  

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