In what has becoming obvious to everyone outside of the most fervent Apple fans, the iPod is in a serious decline in terms of both sales and stature. The fact that the mobile phone is replacing the stand-alone MP3 player is starting to sink in to the makers of such devices and to the consumer as well. It makes no sense to carry around two devices when a phone can now do the job of both in a smaller and cheaper package.
The need to spend $200+ on a device that has limited audio and video capabilities is becoming obsolete. The iPhone has contributed to this fact and in the end could lead to the demise of Apple’s most profitable business and this is why the upcoming Apple launch party will have both slashed prices and new iPod designs in hopes of drumming up excitement for what is essentially the sinking ship of technology. The only real purpose of an iPod in the near future will be for use in a car, at least until hard drives become standard features of the audio package.
I can only assume some people will disagree with this assessment but consider that mobile phones have equal to better sound quality, large storage capacities in addition to hot swappable media, prolonged battery life, advanced GUI, superior optics, HD video capabilities, small form factors, OLED displays, gaming capabilities, video conferencing, high speed data connections and on and on and on. Not to mention the huge price discounts for a contract you already had in the first place.
Of course this will be a gradual decline and not an overnight collapse but does Apple really think that any of the 10+ million iPhone users will ever purchase an iPod again? Every iPhone purchase will mean one less potential iPod sale and competing with yourself isn’t the most ideal business model.
This could turn into a big opportunity for phone manufacturers to put further innovation into the mobile phone, including the capability to control everything from starting your car remotely, preheating your oven while your still at the grocery store to becoming a personal security device capable of tasering a would be assailant. It will become an all encompassing device that could even make your laptop obsolete, just how long this will take is anyone’s guess but it is sooner than most can imagine.