Consumer Electronics

Apple's Forgotten iPod

The Apple iPod no longer has importance to the consumer electronics company. It has no line item of its own in the revenue analysis of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) quarterly report, hidden somewhere in the “other” line. No wonder. It has been nearly sunset by the growth in smartphones.

The iPod’s introduction traces back to December 11, 2001. Its launch came the same year as iTunes. Together they represented the foundation of Apple’s cool portable devices, and the content player that morphed into today’s iPhone 6 family and Apple Music, and a predecessor of Apple’s video products.

The iTunes product, with the iPod as its primary form of distribution, also set the early model for how Apple splits revenue with music publishers and artists, which remains fractured to this day. Ask Taylor Swift.

The iPod is still for sale, for as little as $49 for the iPod Shuffle. The iPod Touch has a powerful A8 chip and high-end camera, as well as a super-fast wireless connection. The iPhone has all these features and more.

The iPod has become an ancient product, and one that may not last the next several years. At one time, it was the advanced way to carry music in a portable device. That time is over.

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