The iPod, the goose that laid the golden egg for Apple, is dying, analysts say. As the iPhone and iPad take on many of its features, iPod sales are expected to drop another 7.2 percent during the June quarter just ended.
The nail in the coffin may have been Apple’s recent decision to replace the iPod touch as its back-to-school discount workhorse with a $100 iTunes discount card. Previously, the iPod touch accounted for half of all non-holiday iPod sales, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said.
Now a majority of analysts (both pro and amateur) agree Apple will report next week 8.39 million iPods were sold during the June quarter, a 7.2 percent drop from the same three-month period in 2010. At the height of popularity, iPod sales reached 22.7 million during the Christmas 2008 quarter, but have been on a continual downward slide since.
Although Apple still controls more than 70 percent of the iPod player market, many features once exclusive to the MP3 player can be found in the iPhone and iPad. It’s unknown how long the venerable iPod will survive as many Apple customers turn to other devices for their music.
Although the iPhone can be stuck in your pocket, equalling the iPod’s portability, there is just something about a single-purpose bit of silicon – witness the popularity of the Kindle for e-books over the iPad and iBooks. Perhaps Amazon should take a lesson from the iPod’s slide and not pack too many features into its upcoming Kindle tablet?