Apple iPod to be Discontinued in the Near Future?

In recent months, Apple has been wildly successful with its product lines—the iPhone 5, iPad 2, and now iPad mini. What does this mean for the iPod?




According to Neil Hughes of, “Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, an analyst with a strong track record in relation to Apple’s future plans, said… that the iPod touch ‘has entered the final stage of its product life cycle’”.  Looking at the history of the iPod, it is evident how it has transitioned through the phases of the product life cycle.



According to the above graphic, originally found in iCreate magazine, iPod sales started off slowly, with low sales; this is natural in the introduction phase of the life cycle. We then see sales picking up with the unveiling of the third generation iPod, which would be considered in the growth stage. Sales further increase with the popularity of iPod Nano, and “sales peak in 2008 with the iPod touch,” where it entered the maturity phase (  To date, there are five generations of the iPod touch, with only slight improvements to each generation. “The latest version, released this month for a starting price of $299, has a larger 4-inch display, but sales are still expected to be significantly affected by the iPhone, which can be had for free with a new two-year contract, and the new $329 iPad mini” (


Therefore, it is apparent that not only does the Apple iPod compete against other mp3 players, such as Zune, but it also competes against products in its own family, such as the iPad and iPhone, which both offer music-playing capabilities. Accordingly, “sales growth of the iPod touch is… expected to be limited…. As a result, Kuo believes that Apple will not invest significantly in developing future models” (


Due to their convenience, the iPhone and iPad have become more popular for consumers to use as mp3 players, since they do not need to carry an additional product with them—they can now surf the internet, play music, and (with the iPhone) make phone calls. In fact, “Apple announced at its iPad mini unveiling… that its new iPod touch and iPod nano collectively sold 3 million units in their first month of availability” (


Thus, it is apparent that the iPod is losing its appeal, as the same functionality is available on other devices offered by Apple, such as the iPhone. Based off this analysis, it can be said that the iPod is in the decline stage of the product life cycle, do you agree? I personally use my iPhone to play music, even though I have an iPod Nano. For me, it is more convenient, since my cell phone is something that I almost always have with me.


Do you think Kuo’s prediction for the iPod is correct? Do you think this is the general direction of mp3 players—decline—as we are able to rely on our phones to serve the same purpose?



9 thoughts on “Apple iPod to be Discontinued in the Near Future?

  1. I agree with you when you say the iPod is losing its appeal. The world of technology has grown so fast and now all smartphones have music playing capabilities which make an extra music player these days unnecessary to have. I think Kuo’s prediction for the iPod is correct and that we can rely on our phones to serve the same purpose. Technology has begun to combine so many different features into one product so we do not have to carry so many different things around with us. For example, you can do almost everything a desktop can do straight from your cell phone. You can send emails, create documents, upload files, and even video chat straight from your cell phone. There is no need for all of these extra devices when the cell phone allows you to do everything from it. So the iPod is in fact losing its appeal.

  2. Although I believe the ipod touch is no longer appealing to apple consumers, I do think that smaller ipods such as the mini, nano, or shuffle are still desired. Personally, I use my ipod shuffle almost every day. I use it when I am working out and I plug it into my stereo at home or in my car when I want to listen to music. I get a lot of use out of my small ipod and don’t view it as of comprable value to my iphone. However, I do listen to music on my iphone and my iphone also offers the ability to listen to pandora or other music station that can be only accessed through the internet, while my ipod shuffle can not. All in all, I believe that apple will come out with something new that consumers will buy, not matter how similar it may already be to a product they currently have. Although the market for ipods may be declining, the market for apple tv, apple iphones, and slick apple computers is still growing.

  3. I do think that in the near future mp3 players will continue to decline in popularity. When I’m in Chicago I very rarely see people on public transit that are listening to music use mp3’s. I think that as discussed this has to dio with the fact that everyone owns a phone now with one built in. It is just more convienent to have everything on one device as well as more cost effective. I think that this is a good example of how advances in technology can hurt certain parts of an industry.

  4. This is a very interesting article that opened my eyes to something I hadn’t considered before. At first glance, it would seem that Apple is engaging in product cannibalism by introducing newer products that have obviously reduced sales in some of their older products. Realistically, though, I think this is a very strategic move on Apple’s part to eventually phase out it’d iPods and introduce more advanced products like it is doing with the iPad mini. Like f1222cgaspar stated, I do still see people using their iPod Shuffle, primarily when they are working out and don’t want to hold a bulky iPod on iPhone. This is also a much more affordable option for people who just want to listen to music, but who also have smartphones for texting/making calls/surfing the internet. The iPod, though, may eventually be discontinued and replaced entirely by iPhones which do everything that the iPod can do and then some.

  5. Though it is apparent that iPods are losing popularity as iPhone demand and popularity is ever-increasing. However, I don’t see an alarming decline or extinction of the iPod product line. In my opinion, it is ideal for Apple to carry and still annually update the iPods; they are covering niche markets that can’t be reach by the iPhone. In terms of product cannibalism, Apple is is a favorable situation. For example, people without iPhones would buy a type of iPod as well if they see its potential uses (i.e. running at the gym). As well, iPhone users would also do this and buy a iPod Shuffle or Nano if they need a stand alone music player. Obviously, it would be a waste to buy a iPod Touch if you have an iPhone, but with cell phone companys’ long-term contracts, a consumer stuck with a non-iPhone who wants the Apple experience may opt for an iPod Touch. Nonetheless, Apple has a stronghold on the mp3 player market because it is covering different consumer needs with its variety. It is in Apple’s best interest to keep these different iPods around as long as possible. The decline seen recently may be due to the lack of innovation with the iPod line as of late; Apple responded through redesigns and broader color-selection with the iPod line.

  6. I personally see the ipod touch loosing its appeal, unless apple can significantly discount the technology to be used in other applications. this ipod touch is no longer useful in the world of listening to music, but it does have other significant applications. If a consumer wants to watch a movie or listen to music it is very probable that they will just use there phone or ipad. there is no need for other devices. However, the Ipod touch can in my opinion hit a second wave of sales and popularity in the commercial industries. ever seen those awkward large price scanners at target, that they use for inventory checks and price lookups. i think that they are going to be completely replaced by a ipod touch device. furthermore, i believe that all creditcard kiosks at markets, fairs, retail shops, ect are all going to follow this same path.

  7. Although I do agree with the fact that the iPod is losing its appeal with more and more people switching to the iPhone, I do not believe that the iPod will ever be completely discontinued. The iPod still remains to be a great option for those people that do not want to switch their service to an iPhone carrier or people who would rather have other phones. The iPod is still seen as one of the best options to play music, whether it comes with a phone or not. Even though sales may be declining as well as popularity, I believe that Apple Inc. will never completely discontinue the iPod.

  8. I think that it is inevitable that iPod will be discontinued within the next few years. That being said, there a few factors i think will contribute to it being discontinued other than sales being cannibalize by the iPhone and iPad. First off, i think that Apple needs to see if they can retain the iPod consumers with other products. I think the iPad mini is a step in the right direction in obtaining those consumers, it is just too early to see if customers are switching to other Apple products. Does this also mean that they will be discontinuing the iPod shuffles as well? If Apple does decide to discontinue the iPod, they will either need to introduce a product that is as small as the iPod mini’s or video’s with similar functionality as a tablet. Within the next few years i think Apple will introduce something that will not discontinue the iPod all together, but innovate it so much that it becomes a new product entirely.

  9. I agree that the iPod is no longer on the top of everyone’s wish list because of the capability of the majority of phones to play music. However, as already mentioned in another comment, I do not believe that apple will discontinue the iPod. I do not believe that it will be discontinued because of its significance as the “it” music player for so long and because I believe that there may be enough demand for just a music player for it not to discontinue it. I myself have an iPhone and haven’t bought an iPod in years but for some reason wouldn’t want to see it go. Good article by the poster.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *