Apple needs to kill the iPod


Once thought to be their strongest product (some even considered it their only product!) during the 2000’s, I think it’s time for another bold move. On the eve of another iPhone launch event, I think it’s time to do what they did so many times before: kill an extremely successful product in the name of progress.

I absolutely love my iPod touch (4th gen). But with another iPhone coming, which supposedly hits very iPod touch-like price points, it’s time to cut the line. I don’t actually expect Apple to do this, but I hope they do.

A low-end (think China/India) iPhone at $300 would rock in those markets (severely damaging low-end Android devices and iPhone knock-offs like the $300 XiaoMi), but I think Apple can also benefit from streamlining their own lineup. Furthermore, by ‘forcing’ users to get a device that can also be used as a phone, it’s a very nice lock-in feature against further Android growth.

As crazy as it sounds, I hope Apple takes half the iPod line and turns it into a low-end iPhone, and takes the low-end of the line and turns it into a Watch.

What’s the watch for? Miniaturization and Personal Data.

So, again, this is not a prediction. What drives Apple is essentially Customer Demand for cool affordable tech on one side and Investor demand for higher Average Selling Price, on the other hand. Streamlining allows Apple to maintain reasonable pricepoints and boost profitability (economies of scale).

I hope that, in time Apple’s product line will look something like this:

  • Apple Cinema Display (Full Apple TV with Motion Sense UI)
  • Apple TV box
  • Mac lineup of Traditional PC’s [Update – Sept 7: Shrinking market, In time to be subsumed into iPad line, possibly via ‘MacPad’ hybrid]
  • iPhone 5, 5S and 5C (all three seeing annual upgrades)
  • iWatch (essentially a tiny iPod)
  • iPad (the mainstream computing device)

I’ve been wrong a billion times before, but I hope something like this happens. Without bold moves, Apple is a stale company that, as of late, doesn’t say much until the occasional Event, and doesn’t do much until Fall of each year. Wow.

Prove me wrong, Tim.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, hit me up on Twitter.