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Fall 2011 iPod Release


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Fall 2011 iPod Release
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2011-08-16, 12:02

Yes, it's true. Nobody cares about iPods, anymore. We used to sell about 50 iPods/week, easy, but now we sell about 10 per week—and that split between two stores.

So, some questions regarding this fall's iPod refresh:

1) What must Apple do to reinvigorate the iPod line?

2) What will remain; what will go away?

3) Has the iPhone cannibalized iPods to such an extent that they don't matter any longer?



Here are my predictions, blended with what I believe Apple needs to do:

iPod Shuffle: Will remain exactly the same. No reason to change this little sucker. I think that as far as the Shuffle is concerned, Apple has finally nailed it and just needs to leave it alone.

iPod Nano: What a clunker! Quite possibly the most lame iPod Apple has ever built. Too small, too difficult to use, too inconsistent, etc. and etc! This little feller needs to become the iPod Touch Nano, with icons arranged 3 wide and 4 high; use the older 480x320 screen resolution to give some compatibility with the App Store. It should just fit in the palm of the hand—thus being big enough to actually use, unlike the existing Nano.

iPod Touch: Remains the same other than storage, which will jump to 32/64/128. Yes, the cloud is coming and supposedly reducing our need for local storage, but I still think that is more fluff than reality, especially for Touch owners, who have zero access in the boonies. Expect the prices to remain the same and the appearance of the A5 chip. The cameras will improve, with the rear camera jumping all the way to 2 megapixels!

iPod Classic: Gone. Apple will hold a special funeral ceremony and bury the Classic under a huge pile of cash.

My two bits, which I am certain are worth considerably less now that it took me more than five minutes to type this, as the dollar lost half its value in that timeframe. Woot!

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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
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2011-08-16, 12:25

I think Apple should simplify the lineup. Shuffle and Touch, end of story.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2011-08-16, 12:34

Wouldn't be a terrible move.
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Yontsey
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2011-08-16, 13:05

I recently had my Classic stolen and thought about replacing it, but now with a 32GB iPhone, Spotify, and upcoming iTunes Cloud, I don't really see any reason to have a traditional, large storage iPod anymore. I find myself using Spotify more and more now that I am building up nice playlists.

I tend to use Spotify for dumb 80's/90's/current tunes that I just happen to randomly think of.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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Brave Ulysses
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2011-08-16, 13:32

The most recent iPod Nano definitely needs to be killed and redesigned. it will be interesting to see if Apple is willing to do so, and will admit it made a wrong decision.

Unfortunately, it sounds as if Apple may opt to skip updating the iPods this holiday season. There have been a few rumors that this generation would stick around, and the iPod Touch would remain A4 based through Christmas.

With the late iPhone 5 release I can see that as a possibility. Apple tends to avoid conflicting product releases, and new iPods and a new iPhone definitely do compete with each other to a point.

I do anticipate Apple expanding iOS and the App Store to the nano soon though. Apple wants iOS and apps on as many devices as possible.

I'm very torn about the Apple TV. I keep hoping it receives an app store but as AirPlay support expands and Apple enhances it, I am starting to think that all Apple sees as an opportunity in the home theater is to expand AirPlay support to third party tvs and allow the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad to become the 21st century set top box.
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Noel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Chicago
 
2011-08-16, 13:42

You know, it seems to me that it would now be completely safe to kill off the iPod classic. The only reason to keep it around was for the people who feel a need to have their entire, massive music collection available at all times. With iTunes Match, and the ability to download any songs onto your iDevices, people will have access to their entire collections as long as they have a WiFi connection.
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Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2011-08-16, 14:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Wouldn't be a terrible move.
Apple is the largest company in the world...it can surely take on several niche product lines to keep its commanding marketshare and mindshare. Apple still sells between 35-40 million iPods a year. How many million iPod Nanos do you think they sell? Apple sells more Nanos than several lines of Macs a year. Maybe we should get rid of those too?

The only problem here is the lack of differentiation between shuffle and Nano. Those two products will become one, something else will take the spot in between...a smaller iPod Touch (along with a smaller iPhone) perhaps.
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Brave Ulysses
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Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2011-08-16, 14:50

One thing that makes me think that iPods will be updated this fall (contrary to some reports I reference above) is iCloud and iTunes WiFi syncing.

I can see Apple wanting to get the iPod line onboard with iTunes WiFi syncing quickly.
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chucker
 
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2011-08-16, 14:56

But then they'd have to add Wi-Fi chips to the iPod nano and iPod shuffle just for this single piece of functionality.
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Brave Ulysses
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Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2011-08-16, 15:02

And?

They have added proprietary wireless transmitters before for a single piece of functionality used by a small subset of iPod owners... Nike+.

Syncing is something everyone uses and simplifying that seems like it would be a high priority.

Plus.... they could even make the shuffle and nano smaller! No need for a connector of any type! (joking of course... I hope).
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bassplayinMacFiend
Banging the Bottom End
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2011-08-16, 15:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yontsey View Post
I recently had my Classic stolen and thought about replacing it, but now with a 32GB iPhone, Spotify, and upcoming iTunes Cloud, I don't really see any reason to have a traditional, large storage iPod anymore. I find myself using Spotify more and more now that I am building up nice playlists.

I tend to use Spotify for dumb 80's/90's/current tunes that I just happen to randomly think of.
I've been doing this with Youtube for the last couple of weeks. Hasn't let me down yet.
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chucker
 
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2011-08-16, 15:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
And?

They have added proprietary wireless transmitters before for a single piece of functionality used by a small subset of iPod owners... Nike+.
Fair point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
Syncing is something everyone uses and simplifying that seems like it would be a high priority.
Yes, and having Wi-Fi sync work from day one of iTunes 10.5 on any new iPod will send a coherent marketing message — but that doesn't mean Apple will necessarily do it. They've had their fair share weird omissions, limitations and removals before. No FireWire on the aluminum MacBook, a terrible camera on the iPod touch and iPad 2, a weirdly limited choice of applications on the original iPod touch (anyone remember when Steve would have us believe that Safari was only there so we can setup Wi-Fi?), and removing the accessory port on iPods, never to be seen again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
Plus.... they could even make the shuffle and nano smaller! No need for a connector of any type! (joking of course... I hope).
Witricity!
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Brave Ulysses
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2011-08-16, 15:23

True. I guess my thinking is that iPods seem to have little room for innovation and improvement left.... hence why last year's update was so unappealing and blah to many. It's almost as if Apple tried too hard to reinvent the wheel.


It seems to me that WiFi sync is one big feature that would actually entice a lot of existing iPod owners to upgrade, and at this point, that's probably Apple's biggest market for iPod sales, existing owner upgrades.
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chucker
 
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2011-08-16, 15:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
True. I guess my thinking is that iPods seem to have little room for innovation and improvement left.... hence why last year's update was so unappealing and blah to many. It's almost as if Apple tried too hard to reinvent the wheel.
Agreed; the iPod nano 6G seemed like a desperate attempt to show off something, anything at all. I haven't played with it much, but eschewing the clickwheel in favor of a touchscreen on such a small display sounds like a bad idea to me. I occasionally still go back to my iPod nano 4G, and navigating through thousands of songs has its benefits over doing so in the iOS UI. With a smaller screen, it doesn't even seem like a fair competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
It seems to me that WiFi sync is one big feature that would actually entice a lot of existing iPod owners to upgrade, and at this point, that's probably Apple's biggest market for iPod sales, existing owner upgrades.
At first I thought this idea wouldn't work, but… what about iCloud? If they do add Wi-Fi, this could possibly even work on the shuffle. Obviously, you'd have to set it up in iTunes first, but having stuff like new podcast episodes, rented TV shows, new downloads, etc. automatically show up without any sync at all could be quite compelling.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2011-08-16, 19:24

If they can make an iPod with iCloud and not tethering they would be in one awesome position. Those who won't pay for Touchs or iPhones could really get hooked on the iCloud.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2011-08-16, 23:08

I'm a dinosaur who doesn't invest every ounce of his content on the Web. Read Lucifer's Hammer sometime


...
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2011-08-17, 09:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
I'm a dinosaur who doesn't invest every ounce of his content on the Web.
Ditto!
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bassplayinMacFiend
Banging the Bottom End
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2011-08-17, 09:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
I'm a dinosaur who doesn't invest every ounce of his content on the Web. Read Lucifer's Hammer sometime


...
I've read Lucifer's Hammer before (granted, it was probably 20 years ago now), but I'm not getting the reference?
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2011-08-17, 11:52

Destroyed power grid, professor buries books. At lunch, all I have time for
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wtd
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
 
2011-08-19, 12:32

It might be worth noting that the iPod Classic holds the #3 place on Amazon's bestseller list for iPods, coming in just behind the 8GB iPod Touch and 32GB iPod Touch.
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addabox
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: oaktown
 
2011-08-19, 13:13

Quote:
Destroyed power grid, professor buries books. At lunch, all I have time for
Is that the one where the black folk take to cannibalism and one guy sets up a little harem of girls scouts?

I may be misremembering, but I recall being a little turned off by the "white tech oriented dudes shall inherit the earth and possibly get to fuck 13 year olds" vibe.

Also, yes, kill the Classic, yes, do something about the Shame That Is The Nano, put WiFi in everything. Realistically the Shuffle's going to have to go it alone, but the Nano really ought to become just a front end for the new cloud music services.

That which doesn't kill you weakens you slightly and makes you less able to cope until you're completely incapacitated
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bassplayinMacFiend
Banging the Bottom End
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2011-08-19, 15:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post
Is that the one where the black folk take to cannibalism and one guy sets up a little harem of girls scouts?

I may be misremembering, but I recall being a little turned off by the "white tech oriented dudes shall inherit the earth and possibly get to fuck 13 year olds" vibe.

Also, yes, kill the Classic, yes, do something about the Shame That Is The Nano, put WiFi in everything. Realistically the Shuffle's going to have to go it alone, but the Nano really ought to become just a front end for the new cloud music services.
Nope, wrong book there. Lucifer's Hammer is about a comet/asteroid (can't remember which) that hits the Earth and the ensuing lawlessness and destruction. It was co-written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (who also wrote Chaos Manor when Byte! was still around ) and released in the 70s sometime.
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addabox
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: oaktown
 
2011-08-19, 16:37

No, right, I remember it was about the asteroid strike, I just had a memory of there being a fair amount of projection/wish fulfillment as to the resulting post-apocalyptic society-- like someone having his way with a wench while snarling "Women's lib died the moment the hammer fell!" and the other interesting bits of business I mentioned earlier, like having "inner city" people immediately descend into subhuman status while cool headed tech professionals literally save the day.

Could be some other 70s asteroid apocalypse, however.

That which doesn't kill you weakens you slightly and makes you less able to cope until you're completely incapacitated
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Satchmo
can't read sarcasm.
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
 
2011-08-20, 20:17

I'm hoping they bring back the 5th gen Nano bar sized form factor, and simply make the screen touch enabled. Perhaps the screen is a bit bigger, but the key feature is that you can actually operate it with your thumb in one hand. Throw in a GPS and it'll be perfect for my run training.
Heck, I'd even be happy if they just brought back the 5th gen Nano as it was.
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Iago
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Hmm?
 
2011-08-21, 06:27

The iPod Touch will subsume the iPod Nano. Probably not this year, but soon.

Current lowest price of iPod Nano: $149
Current lowest price of iPod Touch: $229

First iPod Nano: $199
First iPod Touch: $299

The difference between the two is $80. It was $100.

The current iPod Nano uses a touch screen.

If Apple can lower the price of an entry-level iPod Touch by $50 (not inconceivable if they're sticking with the current-gen chipset for another year) then the iPod Touch will be $179. That's affordable.

I'm Joseph Fritzl, and no windows was my idea.
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addabox
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: oaktown
 
2011-08-21, 13:03

Hmmmm, I dunno. Price isn't the only issue, there's also size. Not everyone wants to carry around a Touch sized device just to listen to music.

Having said that, I don't think anything smaller than a Touch is really suited to running iOS (sorry iPhone nano fans), yet Apple seems to want there to be a smaller touch device running a lesser OS. I just think they went overboard with the current Nano, making it so small the touch aspects are almost silly. So my wish would be for a relatively cheap touch Nano that's about twice the size of the current one-- still far smaller than the Touch but big enough where the touch adapted iPod OS would be semi-usable.

That which doesn't kill you weakens you slightly and makes you less able to cope until you're completely incapacitated
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2011-08-21, 13:46

I'm telling ya...I think my mockup a while back (even if you remove the 10th anniversary vibe and the white color nod, etc.) is kinda what you're talking about. It's iOS and Multi-Touch, small and light and a nice bridge from the shuffle to the iPod touch. The way I designed/thought about it, it wouldn't be tied to the App Store or support that, so third-party outfits (and Apple) wouldn't have to redesign gazillions of apps. They're simply onboard, nano-designed in-house apps from Apple. Kind of a "training wheels" iPod touch, but a lot less expensive and not requiring store activation/access, etc.

But it would have a camera, would tie in nicely with iTunes (and iPhoto), basic organizing apps (clock, alarm, calendar, calculator, Nike+, voice memos, etc.) and would be no heavier or more bulky than the fourth- and fifth-generation nanos most people seem to love (and think of when they picture "iPod nano"...not this goofy, current-generation one that's too small for a useful nano, too big and bulky for a stripped-down shuffle...it's the worst of both worlds, a rare "WTF?!" move/product from Apple, IMO).
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Maciej
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2011-08-21, 13:54

I can't get behind the idea of an iPod without access to the App Store / iTunes. It just doesn't add up for me, business wise.

"We've introduced this size that we're so excited about, sleek, slim, we think people are gonna love it. And one more thing; it doesn't support the App Store!"

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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chucker
 
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2011-08-21, 13:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maciej View Post
I can't get behind the idea of an iPod without access to the App Store / iTunes. It just doesn't add up for me, business wise.
Not that I think anyone was suggesting that, but FWIW, the iPod did exist for one and a half years without any iTunes Store to speak of.
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Maciej
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2011-08-21, 13:58

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Not that I think anyone was suggesting that, but FWIW, the iPod did exist for one and a half years without any iTunes Store to speak of.
Sorry, I guess I'm conflating two separate posts by 'scates. IIRC, the post he's referencing proposed a "kids only" iPod, without the capability of being able to buy things on it; as the main thrust of the product - its "feature." I apologize if I misrepresented anyone. Sorry

When did it not have iTunes Store support? It just feels like now that its there, dropping support for it on an iPod would be a step backward. It is one of the reasons the Nano sucks, for me.

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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