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  1. Akshay Masand's Avatar

    For the segment of consumers who are either not interested in having an app ecosystem on their music player or for whom raw capacity is the paramount concern, Apple’s iPod remains the overwhelming favorite according to recent data. Apple currently commands a staggering 72% of the market for standalone music players according to NPD research analyst Benjamin Arnold. Though the overall size of that market continues to contract amidst cannibalization from smartphones, the last twelve months alone have seen it shrink by 33%.

    Apple has never been afraid of reducing demand for one of its devices by creating demand for another, an attitude that permeates the company’s executive ranks. Former Chief Executive Steve Jobs was famously quoted for saying “if we don’t cannibalize ourselves, someone else will.”

    As early as 2009, the Cupertino California company indicated that it knew that the iPhone growth would come at the expense of the traditional iPod business. The mid-range iPhone 5C boasts a tougher polycarbonate shell and the new M7 motion coprocessor in the flagship iPhone 5S adds the ability to accurately capture an enormous amount of data when working out – both attractive updates for fitness buffs looking to trim the number of devices they are forced to care for. That being said, the iPod lineup retains some advantages over its communications-based siblings. The advantages include the device being much smaller, lighter and specifically cheaper with the iPod shuffle coming in at just $49 compared to $549 for an unsubsidized iPhone 5C.

    According to Arnold, a recent growth spurt in the fitness-oriented headphones, even traditionally high-end audio firm Bose, now makes a “sport” set, indicating that the market is alive and well and it may be large enough to feed both the iPod and iPhone machines.

    As far Apple’s iPod Classic goes, it remains the only remaining hard disk-based iPod that hasn’t seen an update since 2009. Whispers of its demise increase every time it’s passed over for a refreshed but Arnold believes the growing trend of audiophiles may trigger the device’s resurgence as an attractive option.

    Source: NPD via AppleInsider

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand
    2013-12-20 07:33 AM
  2. magoo657's Avatar
    It's because they always will.....
    2013-12-20 08:40 AM
  3. fleurya's Avatar
    I still don't understand how a Touch can be sold for $249 and the iPhone with almost same specs is more than double that! I think it has all to do with "subsidized" phone plans. If we took that away there would be a lot more price competition for these phones and we would see prices fall pretty fast.

    There was an article from AT&T saying they can't subsidize customers forever (which is a joke, BTW) I really do kind of hope for the day when the carriers stop subsidizing, because I think that's the only way we'll see retail prices of smartphones fall to reality.

    Or course, the downside is that the big 3 carriers will try to still charge the same monthly rates, but that won't last long as carriers like T-Mo are already beating those prices in the prepaid world. But that too could go bad if Sprint actually gets their hands on T-Mo. (Please God, don't let Sprint get away with it!)
    2013-12-20 06:08 PM