Is Demand for the iPod Slowing?

Dennis Faas's picture

Recently, CNET News produced a story examining the stalled popularity of the iPod. According to the article's author, a lack of hardware updates to the iPod has led to a current state of tech purgatory, a place where Apple might see its digital music fanbase slowly decline. Has the iPod bottomed out? We'll look at a few angles in determining the answer to that here.

The iPod has seen a few different versions, from the original massive-capacity player, to the half-gig shuffle, to the most recent "Nano." The Nano did revitalize the iPod name, despite CNET News' brushing off of the product. Apple's Nano isn't much bigger than a soda cracker, and in a North American market where smaller is better -- so long as we're talking cell phones and not dinner portions -- the tiny iPod deservedly received a great deal of attention.

CNET News also cites problems with the once much-anticipated iPod video, which has faced a variety of design challenges. My own sources have told me that the transfer process in using Apple's portable video technology is quite difficult, and one insider even characterized the iPod video as the poorest of its kind on the market right now. (Source:

The iPod's main threat might be coming from Microsoft (big surprise). We've reported a number of times on the growing details surrounding the Zune, a portable music player with wireless internet (WiFi) technology that will also reportedly play games. Considering Microsoft's growing reputation in the video game world and the music support of industry leader EMI, the Zune might just make informed digital music customers hold off until the holiday season.

So, is the iPod doomed?

Good heavens, no. It's still an incredibly popular product, and is now reaching the far corners of the earth. Recently, it was reported that a massive "gray" market industry was opening up in India, with the exclusive purpose of trafficking iPods. Legal or not, the demand of a massive population like India is good press for Apple. (Source:

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