Don’t worry, Apple’s not killing off the iPod yet


When Apple reported its Q1 2014 earnings results this week, it couldn’t deny the fact that, as Tim Cook put it, “iPod is a declining business.” That’s because Apple’s results showed it only sold a little over 6 million iPods in the holiday quarter— about half of what it sold the same time the year before. That sparked endless headlines (pictured above) that the iPod is dead, but Apple appears to at least have one more new iPod product launch in the works.

We’ve discovered a few job listings posted on the company’s website looking for managers to facilitate a new product launch for iPod.

Several listings for New Product Introduction Operations Program Managers are seeking individuals to oversee and manage an iPod product launch by working with OEMs, the product teams, and suppliers:

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The New Product Introduction Operations Program Manager (NPI OPM) launches Apple’s products on time, with superior product quality and maximum customer availability…Overall mission is a successful product launch defined by meeting stated schedule, availability and customer experience goals.

· Leading Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) operations team in planning and executing development builds and new product ramps.
· Driving ramp readiness with engineering, operations and OEM teams. Planning capacity and manage multi-million dollar factory equipment budget.
· Managing component readiness to ensure part availability, quality, and cost support product goals. Communicating system requirements and schedules to facilitate technical readiness with cross-functional supply chain teams.
· Influencing product manufacturability, testability, and supply chain responsiveness

Another position seeks a Product Quality engineer for the iPod Product Operations team to “Ensure operational technical readiness for all phases of the introduction cycle.” And another for a Plastics Tooling Eng. Program Mgr. to manage “development and implementation process for the Tooling and New Material/Process organization leading to the introduction of new Apple products.” That last plastic tooling related job mentions iPod in addition to iPhone and Mac divisions, which could lead to speculation Apple’s working on a plastic iPhone 5c-style lower cost iPod.

It would make sense that a brand new iPod and not just a minor refresh would be next in Apple’s iPod product pipeline. The launch of the fourth gen iPod touch in 2010 was followed by minor refreshes introducing new capacities and colors a year later. The same thing happened with the 5th gen iPod touch (introduced in 2012) when Apple introduced the new cheaper 16GB capacity & Space Gray color last year. If Apple continues on that pattern, a fully redesigned iPod touch could be in the cards for fall 2014.

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  1. The new “iPod” is worn on your wrist. The ads for people working on a new iPod are not going to be working on a new iPod. How can you people that run this site be so completely out of touch and unable to connect the dots? I’m starting to wonder why I even bother with this site anymore. You truly baffle me.

  2. Apple is not interested with the iPod anymore because the Godfather is in cahoots with Google… iPod had its day and whatever Apple up its sleeve doesn’t have Tony’s DNA in it.

  3. bradleyza - 9 years ago

    The main problem is the Nano is too small at 16GB, and the Classic is too big (size wise and weight wise) but has the perfect capacity at 160GB. The iPod touch is a failed concept, as it is too much like the iPhone, the people who have a iPhone won’t buy the touch or the nano as its too small.

    The non iPhone customers only get a limited experience on the touch. Apple needs to make a nano and a touch combination with a fresh OS, as iOS is too limited on the touch, (make the app’s compatible). The thing is that if you own more than one iOS device, the OS gets boring after a while, so like the Xbox has, the music OS needs to be fresh and funky.

    Lastly the iPods need a dramatic overhaul as you can’t put an A5 chip on a iPod and expect people to rush to buy 2011’s hardware, it needs to get back the wow factor it had. Like the iPad Air wow’d people a new iPod needs to do the same.

    • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

      >>The iPod touch is a failed concept

      Yeah, the best selling iPod of all time is a “failed concept.”

      Come off it.

      >>Apple needs to make a nano and a touch combination with a fresh OS

      No, sorry, creating an ecosystem that is incompatible with everything and for which no one will develop is not the right thing to do.

      >>The thing is that if you own more than one iOS device, the OS gets boring after a while

      No, you need to go do something else with your life. The point of an OS isn’t to excite you, it’s to be universal.

  4. Zoftec LLC (@ZoftecLLC) - 9 years ago

    There are plenty of enterprise uses (mobile POS, warehouse inventory, etc.) where there’s no benefit to the added cost/weight/size and cell phone capability of the iPhone vs. the iPod Touch. If Apple values that market, they will continue to keep the Touch alive.

  5. pecospeet - 9 years ago

    The iPod will only be dead if Apple decides that 6 million iPod sales in 3 months is not enough to warrant continuing production. Maybe the iPod is dying (that makes some sense with sales at 50% of the prior year), but that is quite different from dead. Or maybe the iPod just needs a refresh – also quite different from dead.

  6. rottenbittenfruit - 9 years ago

    I’ve heard that the latest iPod Nano doesn’t even use iOS. Good grief, Apple what is the problem? Android is running on $30 devices with full functionality. I personally don’t care what OS the Nano uses but Apple is really cutting corners and allowing rivals to just cream them. At least if Apple ran iOS on lower cost devices they could claim iOS is gaining market share to interest investors who think the iOS platform is already dead.

    • rogifan - 9 years ago

      My god I feel dumber for having read this.

      • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

        I’m going to have to use that on the flip side. Maybe even quote you responding to it somewhere there.

    • mockery17 - 9 years ago

      Obvious troll is obvious.

  7. alphabetize1 - 9 years ago

    My iPhone still has not yet replaced my iPod. Yes, the iPhone has audio capabilities, but I also have apps, photos, and videos which take up quite a bit of storage. I have at most 40 songs on my iPhone, but I have almost half of my entire music collection on my iPod nano. I’m actually hoping for a 32GB+ iPod nano so I have enough space for all my music. I could just get the iPod classic, but I really prefer the durability of the nano.

    • Air Burt - 9 years ago

      I bought my 160GB iPod Classic about 7 years ago and it still runs like a beast! I’ve taken it to the lake and other countries and it just won’t quit! I still get around 40-50 hours of battery life too! I love having my entire music library with me, but my library is about to finally outgrow it :(

      • Paul Schram - 9 years ago

        I’m with you on this one. I started with what is now the classic, but then I’ve owned every Touch that came out. I keep my whole library on my Touch. I don’t keep music on my iPad Air. I don’t own an iPhone. Too expensive with expensive plans, in Canada anyway, so the thought that there’d be no more iPod Touches was a little disconcerting. I also don’t get the whole “streaming is taking over owning” issue because I listen to hours of music every day, and I would pay a huge sum in internet or cellular over charges for exceeding my limits. Apple, keep the iPods and don’t abandon music listeners.

      • Air Burt - 9 years ago

        I’m not as concerned about outgrowing my Classic. I’m on my second year of iTunes Match and I love it! I have unlimited data on Verizon so streaming is fast and convenient on my iPhone 5. I still prefer having my Classic in my car. I wish Apple would put a bigger hard drive in all of the iPods, though.

  8. dbudiono - 9 years ago

    I think for Apple, instead of killing the ipod, it is better to combine the iwatch with ipod. The truth is i currently use the previous generations of ipod nano as my daily use watch. The previous Gen of Ipod Nano is a phanomenal product since it can serve as a watch just by adding straps. It is so sad that current generation of ipod nano is so big, and u can not use as a watch, like the previous generation. So many people i met thought I use Galaxy Gear, and they say is so cool, therefore, the previous generation of iPod Nano should have a bright future if develop further. I would like to call the future generation of ipod Nano : iPod Watch. Please dont kill iPod, combine iPod with iWatch would be a wiser decision.

  9. dbudiono - 9 years ago

    iPod touch, why should I buy it since it has nearly the same size with my iPhone, moreover, iPod touch doesnt have a speaker to play music like iphone. IPod touch rely on earphone…. That’s what makes iPod sales sinking. iPod needs to be presented in diffrent form than the current form and with more than just music player. That’s why i recommend to combine the iPod with iWatch and become iPod Watch. Please add speaker to all iPod, therefore we can still hear music without earphone since i use to listen music from iPhone with speaker.

    • fireball9166 - 9 years ago

      The iPod Touch does have a speaker…the only ones that don’t have a spear are the iPod Shuffle and the iPod Classic.

  10. Indrek Petti - 9 years ago

    Ipod touch can just become a remote for apple tv

  11. fireball9166 - 9 years ago

    What I think Apple should do.
    iPod Touch: Make it more like the iPhone, Touch ID and 64 bit processor. I love the way the Touch looks however.
    iPod Classic: update this oldie, make it thinner/lighter but not too much because they should add a lot more storage.
    iPod Nano: Add more storage. I think they should put iTunes Radio on it too.
    iPod Shuffle: Make it 8/16/32GB storage.

    • Air Burt - 9 years ago

      The only way to get iTunes Radio is if they give it Wi-Fi, which basically makes it an iPod Touch with physical controls instead and without apps. Apple won’t do that. The Classic is fine as it is, just give it more storage and battery life. Not everything needs to be crazy small.

  12. Mark Talbot - 9 years ago

    I have been wearing an iPod Touch on a lanyard around my neck for about 6 years. First it was the 1G and for 4 years now the 3G 64GB. I only take it off to sleep or shower. I wouldn’t want to wear a cell phone like that being worried about getting cancer.

    I have holding off a new buy hoping for a 128GB model but they still haven’t delivered. I will probably have to bite the bullet with whatever model they introduce this year, if there is one. I stopped being able to update the iOS on my 3G after only 2 years.

    • Air Burt - 9 years ago

      You shouldn’t be wearing your iPod Touch around your neck either if you’re worried about cancer. It has the same chance as an iPhone at causing cancer.

      • Mark Talbot - 9 years ago

        WiFi is as dangerous as a cellular signal? I don’t think I can reach a cell tower with the strength of my iPod wifi. I had better do some research. What scientific study are you looking at that says wifi from an iPod is as dangerous as a cell phone?

      • Air Burt - 9 years ago

        The scientific studies are all flawed. Neither signal is more dangerous to us than the other. If you’re worried about it, think about the hundreds (or thousands) of Wi-Fi networks you pass through every time you drive through town. Wi-Fi is becoming more and more ubiquitous every year. Save yourself from the stress and stop worrying about something that is no more dangerous than the amount of cyanide in our water.

      • Mark Talbot - 9 years ago

        Okay, there does seem to be some suggestion that WiFi is not good but not studies like with cell phones yet. If WiFi is bad we are basically screwed because you can’t avoid it. I know I can look and see the signals from at least 3 or 4 routers of my neighbors’ at any given time. I also don’t think I’m ready to give up my iPod. I will still put my cell phone down and carry it as little as possible.

  13. Joshua Lim - 9 years ago

    Do you know why ipod sales only reached 6 million? Because of iphone 5s 64 bit armv8 smartphone. User’s want to have that kind of power equal to a desktop class architecture that is introduced on the iphone 5s. With the apple metal API only available on A7 processor. User’s had to purchase those devices which had A7 processor. Ipad mini 2, ipad air, and iphone 5s. Were the only device utilizing this raw power. Older devices and iphone 5c sales will had to go by a long shot to catch up with its twin brother’s.

  14. Vika Kreitz - 9 years ago

    I hate the idea of using a phone for music. I need an mp3 player that’s simple, yet interface friendly. The ipod mini and the ipod nano (wheel generations) were perfect for me. I just got the new nano (7th generation) and I really dislike it. The three buttons on the side that essentially replaced the wheel are awful. They’re intended for right handed people and they don’t stand out and are a hassle; the wheel ipods made changing through things quick and easy. I mainly have an ipod for car usage or just walking/ biking, but the touch screen makes it really annoying to have to navigate; I used to know how many clicks and buttons it took to get to a new menu just by feel, but with touch screen that’s no longer an option. Apple needs to have a poll or something similar to determine what people like the most, ergo, what will sell the most. How are ipods supposed to sell when they are constantly changing, not to mention, generally very drastically? Apple is trying much too hard to be innovative, when keeping older products could be just as lucrative. UGH.

  15. brobud86 - 8 years ago

    How can the iPod get a boost with the iphone6 doing everything better


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.