It was 12 years ago this week that Apple first released a device called the iPod, and music listening was changed forever. But after a dozen years and 24 different versions of the iconic personal music device, the iPod's days may be numbered. The High Tech Texan Michael Garfield is among those predicting the demise of the iPod because of advancements in other devices like smart phones and tablets. "Smart phones are hard drives themselves, they have so much expandable memory, and we have our songs on there and that's really one of the only things that iPods do," he tells KTRH. For that reason, Garfield sees the era of stand-alone music players coming to an end. "Music is now ubiquitous," he says. "We can just listen to it online, we can stream it, it's on our phones, radios, what have you...and so I think the iPod has seen its better days."
For its part, Apple has not made any comment or statement about the future of the iPod, but there is evidence the company has moved on. There has not been a new iPod released in more than a year, and there was no mention of it this week when the company unveiled several new devices and a new OS. "It's not a big part of their revenue stream," says Garfield. "You look at the iPads and iPhones and Apple is obviously really concerned about their public stock and persona, and they want to go where the money is, and I don't think that's with the iPod." According to a recent report on the Huffington Post, as of last June iPod sales were down 32% year-over-year.
Despite its revolutionary status in the technology world, it appears the iPod will eventually go the way of the Walkman and the Boom Box before it. According to Garfield, it's all about how music consumption changes over time. "Take a look at how we get music, it's on the Cloud right now, there are things like iHeartRadio where you can download music," he says. For now, iPods remain on sale but that could change in the next couple of years. "We may have seen one of the last versions of the iPod," says Garfield. "But it had a great run."
Listen to the High Tech Texan Michael Garfield weekdays 12-2 on KPRC AM 950