It is a decade since Apple first introduced the iPod to the world and in the intervening years, this little media player has completely changed the music industry, popularising digital downloads and all but killing off physical media.However, after endless copycats tried to topple the iPod without success, has Apple managed to get the job done itself with the iPhone family?
The original iPhone launched in 2007 and it has evolved to offer a wealth of services well beyond the basic remit of mobile phones, from playing games and sending emails to organising your household finances.Of course, iPod functionality was one of the key draws upon the introduction of the iPhone and the iPod Touch range has essentially been a scaled-down version of this mobile handset with the networking antennas stripped out.This has led some to claim that the iPod is well past its sell by date because the iPhone has made it obsolete.
Media commentators have wondered why consumers would bother to carry around two devices which are capable of playing music and video when one has the benefit of being a fully-fledged mobile phone as well.In reality, it seems that critics are slightly missing the point of iPod ownership, because this is a device that has arguably been strengthened, not weakened, by the influence of the iPhone.The first benefits endowed upon the iPod range by the iPhone are extra processing power and internet access. This not only allows users to browse the web seamlessly, but also means that the catalogue of hundreds of thousands of applications available on the App Store can be downloaded and enjoyed on an iPod Touch, just as they can on the iPhone.
The second point to make is that the iPod range is far more diverse than the iPhone family and also a much more affordable way to get hold of an Apple product.While the iPod Touch is at the top of the technology tree, there is still the iPod Classic for those who want high storage capacities for their vast music libraries.The likes of the iPod Nano and iPod Mini have emerged over the years to offer up other spins on the genre and fitting into previously untapped niches in the market that would never be filled by the iPhone.Given the prolific sales figures for the iPod range over the years, it is almost certain that most iPod owners will be happy to invest in an iPhone without simultaneously ditching their standalone media player.
One practical reason to keep the two separate devices is that the iPhone has a notoriously temperamental battery that would be drained far quicker if you use if for calls, texts, web access and then try and listen to music on it all in one day. Having an iPod to hand for this purpose makes sense, as it will ease the strain on your iPhone’s battery.Cynics have signaled the death knell to other Apple products over the years before being proved incorrect over time. It is like claiming that credit cards would eliminate the need for cash money, only to discover that credit cards and traditional payment forms can co-exist.
When the iPad launched in 2010, there were some who thought it would be too similar to the iPhone to sell well, but just over a year later and it is clear that it has revolutionised yet another area of the consumer electronics market.To date, there have been over 304 million iPods sold around the world and it seems unlikely that Apple will be phasing out the product any time soon, since it has been synonymous with digital media playback on portable devices for 10 years.