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Will the iPod Ever Die?

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  • by celardore (844933) * on Sunday October 08, 2006 @10:28AM (#16354705)
    Granted, there have been some fantastic inventions in the history of man. Like the wheel, that's still going pretty strong and with a massive distribution even now. Will the iPod follow in its footsteps? Unlikely that it's not going to 'ever die'. So yes, it will. Might take five years, might take twenty; but yes it will die.
    • Article Text (Score:2, Informative)

      by celardore (844933) *
      Seeing as the article was still in my browser, and is now slashdotted I copied the text here.

      The iPod has dominated the MP3 player (and portable video player) market so far. It began the ultimate revolution in how we listen to our music. Competitors have come and gone, while the iPod stood strong, but really, will the iPod ever die? Well there are a few points that say NO and some that say YES.

      NO! It will not die! (at the bottom of the article we look at the possibility of it actually dying, but for no
      • TFA (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ColdWetDog (752185)
        was pointless and annoying the firsttime. We really didn't need to see it again. Sometimes slashdotting is a good thing.

        Really

    • Well, I'm going to say it'll die around 2020 or so. I think that in 10-15 years, people will begin to recieve implanted cell phones (complete with bone-conduction speakers and subvocal mics). As soon as that reaches critical mass, all portable music players will go away as people just have their music streamed into their skulls.
  • Nope, never (Score:4, Funny)

    by 0racle (667029) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @10:29AM (#16354709)
    No one will ever create something people like better then the iPod, and no one will ever want a computer in their home.
    • by HAKdragon (193605)
      Frink: Well, sure, the Frinkiac-7 looks impressive, don't touch
                    it, but I predict that within 100 years, computers will
                    be twice as powerful, 10,000 times larger, and so expensive
                    that only the five richest kings of Europe will own them.
  • Next up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tkdog (889567) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @10:33AM (#16354737) Journal
    Will the automobile ever die, will toasters ever die, will stupid pointless articles written just to make ad money ever die? Stupid, stupid article.
  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @10:34AM (#16354743) Homepage Journal
    But only if we Nuke 'em from orbit. Its the only way to be sure.
  • Who's "we"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nurhussein (864532) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @10:34AM (#16354745) Homepage
    In Malaysia, the ipod isn't terribly popular. Sure some folks have them, but it's rare. A lot of people do own an mp3 player, but it's usually of varied brands. The reason is that ipods are just too expensive for the average youth to own, and there is no iTunes service to download music from over in this part of the world.
    • by vhogemann (797994)
      It also applies to Brazil, iPods are really expensive here compared to the other alternatives... an order of magnitude more expensive. And we don't have access to the ITMS either.

      So, I think the article is US/Europe/Japan centric... from their perspective the world is a much smaller place. Our countries are "secondary" markets, and they don't enven include us when they calculate the Digital Audio Players marketshare. It's sad, but is true.
  • by Jartan (219704) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @10:34AM (#16354751)
    The article is just some blogger listing a bunch of reasons why the iPod is better than the Zune. Maybe if it were someone who's an authority on the subject it might be worth reading but after wasting my time I got the distinct impression that it's probably just a mac fan. Now that doesn't make his argument incorrect but it's not really worth a discussion.
    • by also-rr (980579)
      Some of the comments are worth a read:

      The iPOD is ALREADY dead, in case you haven't noticed the Zune is CHEAPER, has WAY MORE FEATURES, and has WIRELESS.

      Now, you would think that with a zillion dollars in he bank, Microsoft could afford some lessons in appropriate capitalisation and sublty for it's astroturfers.
      • by mikesd81 (518581)
        Keep in mind that the wireless is almost worthless [slashdot.org]. It also doesn't allow you to play Windows Media files. I don't really thinkg it will beat Ipod.
  • by bbh (210459) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @10:34AM (#16354753)
    It's battery does... :(
    • by jdbartlett (941012) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @10:55AM (#16354897)
      Fortunately, Apple offers a battery replacement service [apple.com] for out of warranty iPods.

      Out of curiosity, which other brands offer a similar service? I have a feeling the brand I stick with will be the one to offer the best post-purchase support. For one thing, it shows confidence in their product.
      • I don't find it cheap, though.
        • No, but it's better than having a dead product without having the ability to replace its battery. iriver recently started using a similar battery system to Apple; even though their warranty covers less material for less time, they offer no battery replacement service. All batteries die, at least Apple has a system under which you can replace yours.
      • by thebigbluecheez (1010821) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @11:26AM (#16355113)
        The thing about saying that other brands don't have a similar service is that it's true. I can't send my Iriver h10 to Iriver and have them put a battery in it. The bastards require me to push a little button, slide it off, and order another one for..hang on... $39.99USD. And they won't even let me ship it in so they can install it! I have to keep my player while they send me the new battery!

        Why oh why won't they just let me pay them to do it!?

        Excuse me, I've got a letter writing campaign to start.
        • Which is fine if you don't mind a portable product a quarter of the capacity, four times the thickness, less than a third of the battery life (per charge), and nowhere near the warranty coverage of the iPod 80 GB. (I won't mention video support as I happen to think it's a useless feature.) Even taking into account the $25 savings every few years, iriver's H10 doesn't seem to have much to offer in comparison.

          The (discontinued?) H20 didn't feature a user-replaceable battery, good to know the new H10s do.
      • by RexRhino (769423) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @01:31PM (#16355879)
        Other brands offer batteries that can be replaced by the user!
  • Battery Life (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cyberkahn (398201) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @10:36AM (#16354767) Homepage
    If I were average Joe who didn't want to take apart my iPod to replace the battery then yes. It's the only thing I hate about iPod. I am sure they designed it this way to. After all, by the time the battery dies, the mindless consumer will just want the latest iPod that is out.
    • Unfortunately, many manufacturers have switched to the iPod battery style without offering the battery replacement plan Apple does. For example, iriver.
    • Re:Battery Life (Score:4, Insightful)

      by thelost (808451) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @11:23AM (#16355093) Journal
      Most products are designed with a certain lifespan in mind. Companies realized that while people will moan and grumble they will still go and fork out for that new washing machine because they need it. That's why TVs and microwaves from the 80's still work, but more recent ones will only have lifespans of 3-4 years.

      The moment companies start to design products without a limited lifespan the sky will *actually* fall.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        That's why TVs and microwaves from the 80's still work, but more recent ones will only have lifespans of 3-4 years.

        The moment companies start to design products without a limited lifespan the sky will *actually* fall.
        This is sick.

        Not pointing fingers or anything, not intending to flame or troll, but it's just.. sick.
      • by freeweed (309734) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @12:03PM (#16355387)
        That's very funny, because as someone who was actually alive over 20 years ago, I can tell you that people said the very same thing back then.

        Notice the pattern:

        In the 2000s, everything built in the 1980s lasted forever; things made in the 2000s break after a few years.
        In the 1980s, everything built in the 1960s lasted forever; things made in the 1980s break after a few years.
        In the 1960s, everything built in the 1940s lasted forever; things made in the 1960s break after a few years.
        In the 1940s, everything built in the 1920s lasted forever; things made in the 1940s break after a few years.
        In the 1920s, everything built in the 19th century lasted forever; things made in the 1920s break after a few years.

        And yes, I've done research on this. My grandparents are over 90 and swear that everything made since the Great Depression is crap and never lasts. I've found early newspaper op-ed pieces from the 1910s that claim the very same thing, just pushing back the date a little.

        (The secret, of course, is that the things made in year X that only last a few years are long since discarded, and we only remember the things that last any decent length of time)

        Repeated post from a while back. I can't believe people still believe the "stuff made today is shit, while everything made in the past lasted forever" meme.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          I can't believe people still believe the "stuff made today is shit, while everything made in the past lasted forever" meme.

          It is very unusual. According to my grandparents, memes used to last forty to sixty years before getting replaced. Now a days, your typical meme lasts a few years at best. Case in point: hot grits + Portman = L.A.M.E. This 'shitty stuff' meme is quite the exception.

        • by Dun Malg (230075)

          I can't believe people still believe the "stuff made today is shit, while everything made in the past lasted forever" meme.

          Indeed, this is among my favorite myths. Another factor affecting that perception is the process of commoditization. Microwave ovens are a great example. Today you find all kinds of people bellyaching about how microwaves now are crap compared to "the one my [mother|grandmother|aunt] had back in '79", but this is not entirely true. You can get a good, solid, bulletproof microwave oven [microwavespecialties.com]

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Dynedain (141758)
          But there is some truth to it as well. I inherited my great grandparents' microwave (I know they used it daily). It was built in 1972, before I was born. It finally died three years ago. I have gone through 2 microwaves since then, and I did my researcy and intentionally avoided cheap easy-break microwaves. I remember when my parents bought their first microwave in the mid 80's. It lasted a good 15 years. Since it died they have had several replacements. My grandmother is using the same microwave that she b
  • by nweaver (113078) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @10:37AM (#16354773) Homepage
    "Will this server ever die?"

    Well, lets slashdot it and find out.

    Yeup.
  • It keeps getting mildly upgraded and resold to the same people time after time. It will die when they do.
  • by dschl (57168) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @10:38AM (#16354791) Homepage

    July, 1983 - The Sony Walkman has dominated the portable cassette player market so far. It began the ultimate revolution in how we listen to our music......

    Back to the present, the Walkman ceased to dominate the industry 15 years ago or more. The iPod will someday share it's fate. TFA is a lame blog article written by some fanboy who thinks he is creative, insightful, and discerning.

    You know Taco, if it is a slow news day, it's better to leave the front page alone than to post "stories" like this just for the sake of filling space.

    • by suv4x4 (956391)

      You know Taco, if it is a slow news day, it's better to leave the front page alone than to post "stories" like this just for the sake of filling space.


      Yea! And this in the middle of a breaking news: Firefox's source code leaked!

      I have the link to prove it: Firefox's leaked source code

      Grab it before Mozilla Corp. manages to shut down the server!
      • by suv4x4 (956391)

        I have the link to prove it: Firefox's leaked source code


        OMGWTFBBQ! Someone edited my post to remove the link... Are Slashdot and Mozilla working together to take over the world!?

        Conspiracy! How's that for a SLOW NEWS DAY..
    • DRM and Open standards killed the WalkMan.

      The cassette walkman and CD walkman worked were icons of Sony. They were simple to use and people could easily enjoy the music without having to understand the technology too much.

      That all changed with the MiniDisc player (MD)

      The MiniDisc player was one of the first players to introduce DRM to the music world (and people didn't really get it [trying to explain DRM in the late 1990's was a nightmare... yes, even worse than today]). Also, ATRAC/ATRAC3 wasn't
    • My Walkman broke earlier this year. Will I get an iPod? No. I use Yahoo Music Unlimited on my laptop now. Listening to local FM on the walk to work was my only reason to have a mobile player of any kind. If I get another mobile player, it'll have to support Yahoo's DRM and it'll have to have recording off FM. I've been looking at some of the Sandisk players. As far as I'm concerned, the iPod never lived. It just doesn't interest me. I like the PC platform and things associated with it, simply becau

  • by abrotman (323016) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @10:38AM (#16354793)
    There have been other companies we thought we never see a decline. For a recent example, look at the problems that Sony is facing with the PS3.

    If Apple forsakes their loyal customers, and abuses said loyalty, they will lose their biggest cheerleaders.
    • Or if someone comes out with a clearly superior product. I don't see any on the shelves at Best Buy that fit that bill, I haven't heard of any on the horizon, and I don't imagine Apple, the company that it currently is, allowing that to happen. To a certain degree, the question with Apple is, what happens when Jobs retires? Last time he left the company, they went from a company that was constantly pushing the envelope to one that could barely keep up.

      But until Jobs leaves or loses his mind, I don't see

  • Well (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sv-Manowar (772313) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @10:41AM (#16354805) Homepage Journal
    The iPod is a revolutionary device, although maybe not techinically, it has entered the conciousness of the public and it will be extremely hard for anyone to even try and match it's market dominance. The one thing Microsoft could have done with the Zune was to make sharing music unrestricted, but once again red tape has stopped it and the DRM will limit the function that could have made the Zune the better choice (along with Apple cutting the price, a move Microsoft didn't expect). I think the only thing to match the iPod now will be a device that is a mix of genres, much like the phone that is rumoured to be in development from Apple, if they can successfully merge the best features of an iPod (plus storage) with the good functions of a phone and make it stylish (not a hard job for Apple right now) then they may just have a chance of beating one of the devices of the decade. For other companies, it will be very hard to beat the iPod in the long run, and the only front I think they will have is pricing - which will only hurt their bottom line, as people will pay a premium to have the iPod. Congratulations to Apple on their market domination with this one, it's well deserved.
    • Re:Well (Score:4, Interesting)

      by EricBoyd (532608) <mrericboydNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Sunday October 08, 2006 @11:55AM (#16355347) Homepage
      You've hinted at the real reason that the iPod is maintaining it's dominance - it's the DRM rules that the labels are imposing on everyone. Because everyone has to lock down their devices and music, nobody can play with an open strategy - and thus nobody can make an offering that is much better than Apple. Unless and until the labels agree to a DRM-less music store, Apple will maintain it's crushing market share.

      DRM and Open Markets
      http://digitalcrusader.ca/archives/2006/10/drm_and _open_ma.html [digitalcrusader.ca]
      • The reason the iPod is maintaining its dominance in the market is because Apple is selling more of them than any other player. The follow on question of "Why?" has many answers. Certainly, the DRM is one of the why's for those that are technically savvy and/or care about such things, but so is its market dominance (The "Why did you buy a Windows PC over a Mac?" or "Why did you buy VHS over Beta?"; "Because everybody has one", answer.), its style and ease of use are also factors, and its ability to be us
  • by DaRat (678130) * on Sunday October 08, 2006 @10:45AM (#16354835)
    iPod is a fad. All fads eventually die. Some have longer legs than others, but they all eventually fade into a sort of background commodity basis if they don't outright die. Usually, you can tell when a fad is about to die when you see the fad and products for it everywhere...
    • iPod is a fad? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jdbartlett (941012)
      More accurately, the rate at which iPods are sold will level off. That doesn't mean iPod itself is a fad, just that consumers are approaching it with a "fad" mindset.

      iPod itself may become the Sony walkman: ubiquitous, until CD comes around.
  • by bbzzdd (769894) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @11:02AM (#16354957)
    The day you can walk into Walmart and buy a 4 - 8GB flash player for $39.99 is the day the iPod will die. The iPod will eventually meet the same fate as the Sony Walkman did in the 90s once cheap Japanese knock-offs can be manufactured for cheap enough.
    • by hankwang (413283) *
      The iPod will eventually meet the same fate as the Sony Walkman did in the 90s once cheap Japanese knock-offs can be manufactured for cheap enough.

      You do know that Sony is a Japanese company and that iPods are assembled in China, don't you?

  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @11:04AM (#16354963) Homepage
    The Osborne 1 computer died. The IBM Stretch 7030 computer died. The Sony Walkman died. The Studebaker died... and so did the Oldsmobile and the Plymouth. Eleven of the twelve corporations in the original Dow Jones Index died. Elvis Presley died. The Soviet Union died. The United Society of Believers (Shakers) died. The Roman Empire died. Kepler's supernova died.

    The iPod will die. So will Windows. So will the Toyota Prius. So will Toyota. So will GE, the sole surviving original Dow Jones Index company. So will the United States of America. So will life on earth. So will the sun. Even Jack LaLanne will eventually die (oh, wait...)

    And your point is?

  • But the server hosting the article is certainly dead.
  • When I bought my 1G shuffle, it was cheaper than any other MP3 player that size - almost the same cost as many of the 512M models. At the same cost or less, I went with the Apple MP3 player. All of these players seem to be within $10 of each other, and as parts get cheaper, they seem to add more functionality to keep the price point high. Someone willing to make 5% profit on basic hardware could dethrone the lot.

    Many folks have large collections of bog standard MP3's. I know I keep my CD collection in a
  • by MMC Monster (602931) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @11:09AM (#16355003)
    No. It will never die. It will survive the heat-death of the universe, as all other protons dissolve in the uncountable trillions of years in the future. They will be all that is left in The End.

    Next question?
  • I think that what the iPod is or does will change but Apple will continue to sell a product called "iPod" for a very long time. Look at the iMac. It's morphed twice into new form factor and added more total features than it started with.
  • (Article is slashdotted, so I can only react to the submission/summary.)

    I realize that some people really like the iPod, but it never particularly appealed to me. There are a lot of people (in absolute terms, not relative terms) who don't see that product as particularly impressive.

    What that means, is that they'll never get all the market. There's room for competitors. I doubt anything Microsoft can offer will ever be that competitor, but there will be someone. A few years ago, I though the Neuros wa

    • by mustafap (452510)
      >(Article is slashdotted, so I can only react to the submission/summary.)

      Dont worry, you didn't miss anything.
  • ... Will M$ ever stop being the most widely used OS and office suites? My guess is it will be like the iPod, if it can keep up with the trends and evolve with it, then yes it will be around for a long time. If it doesn't keep up with trends and falls behind, then of course it will fade. It's all up to the companies that make it not the end user.
  • Not necessarily (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iamacat (583406) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @11:22AM (#16355085)
    • Will automatic transmission ever die?
    • Will burger and fries ever die?
    • Will basic camera shape/controls ever die?
    • ... Will music ever die?


    Even though more advanced gadgets/control methods will come, people may still prefer the familiar click wheel interface of the Nano for basic music listening. Perhaps it will not be made by Apple, will have much higher quality/capacity or be a part of a multi-function gadget, but I think the design itself has made a lasting impact.
    • Not even the clickwheel is forever. I prefer a perfected voice recognition in most cases. Perhaps with a single button that lets the computer know that I am talking to it.
  • ... will *I* die? There's no conclusive evidence.

    Apparently every human being dies sooner or later, but my fanboy club says I'm living forever since I'm better than the rest of the humans. Makes sense right?

    Let's see, but I bet I won't die ever.
  • First a bad hard disk, now a bad battery.

    If this keeps up, I'll have to go back to vinyl.
  • Now I can add that any real news (old or otherwise) has been replaced by amateur-hour blogs.

    Honestly, I read comments here all the time of people being rejected for posting a real tech story, yet THIS somehow gets on the page?

    Slashdot has truly lost its focus.

  • When your DRM player dies, and noone supports your old DRM media format, your DRM files would be worth less than your 8-track collection.
  • Oh come on... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by multimediavt (965608) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @12:14PM (#16355441)
    The iPod has only been around for five years! Even in technological time (accounting for Moore's Law, etc.) that's not an overly long time for a product to dominate a market. Market forces always swarm early in a new product's life cycle, especially for dominant products that do what the iPod did to the portable digital music player market. The dominance of the product will level off and it will either become a commodity (i.e., a useful or valuable thing, such as water or time) or be toppled by a better product, or replaced by a newer technology and outmoded. Only time will tell. Most of the points in the article about why the iPod *WON'T* die are a bit shallow. "It's cool" Yeah, so was the Sony Walkman....GONE! Basically, everything said about the iPod is almost EXACTLY what people said about the Sony Walkman in the 1980s; well, except for price. Those bitches were WAY more expensive per inflation adjusted dollar. They also raised almost the same copyright stinks as the iPod and music swapping are doing now. I remember the guy in the car stereo shop telling my Dad about not copying music to tape to play in the car because it was "illegal". This was late 1970s, early 1980s.
  • Short answer: yes
    I mean, did 640K ever extinct? It was "enough for everyone" back then, but now...
    That's what's gonna happen to iPod. It's cool and all now, but after some time it will get replaced by something even more cool. Maybe a next-generation-updated iPod, who knows...
  • Okay, I'm going to ask the obvious question here. Let's look at the facts:
    • "Azhar" is the submitter, and the author of the linked-to article.
    • The linked-to article is poorly written, contains no factual information, and basically can be boiled down to, "NO way, iPods are teh r0x0rz!!!!one!!!1111!!!one!"
    • The submitter is clearly trying to simply generate traffic to his site with this opinion piece.

    Given these... how does this constitute "news" for anybody, much less nerds?

    Seriously, slashdot. I want

  • by nv5 (697631) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @01:23PM (#16355839) Homepage Journal
    This isn't a new observation, but it's the first time that I'm writing about it. Probably because I'm sensing the end of my time here at Slashdot. I have not journaled worth mentioning, and not commented worth mentioning - but I was an avid reader and meta-moderator (and yes, I read many of the articles I meta-modded and their responses, to make sure that I would get non obvious situations right).

    The news business, even in it's blog form is a tough business indeed. When the mother of all blogs (i.e Slashdot itself) needs to go trolling for clicks with a front page link to a teenage fanboy's blog related to iPods, it's a sad day indeed.

    This article is neither "news for nerds", nor "stuff that matters".

    But it's a predictable click gatherer - and it's been promoted to the front page by the Cmdr himself, not a junior apprentice editor.

    The Cmdr hasn't lost his marbles - quite the opposite, he has a business to run - and this business is desperately competing with the shrill upstarts with editorial models solely around popularity, rather than quality.

    The unwashed masses supply more clicks than even moderately intelligent and critical thinkers.

    Populism at work, because populism pays. So now we have editorial control trying to emulate populism. Not the first and not the last time that will happen.

    I understand that, but I see a fatal disconnect with Slashdot doing it. Slashdot doesn't do populism best. Slashdot's strength is (was) in quality control (editorial control , followed by discussion with moderation and meta moderation).

    However, when the first input (editorial control) to the process isn't even remotely attempting quality control, all other quality control processes are becoming rather irrelevant.

    Or to put it more bluntly, if the whole story is a troll, the comments, moderations and meta-moderations can't untroll it.

    So I think Slashdot is losing it's way in this battle and like all good things will slowly fade away.

    Reminds me a bit of apple in the early to mid 90s. They tried to emulate the populists of their day in their industry, when that's not what they did best.

    Why am I mentioning apple?

    Because against all odds, apple found its way again and came back - and found that their original essence could get them back into their highly respected and quite nicely profitable niche and they even could become the number one popular choice in another field.

    Here's to hoping that Slashdot can do the same, because I miss Slashdot without its original essence.

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