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How Apple could reinvent the iPod as a music device

6 min read
  • Apple discontinued the last iPod Classic model in 2014 after six generations.
  • The current iPod touch is neglected and is a failing market, so we explore how a dedicated music device could see the iPod’s revival.

It’s been over twenty years since the introduction of the first iPod, and since 2015, Apple has neglected the iPod line, discontinued the majority of the lineup, and no longer promotes the iPod touch.

The demand for the latest iPhone and iPad models makes it clear that re-launching the iPod doesn’t make sense from a revenue perspective, but with Apple’s reinvestment in music, could it find a way for iPod to work in 2021? This concept from OneAppleNews suggests that Apple should position the ‘new’ iPod as a music device – songs from Apple Music, audiobooks through the Books app and podcasts you subscribe too with Apple Podcasts.

Unlike the current iPod touch, which has the App Store and full functionality of iOS, Apple should put the music controls up front and center, and make AirPlay functionality, AirPods integration and links with its services very clear. The iPod should also support third-party music, podcast and audiobook apps, and like it does on iPhone, it must integrate it properly.

The design remains familiar to the iPod Classic, but integrates the scroll wheel from the new Apple TV Siri Remote, with Siri activation, back and forwards buttons, and play/pause. The middle part can also be used for the scroll wheel features, and is a significant upgrade from the last Classic model. Software should remain a focus and the small screen prevents too much information from being displayed at your fingertips. The music player, like on iPhone and iPad, should be prominent, and link in with Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music and the rest.

Apple’s software innovations of the past five years, like AirPlay, to stream audio to smart TVs and speakers, seamless controls with AirPods, and the iCloud ecosystem, could see the return of the iPod in a form factor that’s more portable than ever.

But users want devices that can perform more than one operation, and that’s why the iPhone is now a camera, phone, gaming device and productivity machine, and Apple Watch a fitness, health and companion device. It’s also why the iPod, which lacks power, phone call capabilities and camera features, has been slowly discontinued, and why this idea probably won’t work.

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