Friday, September 12, 2014

Goodbye Traditional iPod, 2001-2014

The product life cycle is very accelerated for tech products, but still it's a surprise and a disappointment that Apple is pulling the plug on its iconic traditional iPod.

My household has purchased 5 in the past 13 years, rejoicing as the profile became slimmer and lighter while storage expanded over the years. At home, at the gym, in the car, out walking, the iPod has been a companion and a convenient way to listen to music, audio books, and podcasts. No subscription fees, just a one-time purchase price and all the audio files I could fit (plus photos and other files). What could be easier?

As so many others have noted, the iPod wasn't the first digital music player. But the click wheel and easy connection to iTunes started a design revolution that had a ripple effect on tech products in many categories.

In the pantheon of must-have trendy gadgets, the white ear buds of the iPod stood out and made a design statement. The TV commercials and print ads were striking and stylish, not to mention entertaining. Often imitated, never duplicated.

No matter what happens with the Apple Watch product launch, the iPod will be missed. Its legacy will live on in the elegance of advertising and design of gadgets, including the Watch, and in the way new product launches are orchestrated throughout the industry.

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