Apple Should Kill Off the iPod Touch

One example always cited of Steve Jobs’ genius at the helm of Apple is his decision to kill off the iPod Mini, a best selling product at the time, and introduce an entirely new product line in its place, the iPod Nano. It was a bold move, unexpected, and one competitors such as HP or Microsoft would never have contemplated doing. It worked too, as the iPad Nano became a best seller, ushered in an era of flash memory iPods, and is still part of the lineup today. Apple has always been about innovation, and Steve Jobs knew better than anyone else that if you stand on your laurels, your company will quickly fade into the background.
Realizing that is the Tao of Apple, I suggest they should make a bold move at the upcoming iPhone/iPod fall event… Apple should kill off the iPod Touch.

The iPod Touch has always been a bit of a strange device, basically a stripped down iPhone, without any phone or cell data capability. It was called an iPod, but was completely different from Apple’s older iPods that focused almost solely on music. The iPod Touch became an iPhone for people that didn’t want the burdensome cell phone contract, but wanted to play all the cool iPhone games and use all the iPhone apps. It no doubt has been very successful, and probably accounts for more sales of iPods than any of the other iPods. Yet, it still seems like an illegitimate child, not quite up to the iPhone’s status.

With the coming fall event, this is Apple’s opportunity to make a trademark dramatic move and kill off the iPod Touch from their product line. However, they shouldn’t just leave a void where the iPod Touch once was, they should replace it with the much rumored low-end iPhone. The low-end iPhone would fit perfectly into the market where the iPod Touch was, and in many ways would be better than the iPod Touch for most consumers.

First, if the low end iPhone sold, without a contract, for around $200-300, it would be in the same price range as the iPod Touch, and would draw the same buyers. However, it could potentially draw in many more buyers with the fact it could also be used as a phone by simply putting in a sim card. It would be a dream device for many that want to simply use ‘pay as you go’ plans and don’t want to be locked into a 2 year contract. Apple probably also has the clout to make a data plan option, a la the 3G iPad, so that you could simply buy a months worth of data on your iPhone, without even having a voice plan. It could basically be the 3G iPod, with the added benefit of you being able to make it a full fledged iPhone if you desire.

The low end iPhone would also simplify Apple’s product line, as they could sell either the high end or low end iPhones, and steer people only interested in a music player to the iPod Nano, Shuffle, or Classic. Right now, it’s a bit confusing to buy the iPod Touch, because if you really want one, you most likely should be buying an iPhone. In the age where almost everyone has a cell phone, it seems antiquated to have to have both a cell phone and iPod in your pocket. Apple could get rid of that confusion in whether to buy an iPod Touch or iPhone by basically combining them in the form of the low end iPhone.

Killing off the iPod Touch would also have extra benefits to Apple such as lowered manufacturing costs, as Apple could reuse iPhone manufacturing to produce low end iPhone parts, instead of making an entirely separate device. The cell phone carriers might also like the extra opportunity to sell voice and data plans to people. You could even see the low end iPhone being offered for free with a 2 year contract.

If Apple did replace the iPod Touch with a low end iPhone, they also would have to make sure the high end iPhone was significantly more advanced, or else most people would simply buy the low end version. I think having faster processors, higher end camera, and more storage would be good differentiators. Even with that, I’d still be tempted to simply buy the cheap iPhone and not be burdened by an excessive contract.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens at the fall event. It seems like doing a dramatic move such as this, after Steve Jobs has stepped down, would signal to the world that Apple is still innovating and continuing to do the things that made it successful in the past. Also, this would be the first time the iPhone and iPod events were combined, so what better time then to basically combine the products by replacing the iPod Touch with the low end iPhone.


149 thoughts on “Apple Should Kill Off the iPod Touch

  1. Your stupid. You missed the whole reason for the ipod touch. The ipod touch helps pay for the development and build costs, lowers economies of scale, and the whole idea is to remove the monthly service cost of a iphone, so it can be used by kids.

  2. […] I took it upon myself to dip my toe into the waters of Apple punditry, and posted an article about reasons why Apple should kill off the iPod Touch. I didnt think too much about it, and […]

  3. Umm…no! The iPod touch is NOT the illegitimate child in the iPod family; it’s more of a cooler younger sibling that the older kids are jealous of.And Apple should NOT remove them from their product line now or ever. What really needs to be removed is the other, outdated iPods. Their time has passed like the iPods that came before the click-wheel iPods. Before the iPhone was released, no phone had a touchscreen; now, any phone without one isn’t that cool. The future of technology and mp3 players is touch screen, not click-wheels.

  4. I think ipod touches are the more popular then the nano and the regular ipods. the younger generation are all about the touch screens while the older generation just want to things to easy to manage. Why take the ipod touches off the market when they are the most popular thing out. unless the upgrade them to something better and test them out to see how everyone will adapt to them. Just saying!!

  5. I am a proud owner of a 4th generation iPod Touch – I bought the top of the line model with 64 GB of memory… and I love it. The main reason why I love the iPod Touch is because there is NO MONTHLY BILL and the fact that it is NOT a cell phone. I don’t own any cell phones. Never have. Never will. I hate more monthly bills, cell phone contracts, or even being bothered by phone calls when I am away from my real phone. Yuck!However I love the iPod Touch because it can use most of the iPhone/iPad apps… and I use plenty of them. I have about 80 apps on my iPod Touch. Use the device for everything including writing, emailing, web browsing, music listening, video watching, streaming audio, book reading, note taking, photography and making movies. What a GREAT little device… essentially a GREAT COMPUTER without the burden of an additional monthly charge.What’s not to like?I hope Apple keeps making the iPod Touch for generations to come.Having Apple relegate a low end iPhone to take the iPod Touch’s place is a bad idea because from what I’ve read the low end iPhone will only have 8 GB of memory. The iPod Touch which I gladly paid the premium price for has plenty of memory for everything I do and as I like to emphasize, doesn’t whack me with a monthly phone bill.The iPod Touch is truly a great companion to my Mac Book Pros.(I also own other iPods for different, dedicated audio uses).

  6. Cool. I need a phone that doesn’t duplicate much on my iPad; totally replaces my Shuffle (which I use constantly) and my wimpy pay-as-you-go Nokia. $100 ~ 150…

  7. I want iPod Touch to keep going. Using it as mini-tablet, does not drain battery of my chipo cell phone.When I use chipo cell, I keep eyes on my iPod, can see it WITHOUT taking off ear or interrupting conversation.1. Don’t need no stinky blutooth or bulky iPhone.2. Less chance of breaking/dropping the thing when pulling out.3. Add GPS and Compass – that’s it.4. You, sir, are clueless about usability.Bottom line, do the same upgrades as with iPhone, but slimmer, more memory, less weight, cheaper. iPod thing is killer. Steve Jobs is the Genius.

  8. […] dieser Aspekt den Todessto fr den iPod Touch bedeuten. Das glaubt zumindest der Experte von VintageZen, der diese Ansicht jedoch nicht nur allein vertritt. Im bereits angesprochen op-ed mit dem Titel […]

  9. […] View the original article here Posted in Uncategorized – Tagged cell, contract, dramatic move, illegitimate child, iphone, iphone apps, line, music, phone, strange device SHARE THIS Twitter Facebook Delicious StumbleUpon E-mail « Scumbag iPod – Memebase: Rage Comics, Forever Alone, Y U No … No Comments Yet […]

  10. The current iPod Touch sets the standard for music players, the iPhone 4 sets the standard for smartphones. That standard needs to be set significantly higher in order to attract people who already own an iPod Touch to upgrade. They are important potential buyers Apple wouldn’t want to miss out on, I think. A dumbed down iPod Touch plus sim card slot is NEITHER a decent phone NOR a decent music player (8GB is ridiculous). My conclusion: the only viable option is an iPod Touch with slightly higher specs plus sim card slot and no price change.

      1. “Profit”, he said. As in actual “money remaining after expenses have been subtracted from revenue.”Apple has consistently stated in legally-accountable earnings reports that they run the music store and app store at more-or-less a break-even basis, and a little back-of-the-envelope calculation seems to confirm that. (I do it every so often when an earnings report or keynote speech gives us new numbers to play with; the revenue from the music/app stores is always a tiny fraction of the revenue from iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad hardware sales. Even doing a grossly mismatched comparison of hardware *profit* to digital sales *revenue*, digital sales are still pretty insignificant, around 10% of hardware profits the last time I did the figures.)

  11. What a bad idea! Replace the touch with a phone!Obviously it doesn’t occur to you that most of the people who buy touches don’t want phones. As for low end, the weak ios 4 is low end enough! Maybe there should be an iphone nano, and perhaps also an ipod touch nano and even an ipad nano. But you can’t replace the preferred device for people who don’t want a phone, with a phone.Hmm… maybe someone will develop an app which disables the phone part of your low end iphone, turning it into a touch. It could be called the “ipod touch app!” Yeah, you’re right, it would never get approved.

  12. […] VintageZen argued this week that Apple should replace the iPod touch with a low-end iPhone. With the coming fall event, this is Apples opportunity to make a trademark dramatic move and kill off the iPod Touch from their product line. However, they shouldnt just leave a void where the iPod Touch once was, they should replace it with the much rumored low-end iPhone. The low-end iPhone would fit perfectly into the market where the iPod Touch was, and in many ways would be better than the iPod Touch for most consumers. […]

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  14. Interesting, but won’t happen. It keeps their iPod numbers up. iPod sales are currently dropping about 710% a year. Without the Touch that would be near 20%.

  15. I would buy a new touch if I could get another one without a camera as cameras are banned from work.I love mine and I may not have gotten an I-phone without have experienced apple goodness. Also, you can viop and text with a touch so it is sort of a low end phone.I don’t think of a touch as a kids toy. When I was in school pagers were banned. Now kids can video conference on skype with there phone . . . Go figure!

  16. This seems like a great idea as long as the iPod touch were to still be as compact as it is now and with the same price, but with a few extra features like better camera and option for cellular data.

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  18. Well, Virgin Mobile attempted this with a 16gb iPhone where you pay as low as $35 a month. Guess how much the phone costs? The same price as a 32gb iPad 3.I think the iPod Touch is great. I am planning on getting an Android soon and want to keep my iPod Touch for apps and music while using the Android for internet. You see, I worry about buying apps and then not being able to afford phone service in the future for whatever reason. I don’t want to lose access to my apps. The iPod Touch is best thing to happen if you are someone like me. If you don’t have a reason to use it, then good for you, but don’t try and take a good thing away from everyone else because you are having a hard time understanding exactly why people use it.

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