Nothing lasts forever, even things that we love and use. At some point in time, we give up treasured things when we realize they are worn out or obsolete. No matter what it is, eventually it comes to an end. The product gets to the decline stage and it’s time to use those resources for a new product. Time for a burial.
In recent years some of the most popular product burials have included Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer (now being reinstated), multiple Ford car product lines, Bronco (now being manufactured again), BlackBerry phones, the Volkswagen Beetle, Segway, and more.
Today, another beloved product has been added to the gone-but-not-forgotten list, and it’s a sad one. Apple has now officially stopped all production of the iPod. Yes, after stopping the Nano and Shuffle a few years ago, Apple has now ceased manufacturing all iPods and is only selling until inventory runs out.
The iPod was introduced in 2001 when it held 1,000 songs, has 5-gigabytes of storage, and cost $399. The iPod Touch followed in 2007, and the most recent (and last) iPod Touch launched in 2019. Over the two decades of its productive and prolific life, there were more than two dozen iPod models. By April of 2007 Apple had sold 100 million iPods. Today, an estimated 450 million iPods have been sold worldwide! Without the iPod, there would have been no iPhone.
In my humble opinion, the iPod was one of the most revolutionary products of all times. It ushered us into the truly portable music category; we could take any music anywhere, anytime on a small device that fit into a pocket. Revolutionary.
Nice to have known you, iPod. R.I.P.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students: What was the first Apple product they got? When? How many Apple products do they have now?
- Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
- Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
- Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.
- For fun, play the first iPod TV commercial: https://youtu.be/mE_bDNaYAr8
Sources: Mickle, T. (10 May 2022). Farewell to the iPod. New York Times; Prang, A. and Stern, J. (10 May 2022). Apple is discontinuing the iPod after more than a two decade run. Wall Street Journal; other news sources.