Sales data from NPD Group show that while Mac sales continue to be impressive, the iPod is starting to stagnate and decline. Mac sales are up about 22 percent year over year, and iPod sales, well, they’re down, down, down. Just how down? Sixteen percent down.
Who’s responsible for this increase? Gene Munster believes we should all be blaming the new MacBook Airs and Mac Minis, but we probably can’t rule out those Thunderbolt iMacs either, despite them not being in Munster’s hit list lineup.
All good things must come to an end, and that iconic, white MP3 player that could has to die at some point. Sadly, that point is likely in the very near future. As more and more people move to convergent devices like iPhones, the standalone portable MP3 market will continue to become a secondary product market. I currently use my iPhone for all of my music listening needs when I’m not exercising (I own the newest nano as well), but most people are hitting the streets with their iPhones while they pound the pavement and try to shed a couple extra calories. Who can blame them? They can listen to music and track themselves on a pedometer, or they could listen to music, plot their run, track their speed fluctuations and check their Twitter stream from an iPhone. It’s kind of a no-brainer.
Unless Apple manages to open up the nano to some apps, the iPod is going to continue to slip. There’s already rumors that the shuffle may be on the chopping block in the upcoming months. They’re unsubstantiated rumors at this point, but it’s hard not to think along the same lines.