iPod: What's Next? – How Did I Do?

In late June I posted my thoughts about what Apple would release for iPods at its annual September music event.  The post was prompted mostly by the release of the iPhone 4 and got me thinking about how its technology would trickle down to the consumer-oriented and unsubsidized iPod Touch.  My predictions were based partially on history, partially  on rumors, and partially on complete speculation.  Let’s see how I did, one prediction at a time.

iPod Touch

  • Retina display, A4, Camera.  CORRECT. I wasn’t quite sure about this, but I’ll give it to myself anyway.  The camera isn’t 3 MP as I predicted, but its there, so close enough.
  • No front-facing camera with Face Time. WRONG.  I didn’t think they could afford to put it in, but they did.  I’m glad I was wrong.
  • Apple will keep the third generation around as the low end. WRONG.  Apple did not keep the the 3rd gen Touch around, instead opting to offer a 4th generation Touch complete with a Retina Display, Face Time camera, gyroscope, 512 MB memory, and A4 processor at the low end.  That is much more generous than I had been expecting.
  • 16 or 32 GB storage at the low end. WRONG. I predicted 16 or 32 GB mostly because I figured if they kept the previous gen around they could afford to up the storage a bit.  Since they offered all the goodies at the lowest price point, they kept it at 8 GB.
  • $199 price point for the low end. WRONG. I was close on the price, but not exact.  Apple actually eliminated the $199 price point and put the low end touch at $229.  I’m pretty sure that was to cover the hefty tech that the low end Touch now has.  Overall I think Apple’s decision results in a pretty good value.
  • 64 and 128 GB capacities for mid and high end. WRONG.  As with the iPhone, Apple kept the capacities in the fourth generation the same as they were in the third, which for the touch was 32 and 64 GB.
  • FM or HD radio support. WRONG.  Wow, I’m not doing well here…

iPod Nano

After a rousing failure predicting the iPod Touch, let’s see how I did with the nano.

  • Retain the same basic shape. WRONG.  Apple cut the size of the nano in half.  IN HALF PEOPLE!
  • An improved camera that takes pictures and video. WRONG.  They took the camera out completely and didn’t say a thing about it.
  • Capacity increases to 16 and 32 GB. WRONG.  Boy, I just can’t win.  All of this space-saving apparently made it difficult (and unprofitable) to increase capacity.
  • $99 price point.  WRONG.  I should know that Apple wouldn’t cut prices!
  • CRAZY IDEA: A touch screen! CORRECT. Finally! I was right about something.

iPod Shuffle

  • No changes unless they turn the entire thing into a screen. Kind of right – it was just for a different model.  Ok, WRONG.  Gah.  I didn’t expect them to go back in time…

iPod Classic

  • Replace 160 GB hard drive with 128 MB Flash storage. WRONG. They didn’t change the iPod Classic at all, in fact, they didn’t even mention it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it disappeared in the next few months.
  • New interface, camera, FM tuner. Wrong, Wrong, and WRONG.

So how did I do? Well, out of 15 predictions, I got 2 right.  That’s a 13% success rate.  Whooo hoo!  To be fair most of my predictions were actually rather conservative and Apple one-upped me.  Then again when I look at the predictions again I’m not sure if my updates would really have been that attractive.  Actually they probably would have sucked. Good thing I don’t run Apple 😉 So bottom line, I don’t think I’m quite ready to start putting money on my predictions.  At this point I’m actually worst than a Market Analyst, which is pretty bad.  Better luck next time…

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