back to article Look behind you, 'declining' sub-$5bn iPod. The iWatch has come... to EAT YOU

The semi-mythical iWatch is set to make the iPod extinct, an analyst has predicted. Christopher Caso, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group, prophesied the death of the iPod, which will be supplanted in Apple's product range whenever the new wearable computer comes out. He had been on a pilgrimage to the Far East, where …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    That'll be the iWatch with the foldout 6" display will it?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      iPod has 4 models - shuffle, nano, touch and classic. Only one of those has a large screen... the nano/shuffle could definitely be replaced by a watch. The classic is a niche product and you can tell Apple want to push you away from massive local storage to iCloud. Touch is a subset of iPhone but I don't know if it's a big enough seller to be safe.

      It's also possible the writer didn't include iPod Touch in his analysis but was referring to more traditional iPod models which are focused on music rather than video/apps.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        "the nano/shuffle could definitely be replaced by a watch"

        I believe you can already buy a strap to replace your watch with a nano.

  2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Spartacus' 1st Law of Apple Rumours:

    If a rumour or analyst statement (like there's a difference!) states that Apple will be releasing a new product with 2 or more different sized models - it can be safely assumed to be untrue.

    I'm pretty sure none of the rumours I've read have come out right. The ones that said the new iPhones / iPads would be like this, and then gave a range of new sizes - all turned out to be bollocks. I assume they're founded on Apple ordering parts for prototyping - or possibly just causing trouble. Or the rumour-mongers just making stuff up...

    1. Ted Treen
      Facepalm

      Rumours...

      "...an analyst has predicted..."

      Whatever precedes (or follows) those words has all the credibility of a tale by The Brothers Grimm...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rumours...

        There is a memorial to the Grimm brothers in the middle of Hanau, home of the German nuclear industry. A pair of ground breaking and respectable philologists, responsible for codifying so much European myth, they are probably spinning in their graves at generator turbine speeds as a result of even being compared tangentially to market analysts. Fortunately, you cannot libel the dead.

  3. JDX Gold badge

    Watch for music - headphones?

    As I said above, size-wise a watch could supplant shuffle/nano quite well. But wouldn't it be impractical to plug a set of headphones into your watch and have the lead flapping around? Since Apple are obsessed with style and usability they must have a solution for this?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Watch for music - headphones?

      Bluetooth headphones.

      That is all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Watch for music - headphones?

        This is an example of the accessory being bigger than the product.

        An alternative would be to include the music player functionality in the BT headphones and put a remote control in the watch, using either low power BT or the microwave band used for mice.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Watch for music - headphones?

          "or the microwave band used for mice."

          You want to place a microwave device on your head? You sick bastard. That'll cause cancer, hallucinations, boil your brain, act as mind control. Microwaves are RADIATION!!!! MAN MADE RADIATION at that, not good, safe, natural, all organic radiation like what we get from rocks and stuff.

          Yeah, the lead lined hoodie :-)

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Watch for music - headphones?

            John Brown,

            No. He's not a sick bastard for using radiation. Everyone loves radiation.

            He's a sick bastard because he microwaves mice! Poor little things...

            My friend had a snake, and he bought six-packs of frozen mice from the local pet shop. He was defrosting one, and forgot to press the right button. After 15 minutes on full power, the mouse exploded, with the tail stuck to one wall of the microwave. He had to buy his Mum a new one after that.

            1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

              Re: Watch for music - headphones?

              He had to buy her a new mouse? Always put my daughters (whose snake it is) on to defrost..... Any way, clean the microwave and flog it off (or even find some new stickers and give it back to his mum :-)

              1. Simon Harris Silver badge
                Flame

                Re: Watch for music - headphones?

                " Always put my daughters (whose snake it is) on to defrost....."

                You put your daughters in the microwave to defrost? ... you sick bastard!

                Oops.. wrong program ----------------------------------------------------->

            2. Wyrdness

              Re: Watch for music - headphones?

              This strikes me as a far more interesting topic of conversation than the latest churnings from the Apple rumour mill.

              I used to defrost frozen mice in the microwave, when I had a snake. I can confirm that they don't need anywhere near 15 minutes before they explode. Trust me when I say that you don't want an exploded mouse in your microwave.

              1. JDX Gold badge

                Re: Watch for music - headphones?

                Bluetooth headphones are only relevant for those who use headphones. Ear-buds are more popular and crucially, introducing ANOTHER thing you have to charge up isn't great.

    2. Steve Todd

      Re: Watch for music - headphones?

      Bluetooth?

      Edit: beaten to the punch.

    3. Buzzword

      Re: Watch for music - headphones?

      I'm still waiting for the iPendant. It places the tiny iPod hardware in a pendant around your neck. It's the same location as the volume controls on the standard iPod headphone cable, so we're already used to having buttons there. The display would be upside-down like a nurse's watch.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: Watch for music - headphones?

        "I'm still waiting for the iPendant"

        The chief selling point for the iPod Shuffle (2nd generation) for me was when I was going through a fitness phase, it had a little clip on the back, so I could attach it to my gym kit and it wouldn't just bounce around on the end of the wire.

      2. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: Watch for music - headphones?

        Your iPendant idea reminds me of the iPod Flea - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJPD-pyETTc

    4. Major Ebaneezer Wanktrollop

      Maybe Apple will use a globally unlicensed, 2.4 GHz short-range radio frequency band so that a lead isn't required?

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I have a watch, thank you

    So, apart from being the next must-have status symbol for all Apple addicts, what does the thing do ?

    Apparently, it "plays nice with your iPhone". Well that's a sales pitch that does not impress me. Besides, I have an Android phone.

    It's a watch, so it will have minuscule screen space unless they go for the dork look (possible). For energy-saving reasons, I'll bet you'll have to press a button to activate said screen which means that, as a watch, it is less useful than its regular competitors. I sincerely hope Apple will not go and do the not-replaceable battery thing on this, but you never know. And what else will it have ? Blutooth probably, otherwise it won't play with anything. Sounds like dismal battery life in view.

    And it's supposed to replace the Ipod, so that means earbud jacks going to your wrist. Or maybe Blutooth to your iPhone - except that we know that Apple does not like music collections that it does not control via iTunes. Sounds like a mess right there.

    Yeah, I know, it's Apple. There might be a miracle and this thing might actually be useful.

    I doubt it though.

    1. Steve Todd
      Stop

      Re: I have a watch, thank you

      Erm, how about you wait until (or if) Apple release the thing, look at what it actually offers, see if the price and features match up with your needs and then decide? Saying you won't buy an unannounced, mythical thing because you think it will work in a certain way is only setting yourself up for ridicule.

      1. Philip Lewis

        Re: I have a watch, thank you

        "is only setting yourself up for ridicule."

        the MO of many a Reg commentard, to be sure!

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: I have a watch, thank you

      I used to have a Sony Walkman. Even if it still worked, I wouldn't refuse to get an MP3 player instead.

  5. Anonymous Cowherder

    You can have my ipod when you get it from my cold dead fingers

    I have a 120GB iPod Classic that was only replaced when it became too small, I replaced it with a 160GB iPod Classic.

    I manage it through iTunes which is a bit of a pain and can't use flac but it does mean I have a large part of my digital music collection with me on the move, it plugs into my car nicely and lets me change tracks, playlsts, podcasts via the car's touchscreen.

    If I connect my android phone via bluetooth I don't get quite the same functionality. Plus, I'm not a fan of cloud stored music, I have a 5GB 4G data package which I could use for this but would rather use that for other purposes.

    It is for us the consumers to decide how we access the content we wish to access, not for consumer device designers to dictate how we do this. Just give me a massive amount of disc space in a portable device and let me worry about backing it up and syncing. The cloud works best for me as a storage space but for day to day use I use local copies.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: You can have my ipod when you get it from my cold dead fingers

      The headphone socket on my now rather elderly 80GB iPod Classic is dying. I've also never liked their scrollwheel/clickwheel thingy. And I've got an iPod dock that I picked up cheap that doesn't connect to their new stuff.

      I won't be replacing it with a watch. I have about 25GB of music now plus untold GB of podcasts. So 60-80GB is a minimum requirement (so I don't have to synch and move stuff around too often). Yes I have a data allowance on my phone, no I won't be streaming from the cloud. Just exactly how well does that work on underground trains anyway?

      I don't know what I'm going to go for next. Maybe Neil Young's Pono player will work out? Or a phone that takes SD cards?

      1. Extra spicey vindaloo

        Re: You can have my ipod when you get it from my cold dead fingers

        Streaming from the cloud doesn't work well at all, I'm sat within ten feet of the wifi access point and sometimes it takes ages to download the following track.

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge

          Streaming from the cloud?

          Three words... "Isle of Wight"!

          Having just spent a few days in Shanklin, 4G coverage was pretty much non-existent, 3G was shaky - lucky to get GSM at all in places, and non-existent hotel WiFi. Until the day I can be sure I can get a connection wherever I need it, if I want my data, it travels with me!

    2. Julian Bond

      Re: You can have my ipod when you get it from my cold dead fingers

      Quite. So where's my 1TB iPod Classic, Apple? I know it's a small market but it's a real one. So if Apple won't make a pocket player that stores 1TB, plays FLAC, Ogg and so on and has a high quality DAC and output stage, then who will?

  6. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    "These are likely to replace the iPod because the watches offer similar functionality."

    Except for crappy battery-life that is...

  7. Matt_payne666

    ipods and watches serve two different needs.... I have an old classic iPod - just rejuvenated with an eBay battery... between that and my phone I have my music needs well catered for... on my wrist lives an Omega Speedmaster Pro... it will take something rather spectacular to replace that...

    iwatches will sell... but the Dick Tracy look in my mind is still a bit naff

    I am mildly drawn to the round moto wrist device - that is cool... but still can't see it gaining any wrist space on my arm...

    As for apple killing off the iPod line... they may well do that... they have created a suite of really rather nice products... but that's the issue... everyone I know with an iPod - that actually uses it... has one that's a good few years old.... I don't know anyone that's got a new revision

    1. Philip Lewis

      Kids are born every minute, my kid got her own and I kept my own. When hers broke after years of abuse, she got an iPhone which more than accommodated her music collection. When that got stolen, she got a new better iPhone which still is way bigger than her music collection. She has effectively moved from the iPod to the iPhone.

      So, the fact that there are plenty of people who have iPods that are being actively used does not mean that (a) they won't be replaced (broken, too little storage, too big to carry or whatever) or that (b) there is not a market for new consumers.

      iPods are still cheaper than phones, and not every parent wants to supply their sprog with a phone. The iPod serves a very useful purpose and I suggest it will not go away anytime soon.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Gimp

        Steampunk design?

        Since the steampunk design type of watch tends to the large, it could accommodate a fairly large screen discretely* - only useful if you're into steampunk though of course

        *when compared to the rest of the watch

  8. psychonaut

    stopped reading at

    "an analyst has predicted"

    we really do need a B-Ark. soon.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: stopped reading at

      That's a little unfair - in comparison to analysts, telephone sanitisers actually perform a useful function

  9. Rustident Spaceniak
    Childcatcher

    Trouble with the ipod is, most everyone who wants one, has got one apparently.

    The only exception to that rule seem to be kids who're just old enough to write "ipod" on their wish lists; sure a steady market, but also a declining one; and then, people in hitherto-poor countries just coming into the sort of money that affords iThings. Seems to me neither of these populations would mind having an iWatch instead of a Pod; but then I'm not a market analyst.

    In any case, I can't see people buying a watch that needs recharging every few days, like the Samsung one that was recently discussed here. That would be too much like rewinding your watch every night and morning!

    Then again, I've long dreamed of that laser projector built into my wristwatch... (sigh)

    1. Pristine Audio

      Re: Trouble with the ipod is, most everyone who wants one, has got one apparently.

      >The only exception to that rule seem to be kids who're just old enough to write "ipod" on their wish lists...

      My son got a mid-range Samsung phone for his 13th birthday and I stuck a spare 32GB SD card in it. I haven't seen his old 4th generation iPod Nano for a long time...

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Trouble with the ipod is, most everyone who wants one, has got one apparently.

      Then again, I've long dreamed of that laser projector built into my wristwatch... (zap!!!)

      FTFY

  10. Truth4u

    im so trendy

    in 10 years we will have cochlear implants for everyone but they will have wifi and 500gb of flash. apple will be the trendy company that uses a gun to shoot it into your head and for a small subscription of all your salary, you can sync with the iCloud and get any kind of music you want as long as its top 40 pop.

  11. klaxhu

    predictions ...

    is this about guessing the future or looking at facts and predicting it?

    the ipod sales were and will be in decline since the smartphones internal memory has exploded and even more since itunes and other music stores. it doesn't make sense to travel with 2 devices when you can have just 1 that has everything. yes, there is more battery in the ipod and yes there could be more capacity for less £ overall, but nobody cares about that anymore...

    the iwatch will contribute to the decline of the product that saved apple from disappearing and nobody really cares ...we have ipads, smartphones and other ithings that can do whatever the ipod did and better. i still use my 120GB ipod that has all my music and it is great for longer travels, but that's it. otherwise it just sits in a drawer tucked away ....

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: predictions ...

      Quote

      it doesn't make sense to travel with 2 devices when you can have just 1 that has everything.

      I beg to differ.

      I travel with a 2nd Gen iPod Touch. It does everything I want of it. My current playlist is some 56hours long.

      In the time I have had the iPod, I have had the following Phones.

      Sony Ericsson T610 (POS)

      iPhone 3 & 4 (company device)

      Nokia (blackberry rip off, forget the number but it wasn't the N800)

      HTC Desire

      Samsung android GT-S5570 (another POS)

      Nokia 6310i (current personal phone)

      iPhone 5c (company device)

      Many of the above could not play my music. some had appalling battery life. Some were not smartphones at all. Yet the iPod despite the limitations of iTunes on it, it is just carries on. Huge battery life means that I can don't have to worry about charging it every few days.

      I would expect to change my phone more frequently that the iPod. It weighs next to nothing so carrying it is no real hardship at all.

      Just my experience but I do travel a lot on business. I'm off to India on Tuesday and the US in the middle of May for 3 weeks.

      For me having two devices works fine. I do accept that others will have different requirements and that my way of working may not be to everyone's satisfaction.

      1. Sir Sham Cad

        Re: I beg to differ

        Your strategy seems very similar to my own. I have a 1st gen iPod Touch but the battery on that just cannot hold a charge anymore so it's OK for maybe a couple of hours playing time.

        However, when that runs out of battery I still have my phone. Likewise if my phone conks out I still have my iPod Touch. If I used an iPhone or other single device then, when that runs out of juice I'm SOL for all functions.

        My tablet can play movies and music, held locally or in the Cloud. My smartphone can play music and movies, held locally or in the Cloud. Both can stream from Spotify. When my old iPod Touch battery finally stops being useful I will actually replace it with a new iPod Touch because the tablet is too big to lug around just as a portable media player and my phone is for communications (and internet when I've got no WiFi anywhere).

        Since I had the iPod Touch every phone I've had has been able to play music (Sony Ericsson T610 - agree it was a POS, Nokia N73, Nokia N75, Nokia 5230, HTC Desire Z) and none of them have ever replaced the small, slim, "smart" dedicated media device.

        If you shrink down the iPod Touch, put it on my wrist and add a couple of Smartwatch functions then great but I still get to have a dedicated device seperate from my other gadget functions.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a 128Gb (Sandisk gigabytes so actually not) micro-sd card in my Samsung phone that allows me to store most of my music collection in FLAC quality (some 24 bit eg The Beatles), listen via bluetooth headphones and interface with my car via bluetooth so I can play many hundreds of hours of content without interruption (in theory).

    And I need an Apple watch why?

    What we need are revolutionary, probably noisy, bands to enthuse a generation and get them acrtually thinking and passionate about something, not more devices to distribute badly encoded R&B garbage.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Using FLAC is a good idea (wish more did), but it's a tad OTT for listening to music in a car :)

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Live music is alive and kicking - it has to be, since record sales are down. The more awful the mainstream has become, the healthier the alternative scene. Heck, there's young people listening to folk music these days, as well as other genres. The radio won't give you this impression, but gig posters and the internet might.

      Don't worry!

      1. Truth4u

        The corporate state, of which Apple is a dominant player, doesn't think too highly of freedom of expression unless what you express is nothing but a shameless fixation on money and possessions. In 20 years live gigs will be illegal because Apple will pay the judges to rule that live music infringes on their god given right to make money from other people's recorded music.

        Similarly, it will also be illegal to operate a bedroom recording studio, because you cannot be trusted to produce the right kind of "message" for the consumer populace.

        If you want folk music, Apple will be happy to pay some charlatan a lot of money to make music in a folk style, but with a pro-corporate consumerist message to replace the pro-family, pro-property rights message that the corporatocracy finds so distasteful.

        Some guy with an acoustic guitar saying how much he likes buying the new iPod, the DJs will play what they're payed to play

  13. Velv Silver badge

    Watch sales have been in severe decline since invention of the mobile phone. There is a generation out there for whom receiving their first watch (and learning to tell the time) was not the big deal some of us older (ha!) generations had as a right of passage.

    The iWatch will sell. Will it replace anything else in the line up? Given everything in the line up currently has its own uses, probably not.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      [citation needed]

      "Watch sales have been in severe decline since invention of the mobile phone"

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    [citation found]

    http://www.fhs.ch/script/getstat.php?file=histo_pays_140303_a.pdf

    This reports that the global value of Watch exports (so I guess that excludes domestic consumption) has grown from CHF 10.3 billion to CHF 21.8 billion between 2000 and 2013.

    From this, I conclude that you statement is now shown to be false, and false by a rather large amount

    Any other pieces of drivel you feel the need to spew out?

    1. Semtex451 Silver badge

      Re: [citation found]

      @AC

      To be fair, its not really a great citation.

      That's Swiss watches, benefiting as there are more wealthy folk, who naturally want a Swiss watch i.e. the high end.

      I wonder how many sub £150 watches Argos shifted before say 1995, and since...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: [citation found]

        To be fair, I couldn't be arsed to find a better one, they exist.

        And you stupid "rhetorical" question would add nothing to your argument no matter what the answer

  15. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    Happy

    Sports

    Make it neat, thin and waterproof - and with internal sensors, metering and GPS etc and with a decent app it would make the purchase of an Ambit 2 or 910XT a tricky proposition.

  16. Fenton

    Watches are soooo yesterday

    We'll according to my daughter anyway.

    Now an iwatch will have to have a tiny battery, but will probably draw a lot of power.

    Now I like a watch to tell the time. Without me having to take it off my wrist to recharge (now on year 5 on my wrist watch without a battery change)

    Likewise my headphones I don't want to have to recharge (I know I will keep forgetting).

    I'm used to recharging my phone, it sits next to me at work plugged into a USB port, is about the right size for surfing, has a lot of storage (but not enough to get rid of my iPod Classic).

    The only reason I can think of for an iwatch is FaceTime or a quick glance to see who's calling and maybe the odd fitness app,

    Anything else then something like google glass is more appropriate (augmented reality).

  17. I've forgotten what I wanted to say...

    My not particularly expensive watch is a kinetic and no batteries are required... Could this run an iDevice?

  18. Random Coolzip

    " it doesn't make sense to travel with 2 devices when you can have just 1 "

    Sure it does. When the battery in your iPad dies, you can then fire up the iPod so you can at least listen to music until you get to your destination. Or you can use your phone to take pictures so you don't look like an absolute tw*t trying to do so with your tablet.

    With devices getting so small, it doesn't really matter how many of them you have, they still all fit in a backpack/duffle/overcoat. It's just the chargers and cables that give me fits.

  19. Dick Emery

    iWatch Pron

    With the iWatch Pron you no longer need to charge your 'i' device as it works on friction.

  20. Alan Denman

    Bluetooth headphones Ut Uh

    So how long would a tiny watch battery last for lots of BT data at a distance as long as your arm?

    And I already thought the watch problem was already a battery life one.

    The iPod is dead and I am Watching the excuses..

  21. rav

    Say what?

    Unless it has 200gig of storage, Bluetooth and play for 5 hours, I don't want it.

    The iPod classic is the best.

  22. Alan Denman

    a 5 hour watch?

    then they will have to call it the Eclipse Watch.

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