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Media (Apple) Media Communications Handhelds Hardware

Will The iPhone Kill The iPod? 338

Edward Sinovian writes "According to, the days of MP3 players, digital cameras and satellite navigation systems are numbered with cell phones about to take center stage. "PDAs have already been crushed by smart phones and the same thing looks to be happening with standalone MP3 players, particularly the smaller flash ones — a theory supported by Apple's recent entry into the world of music phones. If you then take into consideration the convergence of camera, GPS, TV and laptop-like functionality into mobile phones, it raises the question of how long it's going to take before all you need is a mobile phone." With that in mind, do you think that the iPhone will kill the iPod?"
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Will The iPhone Kill The iPod?

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  • Yes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AsmCoder8088 ( 745645 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:09PM (#18488765)
    Especially since the iPhone *is* essentially the new iPod.
  • Price (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bytor4232 ( 304582 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:11PM (#18488779) Homepage Journal
    Not as long as smart phones are as expensive as they are now. I can't justify spending 500 bucks on a phone, even thou it can be the only device I carry.

    Plus, a button less phone seems counter-intuitive to me.
  • Ummm, no (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CF4L ( 1072112 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:12PM (#18488803)
    Hmm, let me think, I want an MP3 player Option 1: Buy the iPhone for 600 dollars or whatever it costs Option 2: Buy an ipod for a lot cheaper You're right, I would go with Option 1 - so long iPods!
  • Why would it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MooseMuffin ( 799896 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:13PM (#18488819)
    It costs significantly more money, has significantly less storage space, and inherits the messiness and unpleasantness of cellphone contracts. This doesn't appeal to people who just want to play their mp3s.
  • No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mr100percent ( 57156 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:14PM (#18488841) Homepage Journal
    No, of course not. Did the MacBook Pro kill the MacBook? Did the PowerMac kill off the iMac? WIll a $500 iPhone kill the $99 iPod shuffle? No, but it may eat into the sales of the lower-end model.

    Sheesh, this is a no-brainer.
  • by nbannerman ( 974715 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:15PM (#18488857)
    ... There isn't a cat in hells chance of the iPhone touching the iPods market.


    Price for one. For $499 (with contract), you can get yourself a 4GB iPhone. For $349 you can get an 80GB iPod. That is a least expensive vs most expensive comparison.

    The iPod (well, portable digital music player) market is huge; the numbers speak for themselves. People will happily pay a few hundred dollars for a portable player that'll last a few years. But $499 for a phone, plus contract? That is out of most peoples leagues for something that is completely unproven, if you ask me.
  • Re:Price (Score:2, Insightful)

    by durdur ( 252098 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:16PM (#18488869)
    Right. Cost is an issue. Plus if I am going to shell out that amount of $$, I don't want to carry the device around everywhere. I prefer to carry a cheap phone that I can drop or lose and not worry much about. The cheap phone goes with me, the expensive iPod stays in a bag when I'm not using it. If the iPod/iPhone was a sub-$100 item, though, I might tote it around.
  • No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:16PM (#18488875) Homepage Journal
    And for one very good reason: The iPhone is supposed to be around $600. You can buy iPod Nanos for less than a third of that. iPods were a success, but not an unbelievable hit, until they managed to get the costs down to something your average person can afford as a Christmas or Birthday gift. Not to mention something someone could buy without having to work it in their budget for the next 3 months. The iPhone is just plain too expensive to kill the iPod yet. Maybe if iPhone v.3 or v.4 brings the price down to the point where it's not much more than a regular phone I'll entertain thoughts about it being an iPod killer, but right now I have to say no way.
  • by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:17PM (#18488891)
    Current 'rich' mobile devices won't replace mobile phones until fuel cell or battery revolution occurs.

    Because I don't need a phone that can't live through the day on a single charge. No matter how rich it is.
  • Eventually (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FredDC ( 1048502 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:18PM (#18488909)
    Eventually a single device combining cell phone, camera, pda, mp3 player, GPS, ... will replace stand-alone devices. The transition has already started with devices such as the iPhone. Due to high prices, which is common with new types of devices, global adaptation will not happen instantly. People who have one or more seperate devices will not trade them in right away for a single device. If the seperate devices still work properly people will keep using them. But gradually as prices drop people will start buying the single device.
  • Hey guys (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:19PM (#18488931) Journal
    Let's discuss Apple and their product line, behind the thin veil of a "tech discussion".

    I know I'm going to throw away all my iPods when the iPhone comes out. I've already thrown away my Tivo, VCR, DVD Player, Xbox, PS2, cable box, and 40" LCD screen, because Apple has their own TV now!

    Now that Apple has a phone that can play an mp3 - AN IMPRESSIVE TECHNOLOGICAL ACCOMPLISHMENT! I mean, my god - a phone playing mp3s? What will they think of next!

    You are all asshats. If vcast/treo/etc (every fucking phone plays mp3s) didn't kill the market for a standalone player, why would iPhone? There's an enormous market of people who like music, and dont want a new cell phone. Most people just take the phone thats free with the service.

    Who the fuck would rent an iPod?

    Apple would love it, though, as you can force phones into obsolescense, while the iPod can do its thing until the shitty build quality rears its head.
  • by putaro ( 235078 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:24PM (#18489007) Journal
    Great, so you've got all the functions on your phone but they all suck.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:24PM (#18489019)
    Apple has actually done a pretty excellent job at positioning different choices for people:

    1) Pure music player with a very large storage space for people hwho have to have everything with them (iPod 80GB video)

    2) Phone with music playing and PDA abilities with a medium amount of storage (iPhone)

    3) Devices that are small enough you can use them anywhere discreetly or while in action (iPod mini and nano).

    There are really valid reasons to own all of them. For some people there are valid reasons to own more than one, because they each meet a different need. I could see keeping the 80GB model in a car, while still having the iPhone for roaming use, with a nano for the gym or jogging.

    In general though phones are where the market for many music playing devices is headed, Apple realized that too and is getting ahead of the game with the iPhone. In time we'll probably see other versions to replace at least the mini.
  • Re:Yes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BBandCMKRNL ( 1061768 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:27PM (#18489059)
    My MP3 player fits in the palm of my hand or in my pocket and has a 15 hour playing time. My cell phone has a 2 hour talk time and several day stand-by time, which in my case translates to about 2 days between charging. Why would I risk missing/losing an important phone call to listen to music?

    Let's also not forget that all battery powered devices have a limited number of recharge cycles. Why would I want to shorten the usefull life of my cell phone battery to listen to music?
  • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Achoi77 ( 669484 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:27PM (#18489079)

    besides the fact that it holds less and costs more (compared to the ipod that is)?

    It's a different target audience. I wouldn't necessarily say it will cannibalize sales, it will fragment the demographic and at the same time provide apple with more fine grained detail about the statistical purchasing power their consumers have. Maybe some will buy just the iphone. Maybe others will just get the ipod. Maybe a few will get both. Maybe the price will deter sales. These factors will provide apple with a basic divining rod to find out where to take their future products next.

  • Re:convenience (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arminw ( 717974 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:30PM (#18489119)
    ......Having a single unit that does everything I want it to would be a lot more convenient.......

    But when the battery on your iPod dies, your entertainment ceases for a while. However, when your phone battery goes dead, it can be a matter of life and death. My iPod either sits by my bed to provide music to fall asleep by or in a dock in the car. Battery life is therefore not all that critical. The phone is always in my pocket and when its battery fails, it is a much bigger problem. A swiss army knife is useful, but a dedicated tool for its various functions is usually much better. If the entertainment use impacts the working of the phone, then having two distinct devices is much better.
  • Re:Yes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pkulak ( 815640 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:45PM (#18489347)
    You don't think Apple is going to come up with a non-phone iPod? You think their strategy is to completely abandon their entire market of people who are happy with their current phone and service and not sell any portable music player for under $500 and with a 2-year contract? There is a market for a $500 kick-ass iPhone, but it's probably not the people who currently own $79 shuffles.
  • by OldeTimeGeek ( 725417 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:50PM (#18489413)

    You then copy mp3s across (generally, folders and all) and then navigate these on the device. Quick, easy, and no clunky, proprietary software needed.

    The reason for Apple's "clunky" interface becomes clear when you have a lot of music. I have close to 6000 songs and I'd be hard pressed to remember where I put 'em if I had to keep track of them by organizing them into folders.

  • by mitchell_pgh ( 536538 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:50PM (#18489423)
    The main problem with the all-in-one device is the risk associated with having "all your eggs in one basket" if you will.

    I don't know about the rest of you, but the thought of having a $600 device with me all the time makes me cringe.

    While I have a $400 digital camera, $200 phone and $250 iPod, I don't take them all with me wherever I go. There is some satisfaction with being able to protect some of the devices by not bringing them along. Also, I leave my cell phone at home sometimes when I don't want to be bothered.
  • Here's why (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NDPTAL85 ( 260093 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:50PM (#18489427)
    "If vcast/treo/etc (every fucking phone plays mp3s) didn't kill the market for a standalone player, why would iPhone?"

    Because the VCast and Treo aren't made by Apple. The iPhone is. You see, Apple "gets" simplicity. Its something a geek couldn't understand if it pulled down a geek's pants and blew em.

    This is why the iPod dominated the already present MP3 player market, and why the iPhone will do the same to the Smartphone market.
  • Re:Why would it? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Monday March 26, 2007 @12:52PM (#18489441) Homepage Journal

    That is the problem, battery life.

    Unlike the iPod, you can switch out the battery.

    I suspect though that mp3 player and cellphone convergence will only become more popular, and with them will come longer-life batteries. People will accept a larger cellphone if it eliminates their need to carry an even larger device.

    Also most people just don't need to carry 80GB of music around with them. They can connect their player to their computer once a day or even a week and make 8GB (or less!) work for them just fine.

  • different segments (Score:3, Insightful)

    by u19925 ( 613350 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @01:05PM (#18489629)
    The PDA and smartphones were targeted to the same segments. The people who need PDA are same people who need smartphone and smartphones provides virtually all the functionality of PDA. The price of smartphones with subsidies from phone company was competitive with that of standalone PDA. Hence they killed PDA.

    With iPod and iPhone, the target market is not same. People who want iPod does not necessarily want a cell phone. Yes, there is some overlap, but not enough (at least not yet), to kill the iPod. At high end, iPods provide more storage and at low end, iPods are cheaper.

    However, if the price of iPhone reduces too much, it is likely, people would start buying iPhone as a replacement of iPod. In fact, I already do something similar. When my contract with Cingular expired and I got a new phone, I converted my old phone into an MP3 player (with 2GB miniSD, AM/FM radio, voice recorder and tiny photo/video camera, it is a great gadget to keep in the car all the time).

  • Re:Space (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MotorMachineMercenar ( 124135 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @01:22PM (#18489893)
    "For me it depends on when they have one out with a decent amount of space. Right now, I consider my 30Gb player much too small."

    I was in the same boat a few years back. I thought I couldn't live without my 30GB iPod. I was obsessed with keeping as much of my music with me as possible. Then I took a good look at my listening habits, and realized I never actually _need_ that kind of capacity. I moved to a 4GB Nano, and it's much better with cheaper price and much smaller size. And it holds enough music for an across-the-country road trip. I'm much happier with the Nano than the clunky and heavy "normal" iPod.
  • Re:Yes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chrysrobyn ( 106763 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @01:48PM (#18490339)
    My MP3 player fits in the palm of my hand or in my pocket and has a 15 hour playing time. My cell phone has a 2 hour talk time and several day stand-by time, which in my case translates to about 2 days between charging. Why would I risk missing/losing an important phone call to listen to music?

    I think they're shooting for the kind of person who will be able to plug the device in wherever they like. For example, someone listens to music on the way to a destination, then docks it there (work, school, etc). For most people, that would be more than enough time for a 1-2 hour commute home, make a few brief calls after work and again before work the next day, another 1-2 hour music-filled commute, then docking at work for the day (or at home for the night).

    With new functionality, phones are changing what people want. A few years ago, I wanted a simple phone with good audio quality (closer to my old analog brick than the new low-bitrate digital flimsy things) and a 12 button keypad. Forget the camera, games, etc. Now that bluetooth allows synching with my address book, I'm really appreciating a visible screen, menus and function keys. Those cameras come in handy sometimes too (documenting car accidents, a sign to look up later, the contents of a whiteboard at work).

    When the iPhone matures, we'll have to see what Apple comes up with. Maybe we won't need 3rd party support. Maybe the widget/applet/dashboard thing can fill the need of most of our favorite third party apps and the installed programs will actually be good enough we don't have to replace them with other things.

    With that said, I don't care what the phone does, if it costs $500, I don't need it -- nevermind the requisite data packages. As much as I like some of the free phones now (or even negative cost after rebate), I don't need one. I have a desk job and I don't go anywhere else without my wife -- who has a decent enough phone for emergencies.
  • by trailerparkcassanova ( 469342 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @01:49PM (#18490355)
    I'd rather be able to access it from a mobile device along with other documents.
  • Re:No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Alt321 ( 1056040 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @01:57PM (#18490467)
    ... and as the iPhone data capacity increases, so it will be for the high-end iPods ... demand will fall for high-end iPods, but they will still be sold for users who need 'ludicrous' data storage capacity on the road ... sounds strange, but those users will always exist ... **looks around nervously**
  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan ( 730745 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @02:00PM (#18490509)
    The biggest factor in folding all of these devices into a single device, is battery life. With an ipod you have a seperate battery that isnt always on, where as your phone is going to be running all the time. Lets say you've been listening to tunes all day on your phone, how long will the battery last on that important call you have to take on the run? The more functions you put into a single device, the more usage that device gets, which places more demands on the single powersource inside of it. With seperate units, you have seperate batteries which of course means longer run time.

    The iphone also does not have an 80gig hard drive and it wont for some time.
  • No thanks (Score:2, Insightful)

    by djchristensen ( 472087 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @02:02PM (#18490555)

    "PDAs have already been crushed by smart phones and the same thing looks to be happening with standalone MP3 players...

    I suspect the vast majority of people using PDAs also use cell phones and typically pay a fair amount for them (business users, primarily), so combining the two is a natural fit (except for form-factor issues). I don't think the same can be said for MP3 players, digital cameras, etc. My phone is reasonably small, but it's still 3 times the size of my MP3 player. That makes a big difference when I'm working out. And cell phones (at least reasonably priced ones) are a long long way from being even decent compared to a dedicated camera.

    If you then take into consideration the convergence of camera, GPS, TV and laptop-like functionality into mobile phones

    Just because those features are there doesn't necessarily make them good enough to replace a dedicated device. Having GPS in a phone might be a cool feature to some people, but to others it's just a useless extra-cost item. MS Word has every feature imaginable, but how many of them do you use? Wouldn't you like a version that had just what you use at half the cost (in dollars, memory, cpu cycles, UI complexity, ...)?
  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Znork ( 31774 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @02:22PM (#18490791)
    I'll third that no. And add that the X kills Y discussion is inane. Phone with mp3 player kills mp3 player? Might as well say mp3 player with phone kills phones. (And really, I'm far more impressed with the capabilities of my mp3 player, which is actually good at what it's supposed to do, than I am with my craptacular phone which is barely useful for talking to people with and appears to be mostly intended as a billing instrument for shady ringtone deals, crappy toys and overcharged low quality multimedia services).

    The _real_ killer 'device' would be an advancement in body area networking so I could have a central storage unit in my pocket, a display on my wrist and a variation of camera, phone and various other useful attachments (again, that are actually good at what they do) with me when I need them. Heck, with the right programming I might want to have multiple 'phone' devices that could switch data and voice traffic over whatever carrier was best/cheapest for the moment. Single-purpose devices that are good at what they do, rather than several devices that all replicate functionality like input, output and storage, costing more to manufacture and drawing more power and still end up more or less sucking at most of what they do.
  • by 2nd Post! ( 213333 ) <gundbear@ p a c b e> on Monday March 26, 2007 @03:23PM (#18491571) Homepage
    1) When you mount an iPod, it too is a drive.
    2) How do you generate the folders with MP3s? iTunes does it for you
    3) iTunes copies these folders with MP3s for you so you don't have to.
    4) Quicker and easier than your proposed method because you don't have to do any of the following:

    A) Import music
    B) Organize music
    C) synchronize music

    iTunes does all of the above without any user interaction.

    I understand you may find comfort in organizing and sorting your music, but really, computers are good at that. Why don't you just relax and hit play instead?
  • by speardane ( 905475 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @03:25PM (#18491597)
    you can't win with flight attendants - if they aren't with "the phone is off"; "it's inflight mode" etc.
  • Re:Price (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Have Blue ( 616 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @03:51PM (#18491903) Homepage
    If you don't want to be tracked don't carry a device that periodically emits a radio signal.
  • Re:Space (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oneiron ( 716313 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @04:10PM (#18492199)
    Exactly... I arrived at the same size preference by a different road. The old war-torn CD case that I used to carry around in my car had a rotating repertoire of music that fe.l within the 4-6gb range. When I thought about the possibility of carrying more music than that around, I didn't like the idea...

    With a lower capacity player, I get to force myself to listen to parts of my vast music collection that don't get very much attention while I'm at home. It's easy to ignore the daimond-in-the-rough artists when my favorite artists are always within reach. This way I get to listen to new stuff more often...and old favorites when I normally wouldn't feel like I was 'in the mood.'

    ...not to mention it's tough to pick something to listen to out of an 80gb pool while you're driving. Smart playlists are pretty much the only way to utilize a collection like that...and that's too much work until someone makes a simple UI to generate them (though I have seen some pretty slick stuff).
  • Re:Space (Score:2, Insightful)

    by osu-neko ( 2604 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @04:41PM (#18492665)

    And it holds enough music for an across-the-country road trip.

    Maybe for you. Unfortunately, not for all of us. My listening habits defy analysis, and my tastes are pathologically eclectic. Since I have no idea what I'm going to want to listen to a half hour from now, and the options are ridiculously broad, a 4GB iPod would be way too small to hold enough music to keep me happy for an across-the-state drive, much less across-the-country. I know in that time I'll only listen to a tiny fraction of my music, but there's no way to determine ahead of time which fraction that will be.

  • by nick_davison ( 217681 ) on Monday March 26, 2007 @05:29PM (#18493419)
    Then I took a good look at my listening habits, and realized I never actually _need_ that kind of capacity.

    You don't need an MP3 player, period.

    The only question is whether the benefits outweigh the costs. In your case, a 4GB nano and ~1,000 songs is plenty and the benefits your listening patterns gain from adding the extra ~6,500 songs of a 30GB or ~19,000 songs of an 80GB player are much smaller than the cost/bulk benefits you get from a smaller player.

    I, on the other hand, gain a lot of my self definition from my love and knowledge of music. For me, the 80GB player is as small as I want my fat fingers to deal with in the first place so size isn't an issue. Cost would certainly be nice to drop. Getting to have discussions about what Punk-Country sounds like in the form of the Meat Puppets, have cheesy Roxette/Erasure 80's flashbacks with my wife on a Monday morning drive AND be able to listen to the core 1,000 songs in my main playlists is worth a fortune to me - way in excess of the $200 extra price.

    Now add in the ~20 movies that can run picture in picture on my monitor while I code, the ability to figure out what certain lyrics are because I ran an app to grab them from the net, the ability to keep samples of my photography handy... For me it's a no brainer.

    The capacity is a HUGE issue for the retarded (meant in the true sense of the word) iPhone. For my 320x240 iPod, I tend to rip movies at around the 400MB point (granted I go slightly over 320 wide so I can either zoom in on the center at 1:1 or zoom out and letterbox on a square screen). 4GB for the great new "widescreen movie capable" iPhone lets me put maybe 7-8 movies on there so long as I put no music on and minimal extra apps. That's barely enough for an intercontinental flight and back and now my iPhone's useless for music. Sure there's an 8GB version... giving maybe that small set of movies and a very limited music library.

    For users like yourself, the iPhone will be the latest and greatest new gadget, able to do all kinds of quirky things that you can't do on other phones and save space in your pocket for your willingly limited music library - albeit for a very high price. For a user like myself, the biggest feature is the great new touch sensitive screen. Finally getting a movie big enough to be worth watching is huge and the same goes for easy navigation of bigger playlists - both of which are massively hampered by too little capacity to store much.

    So, it's all about personal definitions. At its simplest, no one needs a cool movie and MP3 playing phone. At the other extreme, people who're excited by those features and have the libraries to really use them are massively hampered by the tiny storage in the first generation. In the middle, there are people like yourself - though the cheaper price argument falls flat on its face there.

    Fortunately for Apple, they only ever aimed for 1% market saturation and, whilst tying it to signup with a provider could have dropped the price and a bigger drive could have upped the appeal to maybe 20-30% market saturation, Apple are evidently more than happy with 1% on their own terms rather than 20-30% on other people's terms with smaller margins. Going for that 1%, they can dictate whatever they like and accept that most of us won't take it but enough will.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!