Hugh Pickens writes "Companies like AOL have stagnated along with the products that made them successful as a mature market and downward pressure on prices led to a nasty death spiral, but Saul Hansell writes in the NY Times that Apple has used its amazing six-year run with the iPod to nurture other business lines. Even though the number of iPods sold this quarter grew only 1 percent from the same quarter a year ago, Apple should be able to sustain itself with three business lines that will help it withstand a collapse in the MP3-player market: a continuing revenue stream from the iPods that have already been sold because of the iTunes Store, product upgrades to the iPhone and iPod Touch that are so different that they may well appeal to a significant number of iPod users, and perhaps most significantly, sales of the Macintosh which showed an increase of 51 percent by units and 54 percent by dollars."
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