Happy 8th Birthday, iPod—you don't look a day over... Aww, who am I kidding? You look old.
We've told this story plenty of times before, but on the iPod's 8th birthday, I think it's time to think about administering the Last Rites. Three years ago, Charlie White wrote a piece about everything that was wrong with the iPod, and nearly everything that could be solved was. From 2006: There's no FM, too many scratches, short battery life, annoying DRM, janky iTunes, no Bluetooth, no widescreen, no Wi-Fi. Besides, it's a thief magnet and his kid wanted a new one every six months.
So many of these problems were fixed, but is that good news? Yes, for us, but not for the iPod.
Because the problems weren't fixed by the release of the perfect iPod, but a whole new species: The iPhone and its non-phone-y sidekick, the misnamed iPod Touch. (There's a good reason why many people prefer to call it an iTouch.) Apple themselves expects the iPod's trajectory to fall as iPhone sales rocket higher. And it's not because of these small fixes as much as the fact that while the iPhone and iPod Touch apps collections get bigger and more useful, there's been a quick shift from the regular iPod as a consolation prize in a time where if you don't have a network connected pocket computer, you've got a toy. A toy that is an island. Or something.
So yep, iPod, you're 8, your sales are in the toilet, your shrinking click-wheel has gone from genius to nuisance, your very existence robbed the Touch of a camera it deserves, and apparently nobody cares about hard drive players anymore, no matter how much they can hold.
You'll make it to year 10 and 11, and maybe beyond that. But you'll never be as important as you were. And so if you went away tomorrow we'd swipe a touchscreen in salute but without much remorse. [iPods on Gizmodo]