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Conspicuously absent from Apple's media event -- new iPods

Yoni Heisler, @edibleapple
September 11, 2013
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Apple's media event on Tuesday was chock-full of important announcements; new iPhone designs, enhanced camera functionality, a fingerprint-authorization sensor and more.

What we didn't hear was any mention of Apple's revered iPod. Indeed, this marks just the second time in eight years that Apple hasn't used a special media event in September to introduce a refreshed iPod of any kind. The last time we went through a September without a new iPod to speak of was in 2011, and before that, 2004.

That's not to say that Apple didn't make any changes to its iPod lineup this year. On the contrary, Apple introduced a "Space Gray" color option for the iPod touch, nano and shuffle. A minor, if not insignificant change for what was once an extremely profitable and significant anchor for Apple's bottom line.

These days, Apple continues to rake in money hand over fist, but it's on the strength of jaw-dropping iPhone and iPad sales. With each passing quarter, iPod sales continue their slow and steady decline, comprising an increasingly marginal percentage of Apple's quarterly revenue.

I took a look at Apple's December quarter over the past few years to track the decline of iPod sales during Apple's busiest quarter. Here's what the data looks like.

Q4 2012 - 12.7 million units

Q4 2011 - 15.4 million units

Q4 2010 - 19.45 million units

Q4 2009 - 21 million units

Q4 2008 - 22.7 million units

Driving the point home, iPod related revenue accounted for just 2.2 percent of Apple's quarterly revenue during the March quarter of 2013.

Apple's media event yesterday is simply more proof (not that much is needed) that when it comes to the iPod, the writing is on the wall. The once-proud iPod is fast becoming a relic, not even worthy of a mention during a September media event that, in previous years, was laser-focused on all things iPod.

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