During the latest Apple earnings call, CEO Tim Cook commented that his team has known for a while that the iPod is a declining business. Sales for the nearly 15-year-old product line have essentially been on the decline since 2008.
As you can imagine, this coupled with the fact that the iPod line hasn’t received any major updates since 2012, has led to speculation that the mp3 player is on its way out. But a few recently-discovered Apple job listings suggest otherwise…
9to5Mac’s Jordan Kahn discovered the listings, which include ‘new product introduction operations program managers’ and ‘product quality engineer for the iPod product operations team.’ Here are the key responsibilities of the former:
- Leading Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) operations team in planning and executing development builds and new product ramps.
- Driving ramp readiness with engineering, operations and OEM teams. Planning capacity and manage multi-million dollar factory equipment budget.
- Managing component readiness to ensure part availability, quality, and cost support product goals. Communicating system requirements and schedules to facilitate technical readiness with cross-functional supply chain teams.
- Influencing product manufacturability, testability, and supply chain responsiveness in pursuit of low cost and maximum flexibility while stewarding the superior product quality expected of Apple products.
- Managing all operations-related communications, upward and downward through the organization; escalating key issues and present options for resolution to the cross-functional executive teams.
Considering both of these job listings were posted yesterday and both have the word ‘iPod’ in them, it sure seems like Apple is working on a new iPod product. So the question is: is it a refresh of an existing model? Or something new?
To clarify, the theory that the iPod line is in trouble isn’t unfounded. Apple only sold 6M during the holiday quarter—over 50% less than last year. And with smartphones/tablets getting cheaper by the day, how do you turn this around?