For the second straight year, the collective reaction to Apple's unveiling of its fall iPod lineup was basically "meh."
For the uninitiated, that's Internet shorthand for "I couldn't care less." Last year's iPod Nano with camera failed to ignite much instant excitement, and this year's new products didn't appear to fare much better. It's not that they're not good products--the announcements are just not generating the same amount of hype and interest as, say, an iPhone or iPad launch these days.
One of the issues is that Apple sets the bar pretty high for these kinds of special events, particularly in the last year. But the bigger one is that as Apple closes in on a decade of making the iPod, it's become clear that the category has become rather ho-hum for the company.
That's not to understate the iPod's influence. The first MP3 player from Apple in 2001 morphed it from a computer company into a consumer device and digital content company and paved the way for Apple's ability to turn the existing smartphone and tablet categories completely on their heads. But the iPod's influence on the company has been waning for some time, as was demonstrated Wednesday. … Read more