The iPod has greatly assisted Apple in maintaining their MP3 player market dominance. As it stands, "MP3 player" is nearly synonymous with iPod - much to Microsoft's chagrin. That doesn't mean Apple has been resting on their laurels, even if it seems that way to resellers. Numerous resellers are apparently concerned over a drop in stock volume, reporting low quantities of iPods available for resale.
That's just the tip of the iceberg though, with Cupertino announcing even more harrowing news. The company has discontinued all existing iPod SKUs
, demonstrating that it is preparing to cease manufacture (and hence sales) of every existing iPod model. Is the iPod becoming stale? Perhaps, depending on your point of view - but it is still a blisteringly successful device.
Why would Apple put a stop to all their existing SKUs? Rumor has it that Apple is planning to refresh iPods across the board. This move seems to coincide with the widespread anticipation of a rumored September event
. Though it's obvious they are planning something big for the iPod, Apple is tight-lipped as usual.
In the meantime, the halt may indicate a temporary shortage of iPods as existing supplies run dry. We'll post more as we hear official news from Apple.