When does a phenomenon become mundane?
I was tackling this question on a plane ride. The iPod has been a phenomenal product and dramatically changed the world accesses music. iTunes was part of that success, but nowadays everyone has an iPod and everyone uses iTunes (I believe it is the number 1 music retailer in the US now). For the last few years, the new iPods and the new iPhones were moments in the popular zeitgeist. As we sit in the doldrums of a recession it seems unlikely that a new version of either product will be snatched up by the masses. The most recent iPod release was less than exciting (the most interesting thing about the new nano’s is the ad campaign). At what point does the fad pass into the past?
It happened to the Walkman. It happened to the Hula Hoop. It even happened to those stupid day-glo undercarriages on the tricked out tuners! Everything new gets old unless its updated regulary, but how much update can the iPod have in the next 5 years? Does its popularity become its downfall or does Steve Jobs already have a team of geeky scientists hard at work on the next round of surprises?
I guess we’ll see sometime next year or the year after that!