Dan Frommer at SplatF shows us some charts about how the iPod fared in the recents years and drew some conclusions. I like the post overall, because he tries to make his point by showing some data and calls his speculation what it is: speculation. There were two points however, that I want to comment on:
What is the actual revenue in dollars?
Though he briefly mentions that showing the revenue proportion doesn’t give the full picture, he fails to articulate it (or better: show another graph). Apple’s revenue has grown for years now, so a 10% proportion today is better than 15% five years ago.
Doing a quick and rough cross check of his charts with Google Finance shows that during its highest revenue proportion in ‘06 (~40% ?), the iPod made around $7 billion. In 2010 the revenue proportion (again rough estimate of charts!) is less than one fourth (~7% ?) of that in ‘06, but still yields about $4.5 billion. Not bad for a business that is reportedly past its heyday and overrun by cheapo ODMs from China.
Again, the display size…
One of his speculations, a next-gen iPod touch with a larger display. Well his point is, the game experience would improve. It would turn into something more like those large mobile media players with games. While the chance is slightly higher than for the iPhone, I’m not convinced. For the same reasons why I think we won’t see iPhones with larger display size. Apple would either have to create a new form factor to regain pixel perfectness (thus make developers target the device specifically) or use some sort of zoom, which might look like crap. Remember, Apple’s style is pixel perfect.
One thing to close: again, I spotted those numbers on charts which were not designed to spot exact numbers. So bear with me.