My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Apple iPod Touch gets Price Drop as Apple Acquires Beats Electronics to jumpstart Streaming

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Apple iPod Touch gets Price Drop as Apple Acquires Beats Electronics to jumpstart Streaming

Apple has decided to cut the price on the Apple iPod Touch Line of products as of Thursday June 26th 2014 as stated in Apple cuts prices on iPod Touch line, refreshed 16GB model”, published June 26, 2014 5:48 AM PDT by Ben Fox Rubin, CNET News and “Apple launches $199 16GB iPod touch with rear camera in 6 colors, slashes prices on 32GB & 64GB models”, published Thursday, June 26, 2014, 05:07 am PT (08:07 am ET) By Neil Hughes, Apple Insider.

 Additionally, they’ve may be sprucing up the offering for this ageing format for music deliver that was dependent on having an iTunes Account….. and downloading, not that they’ve officially acquired Beats Electronics for some US$3.7 Billion as reported in my blog article entitled Apple officially confirms Beats Audio Purchase - US$3.2 Billion as Apple gears up for Subscription Streaming and improved Headphones”.

Both these moves have raised a few eyebrows, including mine, as it’s been two (2) years since they’ve even refreshed the Apple iPod Touch line which only sold 26.4 million units overall and generated US$4.4 billion in revenue. By comparison, the Apple iPhone, now Apple’s Top Earner both on handset sales as well as from Apple iTunes sold some 150 million units, raking in US$91.3 billion in sales. So a US$3.7 billion spend to improve Music Sales on iTunes, even if Apple has to go the subscription route, seems worth it, fo’ sure!

So clearly this move is overdue. In fact, it’s absolutely necessary, as not only are sales low, but downloading of music is slowing down on iTunes as Americans with 32GB Storage on their smartphones get hip to Streaming over 4G LTE Networks as I’d explained in my article Apple iOS 8 may free Apple iTunes Radio on Google Play Store. The prices on the Apple iPad Pouch in USA are now as follows:

1.      US$299 for 64GB iPod Touch, down US$100 from US$399
2.      US$249 for 32GB iPod Touch, down US$50 from $299
3.      US$199 for 16GB iPod Touch, down US$30 from US$229

In the UK, the price drops are somewhat similar:

1.      £249 for the 64GB iPod Touch
2.      £199 for the 32GB iPod Touch
3.      £159 for the 16GB iPod Touch

As for the sprucing up of the Apple iPod Line, the lower-tiered 16GB model got upgraded with a rear-facing camera and now comes in four (4) additional colours aside from Silver and Space Grey, completing the rainbow:

1.      Pink
2.      Yellow
3.      Blue
4.      Red

I'd urge many to buy the 16GB model as a way of supporting the RED Campaign in the fight against the AIDS virus, one of many philanthropic gestures Apple’s known to support over the years. 

It’s also clear that Music will be the centerpiece of Apple' strategy going forward, especially as they've bought Beats Audio as reported by Kelroy in his Geezam blog article entitled “Apple to Acquire Beats Music & Beats Electronics”. With it they acquired the three (3) key ingredients to making a great Music Streaming Platform:

1.      Beats Electronics co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre
2.      US$449 high-end Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones, US$99 Beats by Dr. Dre. Earbuds and other products
3.      Beats Audio, curated Subscription Music service where each song is personally hand-picked by Dr. Dre

The question now on the minds of many is what will this mean for the Apple iPod? Will Apple kill the iPod line, even though it’s still a big money-maker? Or will it undergo an upgrade a la Beats Audio, as the 16GB model has being upgraded, and be reincarnated as a dedicated Streaming Radio devices with an Apple iTunes Radio as a native App?

In the process, Apple may also develope a new way of delivering Music that may involve direct interface via the use of Mind Controller Devices similar to Interaxon's US$199 Muse Mind Controller and other similar devices as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Interaxon’s Muse Mind Controller and Tailly the Wearable Tail”. But alas, this is pure speculation, albeit it’d be totally fun to listen to music within your mind instead of via your ears.

One thing is for sure though.

Now that Apple has acquired Beats Electronics and their Streaming portal Beats Audio, they most likely will include an offering of those US$449 high-end Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones the US$99 Beats by Dr. Dre. Earbuds and their other products, which are already a featured staple in Apple Stores.

Only this time, buyers will have more reason to invest in good sound, especially with such high-fidelity and stylish Headphones from a Music Store that's got the Dr. Dre's Magical Touch he's famous for using to save the careers of many rap artiste back in the 90's. That’s just the Way it is, folks, Tupac Shakur Style!

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