The iPod is dead
That's the hasty conclusion that I'm going to go ahead and jump to, based on the new back to school offering from Apple. For the last several years, Apple has offered a free iPod when you bought a Mac. It was aimed at college freshmen going off to school. This year, that offer has been changed so that you get a $100 iTunes gift card. Students can use that on apps, music, movies, whatever. I'm sure they'll only use it for highly educational options that further their careers as students. Shame iTunes doesn't sell beer. Seriously though, with this we see Apple shift away from the iPod and toward the digital content and that matters. Apple has historically been about creating good stuff to play on Apple devices, the content led you to the device and the devices worked best when you used them with other Apple devices you also bought. But here, in the first back to school season since the launch of the Apple app store, you see the content come first and the iPod fade.