Will Apple Ditch the iPod? [Ahead of the Curve] December 20, 2006

I don’t know much about Bob Cringely, but for an ex-Apple employee, he doesn’t pay much attention to the company’s historical decisions

Mac Greer: OK, when will Apple stop making iPods?

Bob Cringely: Apple will stop making iPods the day that they can make more profit from an iPod license than they can make from selling an iPod. And that day will come. A switch will flip, and suddenly you will be able to buy an iPod from anyone, and Apple will just be in the iTunes business, but they will be making money from Apple IPE [intellectual property enforcement] and iPod licenses.

Apple had one kick at the licencing can, back in the late 90s when a handful of Mac clones were available. They sold poorly, and were quickly canned. Steve Jobs is enormously protective of the Apple brand. Every logoed item – from computers to company letterhead – passes over his desk before it is approved. And the world is well aware of his passion for quality. To have an Apple-made OS running on any hardware that hasn’t been designed, front-to-back, by Apple, is such a misguided statement that I can’t be bothered reading the rest of the article. I’m understanding where the Cringely comes from…

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