When Apple reported its Q1 2014 earnings results this week, it couldn’t deny the fact that, as Tim Cook put it, “iPod is a declining business.” That’s because Apple’s results showed it only sold a little over 6 million iPods in the holiday quarter— about half of what it sold the same time the year before. That sparked endless headlines (pictured above) that the iPod is dead, but Apple appears to at least have one more new iPod product launch in the works.
We’ve discovered a few job listings posted on the company’s website looking for managers to facilitate a new product launch for iPod.
Several listings for New Product Introduction Operations Program Managers are seeking individuals to oversee and manage an iPod product launch by working with OEMs, the product teams, and suppliers:
The New Product Introduction Operations Program Manager (NPI OPM) launches Apple’s products on time, with superior product quality and maximum customer availability…Overall mission is a successful product launch defined by meeting stated schedule, availability and customer experience goals.
· Leading Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) operations team in planning and executing development builds and new product ramps.
· Driving ramp readiness with engineering, operations and OEM teams. Planning capacity and manage multi-million dollar factory equipment budget.
· Managing component readiness to ensure part availability, quality, and cost support product goals. Communicating system requirements and schedules to facilitate technical readiness with cross-functional supply chain teams.
· Influencing product manufacturability, testability, and supply chain responsiveness
Another position seeks a Product Quality engineer for the iPod Product Operations team to “Ensure operational technical readiness for all phases of the introduction cycle.” And another for a Plastics Tooling Eng. Program Mgr. to manage “development and implementation process for the Tooling and New Material/Process organization leading to the introduction of new Apple products.” That last plastic tooling related job mentions iPod in addition to iPhone and Mac divisions, which could lead to speculation Apple’s working on a plastic iPhone 5c-style lower cost iPod.
It would make sense that a brand new iPod and not just a minor refresh would be next in Apple’s iPod product pipeline. The launch of the fourth gen iPod touch in 2010 was followed by minor refreshes introducing new capacities and colors a year later. The same thing happened with the 5th gen iPod touch (introduced in 2012) when Apple introduced the new cheaper 16GB capacity & Space Gray color last year. If Apple continues on that pattern, a fully redesigned iPod touch could be in the cards for fall 2014.