With the quarterly earnings report earlier this week, iPods were once again weak sellers among Apple’s otherwise very impressive portfolio of products. With the growing smartphone market taking sales away from individual music players, iPod sales have suffered recently, and the trend shows no signs of slowing soon. Because of this, many have speculated that we may be seeing the end of the iPod era. However, a recent job listing on Apple’s website leads us to believe that the music player may be around for longer than many believe.
Apple’s jobs website currently lists multiple listings looking for New Product Introduction Operations Program Managers, who would be in charge of essentially working with manufacturers, and other companies to oversee the launch of an iPod device. The company is also looking for a Product Quality engineer for the iPod line, making me believe that the line of music players is likely here to stay for a while, and Apple may have a new product in mind for the line. Below is the product operations manager listing from Apple’s website. I’m hoping that these listings mean that Apple has something pretty special in line for the iPod line, and the future of the device.
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
Could Apple be reworking the iPod line, possibly to make it a little more wrist friendly? That may be a stretch, but hopefully something big is coming. Let me know what you hope to see from the iPod line by leaving a comment below or tweeting me at @TiP_Griffin.