To suggest that a technology as popular and modern as the iPod will one day go obsolete is...actually, not all that controversial. Why?
Because the company that produces the iPod, Apple, is consistently beating its old technology into the ground by offering new, exciting alternatives that are making it less and less attractive to only own an iPod.
It's called the smart phone.
If you own an iPod and an iPhone, there's probably a good chance you never use your iPod anymore. And for good reason! You can listen to music on your iPhone and it's much easier to do than to dig out your iPod and carry two gadgets at once.
This is great for someone who wants to buy an iPod off you cheap, but it's not good for the iPod itself.
Examining the Evidence
One quick look at the iPod's sales (Apple's own numbers here) reveal that the iPod's sales remain strong, thanks to continually-improving technology and consistently exciting products that integrate more and more technology into the traditional model of the iPod. You can now, for instance, carry an iPod that captures video, as well.
This evidence actually seems to point to the contrary: aren't iPod sales doing just fine? Even after the iPhone came out a few years ago, the iPod's sales haven't hit the basement - they even look like they continued to rise.
You will, however, notice that through 2009, it appears the iPod's potential has been completely tapped and the gadget's sales have begun to plateau. This may require a bit of "glass-is-half-empty" pessimism, but one has to admit that not every technology can live forever. One more piece of context to consider: the iPod was reporting the generation of over 40% of Apple's revenue in early 2008, but that fell down to around 14% within a year. While iPods continue to sell, they clearly aren't where the "big money" is anymore.
Understanding the Marketplace
The marketplace, of course, is full of products that become hits and then fade away as new technology takes its place. With the iPod, we know the writing is on the wall: smart phones will become sleeker, better, and - most importantly - cheaper. There's no point in holding two gadgets when one will suffice. In the case of smart phones like the iPhone, we know that these gadgets don't only suffice, they completely replace the need to carry an iPod.
But there is good news: it's entirely possible that you can enjoy the quiet decline of the iPod thanks to declining prices. While the newest, latest technology is indeed the best, that doesn't mean it's the cheapest. It's not only easy to get a lower price for an iPod - the newest editions of which continually offer more and more features - but it's still possible to enjoy the product itself.
How to Declare the Glass Half Full
If you want to look at the glass half full, your inner iPod lover can actually dance: when a technology slowly gets replaced, there are a number of advantages to be had. Simply consult WikiHow's guide to remaining happy with an obsolete iPod and you'll see that. Some of the older iPod technology, in fact, is superior to "improvements" made in the newer editions.
Remember: although it's one writer's opinion that the iPod will become obsolete, or at least take a significant backseat to the emerging smart phone technology, this doesn't mean that listening to music is going out of style. And there may always be room for a device that "only" plays music. After all, sometimes we don't have much else to do but listen.