The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Gettin’ My App On?

It may finally be time for me to join the 1 billion people who have downloaded free dating apps from Apple’s App Store. (And enriching Apple.)

3151049800_243036154aWith the passing of the 1 billion download milestone, several efforts have been made to estimate what that means in dollar terms for Apple (AAPL).
They’re well intentioned, but they miss the point.
The latest, published Wednesday by Lightspeed Venture Partner’s Jeremy Liew, estimates that Apple, which takes 30 cents of every dollar spent on the App Store, has cleared somewhere between $20 million and $45 million since the store opened 10 months ago. Liew’s calculation is based on the assumption that the ratio of free to paid apps is in the range of 15:1 to 40:1, and that the mean price per app is $2.65.
Three weeks earlier,’s Christian Zibreg performed a similar analysis using slightly different assumptions (notably a more optimistic 10:1 free-to-paid-app ratio) and calculated that Apple is currently collecting revenue at the rate of $300,000 a day – or $110 million a year. But he adds that the costs of running the store are unknown and could actually exceed Apple’s share of the revenue.

Because it finally happened.

My iPod has finally died, or at least worn out to the point where the cost and time involved in getting it repaired (the extended care warranty ran out) isn’t worth the trouble. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that the sound was going in and out in one earbud. I figured it must be the earbuds, because the last time that happened it was due to a short in the chord.

So, I tried another pair of earbuds. Same problem. Still, I persevered, since slightly moving or turning the headphone jack was often enough to restore the sound. Plus, I was wary of making a major purchase.

But last week, the stopgap strategy of twisting/jiggling the headphone jack failed. The sound in the right earbud completely disappeared. Now, I’m not an obsessive audiophile, but I like my music and when I listen to it I tend to use both ears. So, the iPod has been retired, and my commutes have been music-free for the past week.

Now, I’ve had a few people tell me I should listen more to the sounds around me, and "be more aware" of my surroundings. I even had one bus driver lecture me after he called out to me and I didn’t hear him. One of the other passengers got my attention, but when I turned the music off and asked him what he’d said. He said "it wasn’t important," proceeded to lecture me that I was going to "miss out" by listening to my iPod.


After a week of music-free commuting, I’ve discovered what I’m missing. Not much. Horns honking. Bus/car engines. Other people’s conversations and cell phone calls about not much of anything.

Besides, my commute is about the only time I get to listen to and enjoy music.

So, now comes the question.

I have a working cell phone already. It works just fine, actually. Plus, I have ATT Wireless, which means I can get an iPhone without changing carriers, etc., and even get a discount on an upgrade. (Not a big one, but enough of one.) Plus, it would be great to be able to do more online without having to haul out the laptop.

So, I have a couple of choices.

I can:

  • get an iPhone to replace the iPod and get rid of my cell phone,
  • get an iPod Touch for the internet capabilities, to replace the iPod, and keep the iPhone, or
  • get another iPod to replace the old one (now that they’re all 120GB, which is twice as much storage as my old one).

The only drawback I can see to the first two options is that, at 16GB max, neither would hold my entire music collection, but do I need 5,000+ songs with me all the time, when I only listen to about 10% to 20% at any given time.

So, what do you think?

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  1. A couple of thoughts:

    + It sounds very possible that the problem with your current iPod could just be a case of dust / lint entering the headphone jack and interfering with the connection there. Swabbing the inside of the headphone jack with a tiny bit of alcohol could fix the problem.

    The real trouble with that plan, though would be finding an appropriate tool. It at least be worth digging around in there with a paper clip to see if you can fish anything out.

    + Second, Apple is very likely to announce a new version of the iPhone at their conference on June 8. Obviously, you can play this waiting game forever, but they’ve made iPhone announcements at the last two events like this, so it seems very likely.

    If I were you, I would hold off until then if possible. You might get more storage or pay less money, for example.

  2. Call me biased, but I’m enjoying my g1 which I got two days ago. I’m not going back to an ipod for awhile.. though if you are looking for something primarily as a mp3 player, it may not be exactly what you are looking for, as it is limited in size to what a micro SD card can use, and I’m not sure how you hook your player to your stereo (rf or a plug or or or )

  3. Good point. I didn’t know about June 8th. One other possibility is that I’ll just get an iPod shuffle, and wait a bit.