The iPod was released a little over 20 years ago, forever changing the tech industry and helping redefine Apple products as luxury items — not just gadgets.
The iPod is now dead.
Apple today discontinued the last iPod model it still sold, the iPod Touch. And lest you think the company has another media player around the corner, its press release made it pretty clear the iPod is no more. Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing, Greg Joswiak, says:
“Music has always been part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the way iPod did impacted more than just the music industry — it also redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and shared.
Today, the spirit of iPod lives on. We’ve integrated an incredible music experience across all of our products, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to HomePod mini, and across Mac, iPad, and Apple TV. And Apple Music delivers industry-leading sound quality with support for spatial audio — there’s no better way to enjoy, discover, and experience music.”
I repeat: the iPod is dead.
I’ll admit, I don’t have too many sentimental words to share about the iPod. I was the weird Zune guy, so you’re better off reading my colleague Callum’s retrospective if you’d like to scroll the ol’ click wheel down memory lane.
But even an Apple-averse guy like myself can’t deny how important the iPod was. It was the rare category-defining product, one that married form and function in a way few products have since.
Of course, there are still plenty of media players for the portable music diehards out there; Sony is still selling Walkmans (Walkmen?) worth thousands of dollars. And it’s not like the iPod Touch was selling very well, or Apple wouldn’t have discontinued it. Most people’s music needs are served well enough by their iPhone and Android devices.
But as nice as it is to have phones that can do a bit of everything, there’s something to be said about a device that was just really good at one thing.
Apple says it’ll continue to sell the iPod Touch while supplies last. Something tells me they won’t last long, if only because people will buy them out of nostalgia. It’s the end of an era, after all.
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