Apple has just ended one of the most iconic products in the company’s history: the iPod.
Beginning in October 2001, the iPod has been one of the flagship products for over 20 years. But with the discontinuing of the iPod Touch, the last pod standing as it were, Apple is closing the doors on the music players for good.
The iPod touch was last… touched, in 2019, and all that changed was a slightly faster processor. The design of the iPod itself hadn’t changed appreciably since 2012, and many expected it was a matter of time before Apple moved on. Now, that time has come.
A quick refresher: the iPod shuffle and nano were abandoned in 2017 and the classic was discontinued in 2014. It’s been a very long time since the average device in a consumer’s pocket could only play music.
Either way, it’s the end of an era. The iPod has been a titan in the lives and ears of millions of millennials. You could even call it the defining piece of hardware for a certain generation who grew up in the 2000s.
It’s the end of a twenty-year history that saw Apple’s fortunes change. At the point it was launched, the company was largely relegated to the personal computer market with few fingers in few pies. By 2006, the iPod in its various forms made up 40% of the company’s revenue.
Naturally, the developments with the iPod and particularly the iPod touch lead to massive advancements in the mobile phone industry. By 2007, the first iPhone was released, and the iPod was quickly usurped as the go-to device for portable music. Why have a separate device for music when your phone can do the same job?
Many will be sad to see the chunky little device laid to rest. The first iPod came out at a time when CD’s were still the primary way to listen to music. A time when your headphones could get tangled in your pocket or caught on a door handle. When “streaming” was more likely to evoke the image of a river than a computer screen.
Apple assures us that the “spirit of the iPod lives on”, and there’s no denying you can see its imprint on everything from the iPad to OSX, but really? It’s all over.
Goodnight, sweet prince.