Apple announced on Tuesday that it is discontinuing the entire iPod line, a product the company launched nearly 22 years ago. The iconic music player didn’t only revolutionise the way the world experienced music, it also saved the tech giant, now worth more than $3 trillion, from bankruptcy.
“Today, the spirit of iPod lives on,” said Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Greg Joswiak in a press release. “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,” he added.
According to the press release, Apple will continue to sell the iPod Touch while supplies last.
When Apple co-founder and then-CEO Steve Jobs introduced the first iPod in October 2001, the presentation lasted just under an hour for a product that weighed 6.5 ounces, stored 1,000 songs, and was equipped with a battery that could last 10 hours. In the 2 decades since, Apple has released 7 more generations of the iPod, ending with the latest fancy iPhone-ish iPod Touch version, which came out in September 2017 and was last updated in May 2019.
The beginning of the end of the iPod’s era could be traced back to 2014, when the sales of iPod began to plummet against other products like the iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad, 3 products that came after iPod was launched. But integrating a music player into its other products essentially rendered the iPod obsolete. The company began to cut the iPod line one after the other. In 2014, Apple discontinued the iPod Classic, and in 2017, it stopped making the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle, its two smallest versions of the device.
“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,” Joswiak said.
The portable music player revolution started with the walkerman and may have just ended with the Apple iPod.