After a two-decade-long run, Apple has announced that it is finally discontinuing the iPod, its revolutionary music player. The last iPod model currently on sale, the seventh-generation iPod Touch, will be available to buy until stocks last.
The original iPod was the first MP3 player ever to be able to store 1,000 tracks with a 10-hour battery. There have been seven different variations to the iPod since, all changing the device in major ways to make it more relevant to the times.
However, the iPod touch, arguably the most feature-packed iPod, is no match for modern-day smartphones. It was designed by the same team that later designed the iPhone, a device that quickly made the iPod redundant. Apple last updated the iPod in 2019, adding the A10 chip, AR experiences, group FaceTime, and 256GB storage.
Other major iPod models included the Nano and the Shuffle. The first iPod touch came out in September 2007, just a few months after the iPhone had hit the US markets.
Two decades of iPods
|iPod model||Release date|
|iPod||October 23, 2001|
|iPod (2nd Gen)||July 17, 2002|
|iPod (3rd Gen)||April 28, 2003|
|iPod (4th Gen)||July 19, 2004|
|iPod Photo||October 26, 2004|
|iPod (Colour display)||July 28, 2005|
|iPod (5th Gen)||October 12, 2005|
|iPod (6th Gen)||September 5, 2007|
|iPod Mini||January 6, 2004|
|iPod Mini (2nd Gen)||February 22, 2005|
|iPod Nano||September 25, 2006|
|iPod Nano (2nd Gen)||September 12, 2006|
|iPod Nano (3rd Gen)||September 5, 2007|
|iPod Nano (4th Gen)||September 9, 2008|
|iPod Nano (5th Gen)||September 9, 2009|
|iPod Nano (6th Gen)||September 1, 2010|
|iPod Nano (7th Gen)||September 12, 2012|
|iPod Shuffle||January 11, 2005|
|iPod Shuffle (2nd Gen)||September 12, 2006|
|iPod Shuffle (3rd Gen)||March 11, 2009|
|iPod Shuffle (4th Gen)||September 1, 2010|
|iPod Touch||September 14, 2007|
|iPod Touch (2nd Gen)||September 9, 2008|
|iPod Touch (3rd Gen)||September 9, 2009|
|iPod Touch (4th Gen)||September 12, 2010|
|iPod Touch (5th Gen)||October 11, 2012|
|iPod Touch (6th Gen)||July 15, 2015|
|iPod Touch (7th Gen)||May 28, 2019|
Game-changer iPod’s demise
The iPod was a revolutionary device when it first came out as phones were still primarily for just communication and MP3 players still had a purpose. It wasn’t the first MP3 player to ever come out, but it was the first to leverage Apple’s unique design language to kick start the switch from CDs and cassette players to digital music.
However, as smartphones came into the picture, dedicated devices like MP3 players weren’t exactly needed as your smartphone could do everything, including storing and streaming music.
As the music moved from local storage in our devices to a more streaming-based format, listening on the move meant an internet connection. With the iPod lacking cellular connectivity, the gap between the two devices increased to the point where MP3 players and, by extension, the iPod served no purpose.