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Apple discontinues the iPod; available to buy till stocks last

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. 

The original iPod. | Source: Apple

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 modelRelease date
iPodOctober 23, 2001
iPod (2nd Gen)July 17, 2002
iPod (3rd Gen)April 28, 2003
iPod (4th Gen)July 19, 2004
iPod PhotoOctober 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 NanoSeptember 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 ShuffleJanuary 11, 2005
iPod Shuffle (2nd Gen)September 12, 2006
iPod Shuffle (3rd Gen)March 11, 2009
iPod Shuffle (4th Gen)September 1, 2010
iPod TouchSeptember 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
All iPod models released to date.

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. 

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