Apple has expressed plans to discontinue the iPod Touch. The iPod Touch is said will be the last standing model of the portable music player. In a recent post by the company, sales of the current Touch will continue “while supplies last.”
Apple has expressed that while making the dedicated music player is over, “the spirit of iPod lives on ” in pieces across all its other devices that play music which including the iPhone, iPad, and HomePod Mini.
According to Apple, the first iPod was introduced“ over 20 years ago,” and putting an end to it certainly marks the end of an era that transitioned continuously. The original FireWire-equipped model played the role of a portable music player, and Apple replicated models like it that pretty much served one purpose – listening to audio up until 2017. While the iPod Touch became a thing amongst iPod enthusiasts as the new classic music player, it also quickly became a thing for those who fancied an iPhone-like experience but didn’t quite need a phone.
The iPod Touch was first introduced in 2019 and while it gathered up fans and enjoyed its moments, there had been handwriting on the wall. While the iPhone 11 was later released to the public that same year, the 2019 iPod Touch still had the A10 processor, the same processor as the iPhone 7. Well, we consider that as a sign that the seventh-gen Apple iPod Touch will someday eventually be discontinued. While the sixth-gen iPod Touch debuted as far back as 2015 with more people desiring a music player designed for the age of streaming, the timeframe between releases of the sixth and seven-gen of iPod and older hardware was clear that Apple was no longer into the iPod.
Although it may be hard to say goodbye, especially for a demographic that the iPod catered for, however, we can’t blame Apple for its discontinuation plans. Today, in the era of portable smartphones and smart devices that can serve multiple functions than just playing music, most people aren’t willing to carry a second device that does something their smartphone can do so well and even more.
In an interview, one of the developers of the original iPod, Tony Fadell, mentioned that the iPod team knew at a point that the iPhone could likely surpass and overtake the music players. Fadell said that “It became very clear to us that there was a real threat from mobile phones, feature phones. They were starting to add music, MP3 playing, to the cell phones that they were shipping at the time.”
According to Fadell, did Apple see that as a problem? Well no, “At Apple, every single thing that was tried — at least under Steve — needed to ship because it was existential. You couldn’t make the iPhone successful because you were cannibalizing the iPod business.”
While the iPod gradually starts disappearing from the shelves of tech stores, it’s hard to completely do away with something so iconic. The iPod will most likely be designed into or modified in various forms in Apple projects to relieve the nostalgia for the age of dedicated music players. Apple didn’t invent the market for music players, but they did skyrocket Apple into popularity. Now that the giant tech company has signaled retirement for the iPod business, the barton is now passed to companies like Sony and Fiio to keep the music player legacy alive.