End of an era: Apple discontinues its last iPod model

11 May 2022 - 07:38
By Mark Gurman
Apple released dozens of versions of the iPod over the years, but the product was gradually eclipsed by its other devices, especially the iPhone. File photo.
Image: Bloomberg Apple released dozens of versions of the iPod over the years, but the product was gradually eclipsed by its other devices, especially the iPhone. File photo.

Apple’s iPod, a groundbreaking device that upended the music and electronics industries more than two decades ago, is no more. 

The company announced on Tuesday it would discontinue the iPod Touch, the last remnant of a product line that first went on sale in October 2001. The touchscreen model, launched in 2007, will remain on sale until supplies run out.

Apple released dozens of versions of the iPod over the years, but the product was gradually eclipsed by its other devices, especially the iPhone. That led the company to begin phasing out models in 2014. At the time, the company stopped making the iPod classic, a version with a click wheel and small screen that was most similar to the original version. In 2017, Apple stopped making its smallest music players, the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle.

The iPod Touch — popular as a cheaper alternative to the iPhone — held on a few more years. The device was last updated in 2019 and cost $199 ( R3,200). Compare that with the cheapest iPhone in Apple’s portfolio: the SE, which costs $429 (R6,900). 

With so many other ways to get music, Apple no longer sees the product as necessary.

“We’ve integrated an incredible music experience across all our products, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to HomePod mini, and across Mac, iPad and Apple TV,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice-president of worldwide marketing. 

Introduced by Steve Jobs, the iPod was credited with helping to turn Apple from a nearly bankrupt company to an eventual $3-trillion ( R48-trillion) behemoth. The iPod set the stage for the development of the iPhone, iPad and AirPods — products that now make up most of Apple’s revenue. 

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