Apple has stated that the iPod Touch, the company’s final remaining portable music player, will be discontinued. The current Touch will be sold “while supplies last.”
Apple has been downloading the iPod after 20 years
The death of the iPod Touch signals the end of an era. “Over 20 years ago,” it debuted the first iPod. Apple made models that were almost purely for listening to audio until 2017, when it discontinued the iPod Nano and Shuffle, and the original FireWire-equipped device served as just a portable music player.
While Apple may have stopped selling dedicated music players, it claims that “the spirit of iPod lives on” in all of its music-playing products, including the iPhone, iPad, and HomePod Mini.
While the iPod Touch has been embraced by some iPod enthusiasts as the new classic music player, it also found a following for those who wanted an iPhone-like experience but didn’t actually need a phone.
It’s hard to blame the company for that. Most people aren’t particularly interested in carrying a second device that does something their smartphone is perfectly capable of (see also: the drying up of the point-and-shoot camera market). Tony Fadell, one of the developers of the original iPod, mentioned in an interview with The Verge that the iPod team knew that the iPhone could end up overtaking music players. “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,” he said.
While the iPod Touch has had its fans, the writing’s been on the wall for a while. The model discontinued on Tuesday, the seventh-gen iPod Touch was introduced in 2019, alongside the iPhone 7. The sixth-gen model launched in 2015. Despite people like me crying for a simplistic music player designed for the age of streaming, it was clear that Apple wasn’t looking to spend much time on the iPod.
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