Goodbye, iPod: Apple stops making last model
Enlarge / A click-wheel video iPod, perhaps the most iconic iPod model. This one went away a long time ago, but its last living relative’s days have come to an end, too.
One of the most popular and iconic gadget brands in history is taking its last breath today. Apple announced that it will no longer make the iPod Touch, the last device to carry the iPod name.
Apple says you’ll only be able to buy the $199 iPod Touch from its stores until the current stock sells out. There’s still a store page for the iPod on Apple’s website, but it’s not easily discoverable in the main site navigation, and it carries a “while supplies last” marker.
The current iPod Touch model isn’t actually all that old—it debuted in 2019—but that was just a minor refresh, and Apple hasn’t introduced a wholly new iPod model in many years.
The iPod’s demise has been predicted for a long time, but it has hung on, thanks in part to its role as an iPhone-lite for kids and tweens. Apple’s press release announcing the discontinuation makes the case that the iPod “lives on” in other products like the iPhone and iPad. Here’s a quote attributed to Apple marketing SVP Greg Joswiak:
Music has always been part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the way iPod did impacted more than just the music industry—it also redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and shared. Today, the spirit of iPod lives on. We’ve integrated an incredible music experience across all of our products, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to HomePod mini, and across Mac, iPad, and Apple TV. And Apple Music delivers industry-leading sound quality with support for spatial audio—there’s no better way to enjoy, discover, and experience music.
The press release goes on to list many of the products that consumers who might be interested in the iPod could buy instead, like the iPhone SE.
The first iPod was introduced in 2001, and the product line included many variations over the years, including the Mini, Shuffle, Nano, and more. The model being discontinued now, the iPod Touch, was first seen in 2007. It is the seventh iteration of the iPod Touch, which (in contrast to prior iPods) closely resembles an iPhone, just with no cellular calling functionality.
The iPod was one of the world’s best-selling gadgets, but the writing was on the wall when smartphones—even ones before the introduction of the iPhone—began to include its most important features by default.