Apple finally discontinues the iPod

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Apple finally discontinues the iPod

(Image: Christine Sandhu)
Words by Cambell Courtney

20 years and an abundance of innovations later, the iPod is no more

After 20 years, Apple has finally discontinued the last product in the legendary iPod range. The 2019 iPod touch will be the last new release from Apple with the iPod name.

Read all the latest product news here.

After releasing the original iPod all the way back in 2001, Apple revolutionised portable music players and established .mp3 as the dominant music format. Previously, portable music players were based on hardware formats such as CDs and tape with products such as the Sony Walkman and Discman. The physical medium meant that taking a vast range of music with you on the go was not very practical. Furthermore, each CD or cassette tape only held a handful of songs. Usually one album or a compilation.

With the release of the iPod and iTunes, Apple streamlined the adoption for new digital mediums in music. With the original iPod able to store up to 1000 tracks, it was unmatched in its portability and convenience at the time.

The iPod soon became the go-to for portable music players, and as Apple is ought to do, they made it with a sleek and fashionable design, making it a statement piece as much as a functional mp3 player. 

Various models covering a range of needs were soon released. Smaller, more portable models with less storage and functionality, such as the iPod Mini, Shuffle,  and Nano, and chunkier units such as the iPod Touch and iPod Classic, with more functionality and storage, for those wanting to take their entire music library wherever they went. 

Since 2001, Apple has sold over 400 million variants of the iPod. But the success of the iPod soon wavered after the release of the iPhone. Functionally an iPod touch with a phone built in. This meant there was a better product in the Apple range that did everything the iPod could do and more. With the rise of smartphones and eventually streaming services, the demand for portable music players quickly receded and sales of the iPod dropped. 

It cannot be understated the effect the iPod had on the music industry for both producers and consumers. It revolutionised digital platforms for music and it can be argued that it paved the way for the streaming services we see today. It marks the end of an era in the music and technology industry, as we transition from mp3s and downloads into streaming and digital platforms. 

Your old iPod is worth a sh**load of money.