Apple discontinues iPod after 20-year run

Apple said Tuesday that it will discontinue sales of its iPod Touch, ending a two-decade run for the music device that was once a headlining part of its product lineup.

The tech giant said it would continue selling iPod Touch devices in its own stores and through verified resellers “while supplies last,” but would not produce more or unveil new versions.

The iPod gradually became obsolete as Apple added music streaming capabilities to its other devices and faced outside competitors, such as streaming platform Spotify and Amazon Music.

“Today, the spirit of iPod lives on,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“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,” he added.

Apple’s blog post revealing the iPod’s imminent demise included pricing information about the iPhone, the Apple Watch and the iPad – an indication that those platforms have replaced the music player.

Apple iPod
Apple’s iPod Touch was the most advanced version of the device.
Getty Images

Famed Apple founder Steve Jobs touted the iPod as a transformational invention when he first debuted the device on stage at a company event in 2001. The original version could hold up to 1,000 songs.

“With iPod, Apple has invented a whole new category of digital music player that lets you put your entire music collection in your pocket and listen to it wherever you go,” Jobs said at the time, according to TechCrunch. “With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again.”

Apple iPod
The iPod Nano was an streamlined version of the original device.
AFP via Getty Images

While the original iPod became known as the “classic” mode, Apple eventually unveiled several upgrades for the line, including the smaller Nano and Shuffle. The latest and final new version of the Touch was released in 2019.

Once a top-seller, the iPod has been a negligible source of revenue for Apple in recent years. The tech giant hasn’t provided sales figures for the device since 2015, according to Reuters.

Unit sales were already on a downturn prior to that year – plunging 24% in Apple’s 2014 fiscal year compared to the previous year.


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