Goodbye iPod: Apple stops making the last model

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Enlarge / A click-wheel video iPod, perhaps the most iconic iPod model. This one passed a long time ago, but the days of his last living relative have also come to an end.

Aurich Lawson

One of the most popular and recognizable gadget brands in history is taking its last breath today. Apple announced it would no longer make the iPod touch, the last device to bear the iPod name.

Apple says you can only buy the $199 iPod touch in its stores until current stock runs out. There’s still a Store page for the iPod on Apple’s website, but it’s not easy to find in the main page navigation and has a “while supplies last” marker.

The current iPod touch model isn’t actually that old – it debuted in 2019 – but that was just a minor refreshment, and Apple hasn’t introduced an all-new iPod model in many years.

The iPod’s demise has long been predicted, but it has materialized, thanks in part to its role as the iPhone-lite for kids and tweens. Apple’s press release announcing the discontinuation argues 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, like the iPod, to hundreds of millions of users hasn’t just impacted the music industry — it’s redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and shared. Today, the iPod spirit lives on. We’ve built an incredible music experience into all of our products, from iPhone to Apple Watch to HomePod mini to Mac, iPad and Apple TV. And Apple Music offers industry-leading sound quality with spatial audio support – 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 may be interested in the iPod could purchase instead, such as the iPhone SE.

The first iPod was introduced in 2001 and the product line has had many variations over the years including mini, shuffle, nano and more. The model that is now being discontinued, the iPod touch, was first introduced in 2007. It’s the seventh iteration of the iPod touch, which (unlike previous iPods) is very similar to an iPhone, just without cellular functionality.

The iPod was one of the best-selling gadgets in the world, but the writing was on the wall when smartphones — even before the introduction of the iPhone — started including its key features by default.

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