End of an era: Apple discontinues iPod after more than 20 years

11 May 2022

Image: © Alena/Stock.adobe.com

Apple’s iPod dominated the digital music industry for years after its release in 2001, being the first MP3 player to hold 1,000 songs.

Apple has announced the end of the iPod, discontinuing the final version of the music player more than 20 years after the original was launched.

The tech giant said that the iPod Touch, the only version of the iPod still on sale, will only be available “while supplies last”.

Many aspects of the iPod have been incorporated into the rest of the Apple’s product line. In a statement yesterday (10 May), Apple senior VP of worldwide marketing Greg Joswiak said “the spirit of iPod lives on”.

“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,” Joswiak said.

“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.”

The iPod was a product that shook up both the music and tech industries when it launched in 2001, being the first MP3 player that could hold 1,000 songs. It was a pivotal time for Apple, as earlier in the year the tech giant released iTunes, the media player that emerged from its acquisition of Mac-optimised SoundJam MP the previous year.

There have been many versions of the iPod since its launch, each of which were discontinued over the years, such as the iPod Mini, the iPod Shuffle and the iPod Nano.

The iPod dominated the digital music industry after its launch and accounted for a significant portion of Apple’s sales for years. However, over time the product was surpassed in popularity by other devices such as the iPhone and iPad, which had music features built in.

The last version of the iPod Classic was discontinued by Apple in 2014.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic