Time to Say Goodbye to the iPod

Apple is discontinuing device after 21 years
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2022 6:16 PM CDT
After 21 Years, the iPod Is Being Discontinued
Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces the Apple iPod Touch in San Francisco, in this Sept. 5, 2007, file photo.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)

(Newser) – Some 21 years after Apple introduced a device that the company boasted could "put 1,000 songs in your pocket," it's time to say goodbye to the iPod. Apple announced Tuesday that the iconic device is being discontinued, though it will still be available online and at Apple Stores while supplies last, NBC reports. The iPod was first introduced by then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs at an event in October 2001 and Apple has sold more than 400 million of them, including the iPod mini, iPod Nano, and iPod Shuffle, reports the Guardian. The final version to survive, the iPod Touch, was last updated in 2019.

"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," Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in a statement. "Today, the spirit of iPod lives on" in devices including the iPhone, Joswiak said. Fans of the device paid tribute to it on social media after Apple's announcement, with many saying it was the first device they ever owned.

Analysts say the creation of the first iPhone marked the beginning of the end for the iPod—but in its heyday, the iPod helped turn around the fortunes of both Apple and the music industry. "The iPod wasn't the first MP3 player on the market, just like the iPhone wasn't the first smartphone—but that unique Apple design proved to be the push digital music needed to start to tempt people away from CD and cassette players—and file-sharing," says Zoe Kleinman at the BBC. When the music industry was struggling to deal with rampant illegal file-sharing, iTunes and the iPod provided a "lifeline in the form of revenue for legitimately purchased downloads," Kleinman says. (Read more iPod stories.)

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