Pour one out for the iPod, a line of devices that revolutionized portable music more than two decades ago.
On Tuesday, Apple announced that the iPod Touch will no longer be produced. The current model, introduced in 2019, will still be sold while supplies last. It starts at $199 for 32GB. The iPod Touch was the last of the iPod line–essentially an iPhone SE with an A10 processor and no cellular connectivity. It was an iPod in name, but Music was just one of the many apps filling the home screen.
The iPod has a long history, transforming the company when it debuted in 2001. At the time, it was the rare Apple product that wasn’t a Mac—though it did need one to transfer music. The iPod was initially derided for its high $399 price tag, but it would soon take over the world and forever alter the landscape of digital music. The iPod led to broader interoperability with Windows, the iTunes Music Store and later the iPhone, and saved Apple from the brink of bankruptcy and irrelevance.
The iPod touch released in September 2007, just a few months after the iPhone arrived on shelves. However, it hasn’t been promoted as a part of Apple’s product catalog in some time, having lost its lone spot in the Music tab when Apple shuffled its site menu last year. The only way to find it now is to deliberately look for it in the Apple Store and few people are likely doing that.
Apple rightly notes that there’s really no need for a dedicated music player anymore (not that the iPod Touch really was one). “The experience of taking one’s music library out into the world has been integrated across Apple’s product line — from iPhone and Apple Watch to iPad and Mac,” the company notes in its press release. “Today, the spirit of iPod lives on. 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. And Apple Music delivers industry-leading sound quality with support for spatial audio — there’s no better way to enjoy, discover, and experience music.”
Without the iPod touch, the cheapest device for kids falls on the 10.2-inch iPad, which starts at $329.