April 21, 2024


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Apple’s iPod Touch Is Discontinued, Ending the Music Player’s Legacy

Just as Apple’s preparing to enter the iPhone’s 15th year since release, the iPod Touch, its less popular cousin, is taking its final bow. Apple announced Tuesday that the iPhone-iPod hybrid device released in 2007 will no longer be available after all its supplies run out. The move marks an end not just for the handheld device but also an end to the iPod product line, which helped reshape the entertainment industry two decades ago.

Apple said it will continue selling remaining iPod Touch devices through its website starting at $199 apiece until supplies are gone. The company offers the device in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB models, and in six colors including silver, pink, blue and gold. 

“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,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in a statement


The iPod Touch was Apple’s last iPod model.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple’s move marks an end to one of the most influential devices from the tech industry. In 2003, the iPod music player and its iTunes music software helped introduce people to digital music purchases, themselves a controversial idea at a time when the entertainment industry was fighting widespread music sharing through apps like Napster. Apple expanded into digital movie and TV purchases in 2005.

The first iPod, which was announced a little more than a month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was considered a big risk for Apple. At the time, the company was struggling to regain its financial footing after nearly going bankrupt a couple years earlier. Back then, the company was still Apple Computer Inc., and it had placed some of its biggest bets on whole new product categories like the iMac all-in-one computer, first released in 1998, and iBook laptop for consumers, which arrived a year later. Many other i-products arrived shortly afterward, including Apple’s iLife software for organizing photos and movies, and iWork to compete with Microsoft Office. But arguably the company’s biggest success was the iPod and its iTunes music software.

The lineup expanded over the years to include the iPod Mini, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle, in addition to the classic iPod. Apple stopped selling those iPods between 2014 and 2017.

The iPod has since been overshadowed by the iPhone. The smartphone, released in June 2007, was originally pitched by co-founder Steve Jobs as a the combination of three inventions: “an iPod, a phone and an internet communicator.” The iPod Touch, introduced before the holiday shopping season of 2007, was called an iPhone without the phone — a device for people who didn’t subscribe to Apple’s exclusive partner AT&T or live in the US, UK, France or Germany.

Apple’s last iPod Touch, released in 2019, was acceptable, according to CNET’s mobile reviewer Patrick Holland, who called it “the most adorable piece of nostalgia you don’t need.”

Now it’s the end of the iPod line.

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