End of an era: Apple finally discontinues the last iPod

Apple iPod

There was a time when the notion of Apple no longer producing the iPod might have seemed unthinkable – but that once-unthinkable has now happened. Yes, that’s right; as of May 10, 2022, the revolutionary product line of media players that transformed how we consumed and appreciated music has come to an end after more than 20 years.

In a press release today, Apple confirmed that it would only be continuing to make available the iPod touch “while supplies last”. However, the company also took the opportunity to remind us all that “the music lives on”, those engaged with Apple’s ecosystem now able to appreciate their music library across a vast range of devices, encompassing the likes of the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

iPod Touch

And certainly, it can’t be denied that the world into which the first iPod entered – way back on October 23, 2001 – was a drastically different one to now. Less than two months on from 9/11, Apple under the late Steve Jobs launched us into an enthralling new era of portable audio listening that we barely realized we needed.

As the years passed, the iPod line evolved with them, spawning the likes of the iPod mini, iPod nano, and iPod Shuffle. The first edition of the iPod touch was released in September 2007, just months after the first iPhone, and very much resembled an ‘iPhone without a phone’. But again, while we didn’t know it at the time, it effectively marked the beginning of the iPod’s long goodbye.

In 2019, the seventh – and what turned out to be the final – iPod touch was launched, and we now have the news that there will be no direct replacement. It’s been quite the ride, iPod – and while the music will indeed live on through other devices and services such as Apple Music, we can’t forget this little audio player’s incalculable contribution to Apple and broader cultural history.

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