After many years of the most recognisable music and media player, Apple have finally axed production of all variations of the iPod. There will no longer be new developments, nor will the production line be churning out existing models.
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The first iPod hit shelves in 2001, with the revered touch screen version released 6 years later in 2007. Many (both inside Apple and out) consider the iPod to have galvanised the company and provided the platform for the success enjoyed by the iPhone, iPad and other associated products farther down the line. Until this point, Apple was primarily a computer company, but the iPod indicated a transitional period where portability was key and the range was introduced to give a ‘computer in your pocket’ sensation. The evidence suggests, this was an astute business decision when you review the direction tech has moved in over the past couple of decades.
The iPod was initially described as the “worlds coolest MP3 player” and was delivered in a time where playing music was the pinnacle of portable digital entertainment but went on to innovate with video playback and the smooth operating system which wasn’t even really available on smartphones at the time. Variations like the nano, classic & shuffle garnered varying levels of success but all played into the longstanding successful legacy of the iPod product range.
Supplies are expected to last up to 12 months, so whilst old stock is still available you can get your hands on ipod touches from Apple – all is not lost if you’re still desperate to get your hands on one. Although no discounts have been announced, this indicates that Apple are expecting relatively strong sales in the approaching period, without any incentives.
There is a feeling that the main appeals of an iPod touch are no longer strong enough to drive sales on the range alone, with other Apple products having embraced, matched and perhaps even surpassed the capabilities of the iPod devices. The exact timing wasn’t expected by many, but in truth the discontinuation is something which has been on the cards for a while and has been touted by tech industry experts for some time. The market share of MP3 / Video playback devices which can be likened to the iPod has long been in decline, with iPads and other tablets taking their place and the continued strength of mobile phones, including the iPhone being ever present.
Throughout the years, many celebrities backed the iPod through advertising campaigns including U2 (and the fated ever present album) as well as John Mayer and even car manufacturer BMW. The German car maker was the first in a long line of auto companies to create a fully iPod compatible entertainment system with Apple centric music controls. This was almost certainly part of the influence the iPod had.
What is for sure, is that the iPod won’t easily be forgotten. Many consider the device(s) to have changed the way we listen to music, focusing on making as much as possible available to as many as possible, anywhere, all the time. The range shaped the market and helped propel Apple to become the technology behemoth that it is today.