It’s been 21 years since Steve Jobs was on stage talking about Apple’s answer to digital music, saying it’s a “breakthrough device” and “it’s not a Mac.” Well, last week Apple released a statement saying it’s decided to cease production of the latest iPod model, marking the end of an era for the gadget which helped shape the music listening experience for millions of people.
Looking at numbers, Apple sold more than 400 million units of the iPod and it’s easy to see it was one of the most loved digital devices ever made. When the first iPod was launched in 2001, it could store 1,000 tracks and this seemed revolutionary at the time. But technology has moved on and today, there are more than 90 million songs on Apple’s streaming service.
The iPod Touch was designed by the same Apple team which later invented the iPhone. Of course, it was the iPhone which quickly overshadowed the iPod. As Apple has stated: “the spirit of the iPod lives on in other products.”
There have been various iPod models over the years – including the Nano and Shuffle – but the iPod Touch, which was released in 2007 is the last model to be discontinued.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the very first iPod on October 23, 2001, with the promise of a “breakthrough digital device – that’s not a Mac”.
Even the invitations for the launch event read: “Hint: It’s not a Mac.” At the time digital music was on the rise and there were other digital music players on the market including Sony with its Walkman. But as Apple has done before and has done since, it came out with a digital solution which pretty much won the whole market over.
By bringing out the iPod and letting people know they could have all of their favourite songs stored on it and be able to play them at any time, Apple changed history. In 2001, even thinking you could possibly have your your whole music library in your pocket was a huge deal. This was before the iPhone and any music streaming services so music was not a portable commodity but Apple changed all of this.
Many people have taken to social media, talking about the day they bought their first iPod and how revolutionary it was. As one user told us here at Women Love Tech: “It was amazing being able to listen to all of my music on one device without needing to change tapes such as you’d have to with the Sony Walkman and the mini disc player I had before.”
The spirit of the iPod lives on in Apple’s other products
Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said in a company statement: “Music has always been part of our core at Apple and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the way iPod did impact more than just the music industry — it also redefined how music is discovered, listened to and shared.”
“Today, the spirit of iPod lives on. We’ve integrated an incredible music experience across all our products, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to HomePod mini, and across Mac, iPad and Apple TV,” he continued.
“And Apple Music delivers industry-leading sound quality with support for Spatial Audio — there’s no better way to enjoy, discover and experience music,” he said. Apple says the iPod Touch will be available while stock lasts.
The original iPod had a 5GB capacity and was later offered with a 10GB memory. In January 2004, Apple released the iPod Mini in multiple colours and that’s when the iPod became a phenomenal success.
It was followed by the iPod Nano while the classic iPod expanding up to 120GB. In 2005, we would see the iPod shuffle for the first time. But it was in 2007, when Apple introduced the iPhone, that was the beginning of the end for the iPod.
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