The product that kickstarted Apple’s revolution effectively died today.
Apple discontinued two of the three remaining products that bear the iPod name, according to Bloomberg, the iPod Nano and Shuffle. Apple will continue to sell the iPod Touch—and actually lowered the price on the device today—but in reality, this device is far removed from the intent of the original iPod.
Sixteen years ago, then-CEO Steve Jobs, only a few years back on the job after being exiled throughout the 1990s from the company he co-founded, took the stage at a press event to unveil the iPod. It was a sleek, artfully designed mp3 player that, as Jobs famously said, put “1,000 songs in your pocket.” As anyone who was born before the mid-2000s is likely aware, the iPod was a massive financial and cultural hit. It propelled Apple into the upper echelons of the most profitable companies in the world, and set the stage for the iPhone—arguably the single most successful electronic device of all time—which Jobs even originally referred to as “an iPod, a Phone, and an internet communicator” when it launched in 2007.
The iPod, along with iTunes, changed the way the world listens to music. Jobs atomized the album with the iPod, allowing a greater number of people to pick and choose the songs they wanted to listen wherever they were. As the years progressed and smartphones became more prevalent and the price of storage fell, there became fewer and fewer reasons to carry two devices with you wherever you went. Apple stopped selling its iPod Classic, the device shaped most like its original iPod, in 2014. The Shuffle and Nano iPods have effectively been replaced by the Apple Watch, which can store up to 2 GB of music—assuming you can stand to wear one.
What’s left with the iPod Touch, all these years on, is essentially a very small tablet. It performs all the functions of an iPhone, except for being able to make a phone call. It is no longer just a simple, singular, music-playing device. Perhaps Apple should think about renaming it the iPad Touch.
Relive the original commercials for both discontinued iPods below—both of which were first released in 2005: