Pour one out for a real one because Apple’s iPod, the portable music player that revolutionized the industry, has officially retired. On Tuesday, Apple announced the discontinuation of the iPod Touch, which will remain available until supplies last, putting an end to the product line that defined my teen years. I could go into heavy detail, and I will—honoring the history of the handheld device that never left my side along with my BlackBerry.
On October 23rd, 2001, the original iPod was born, and while it wasn’t the first MP3 player—it was the first of its kind. The walkman paled in comparison to the 1,000 song capacity and 10-hour battery life of the iPod. The user-friendly interface and sleek design of the iPod made it the easy choice amongst MP3 players. Coupled with Apple’s digital iTunes platform, the tech company changed the way music was discovered, consumed, and shared forever.
It was a risk for Apple to release a music product considering they were known as a computer company and almost went bankrupt a few years prior but it paid off. The iPod’s success, and Apple’s, has always relied on reinvention. Taking their own product and making it slightly better year after year. The classic iPod product line expanded to include the iPod Mini, iPod Nano, and iPod shuffle which Apple stopped selling between 2014-2017. I will never forget my blue iPod Nano packed with 2000s hits like Sean Kingston’s “Fire Burning”, Timbaland’s “The Way I Are”, and The Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t Cha”.
The release of the iPhone in 2007 is what ultimately rendered the iPod dispensable combining an iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator into one device. When I made the switch from a BlackBerry to an iPhone, I also retired my iPod nano and the extensively curated library of music that took me hours to download and transfer.
The iPod Touch was also released in 2007 as an iPhone without the phone and is the last of its kind still standing over 20 years later. For nostalgic reasons, if you want to purchase an iPod touch before supplies sell out, they’re being sold on the Apple website starting at $199 each. They’re available in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB and in six colors including silver, pink, blue, and gold.