Two decades after it disrupted the way people listened to music, Apple has rung in the closing notes on the production of the iPod.

Introduced in 2001, the first iPod was launched by Steve Jobs as the “quantum leap” for music with the slogan “A 1,000 songs in your pocket”.

The last of the device, Apple’s iPod touch will be available “while supplies last,” the tech major has announced.

Nostalgia flooded social media with users sharing fond memories of the device. “Goodbye iPod. Remember that first feeling when we realised how much better listening to music could be,” cricket commentator and journalist Harsha Bhogle wrote on Twitter

The original iPod was introduced on October 23, 2001, and was the first MP3 player to pack 1,000 songs with a 10-hour battery. The latest device in the product line, the iPod touch (7th generation) was introduced in 2019. 

Inspired innovation

According to Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst and CEO, Greyhound Research, the iPod inspired innovation across categories.

The iPod has been credited with reviving Apple’s business after the device was first introduced in 2001. Though the iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player in the market, multiple factors had set it apart. According to Gogia, these included design, the scope for personalisation and intuitiveness.

“What happened thereafter, was that multiple other innovations from streaming platforms and digital music platforms perspective, were actually inspired by the entire premise of people wanting to have or invest in devices or solutions that have dedicated themselves to music,” Gogia said. 

If you go back in time, and circle back, and the numbers were not so handsome, but I think it’s what really put Apple back into the game of music, for experiences and for content,” he added.

“Music has always been part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the way iPod did impacted more than just the music industry — it also redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and shared,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Marketing. 

Inevitable closure

The end was inevitable as Apple had been slowly stepping away from the device. It discontinued the iPod classic in 2014, while the last of the initial iPods that did not require internet connectivity were discontinued in 2017 as Apple took down the websites for the iPod nano and iPod shuffle. It stopped reporting iPod sales in 2015.

Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC believes that one of the major contributing factors to the end of the iPod is the emergence of streaming platforms. 

“We are now living in an era where you’re streaming music. Audio is almost synonymous to, streaming especially for the segment who could afford a device like iPhone or iPod,” said Kawoosa.