The iPod Is Disappearing: The Rise and Fall of the Music Player


Apple says goodbye to the iPod after more than twenty years. The device was successful around the world, in part due to its simple design and operation.

Nowadays, we can listen to music on our smartphone without limitation through music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. However, this option was not always available. When the first iPod Classic was announced on October 23, 2001, it was a revolutionary device: for the first time, people could carry large amounts of music with them.

Back then, you couldn’t do much more than listen to music with the music player. However, the model, which was about the size of a pack of cigarettes, came with a 5GB hard drive. This was significantly more storage than other MP3 players had at the time. What immediately stood out was the click wheel, with which you could easily operate the device.

Despite the criticisms about the high price of 450 euros, the iPod Classic is a success. Almost every year a new Classic model appeared, often with more storage capacity than before. The design also changed a bit, but the recognizable click wheel was still present.

The iPod Classic was about the size of a pack of cigarettes.

In 2004, Apple introduced a new music player: the iPod Mini, a more compact version of its predecessor. The model was available in five different colors. Again, experts thought the price was too high, but the device was still a success.

The more compact iPod Mini is available in five different colors.

The successor to the iPod Nano, released in 2005, was also recognizable by its colors. The model was much flatter than the Mini. Users could also view photos and videos there. The iPod Shuffle was also released the same year: the first iPod without a screen. With this you can shake to change the order of the digits.

The iPod Nano was much flatter than the Mini.

Just two years later, Apple decided to release something new with a big screen: the iPod Touch. It is the only model that can connect to a Wi-Fi network, allowing users to also download apps from Apple’s App Store.

The disappearance of the iPod

Sales figures show that the iPod has been a great success. Over 100 million copies were sold between 2001 and 2007. In the peak year of 2008, 54.8 million units were still sold, but sales dipped thereafter. In 2014, only 14.4 million copies were sold. Since 2015, Apple has stopped sharing iPod sales.

Ironically, Apple’s own iPhone, the first model of which was released in 2007, heralded the demise of the iPod. Also due to the rise of smartphones from other brands, the music player has become less and less relevant; after all, they also have opportunities in music.

Apple is now completely halting production of its iPod music player, the company announced earlier this week. The iPod Touch, the latest model made by Apple, will remain available as long as supplies are available. This model had not been updated in recent years, so the end is not completely unexpected.

The iPod Touch will remain available as long as supplies are available.

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