It is end of an era has Apple discontinues its music player, the iPod Touch, pulling down the curtains on a device that transformed the way people listen to music.
The announcement marks a major change in the entertainment industry with iPod fans taking to the social media to express their views and memories on the news.
The iPod was launched in 2001, kicking off with just 1,000 tracks. The device grew rapidly and currently it boasts more than 90 million songs on Apple’s streaming service.
A few years down its inception, iPod became a cultural force and a status symbol, radically changing the face of music.
The team that came up with iPod Touch later invented the iPhone, which quickly grew in stature globally overshadowing the iPod.
Over the years there have been a number of iPod models over the years – including the Nano and Shuffle. The latest, the iPod Touch was released in 2007 and is the last model to be discontinued. It is was a revolutionary piece of device given that touch screen was seen as a futuristic concept.
Apple, however, says the gadget will still be sold “while stocks last”.
The gadget had “redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and shared”, Greg Joswiak, the senior vice-president of worldwide marketing at Apple told BBC.
Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs introduced the devices nearly 21 years ago with his signature razzmatazz that captured the imagination of music lovers. a
It packed “a mind-blowing 1,000 songs” the company said at the time, and together with Apple’s iTunes shop established a new distribution model for the music industry.
“Music’s a part of everyone’s life. Music’s been around forever. It will always be around,” Jobs snoted during his hour long presentation.
The big headline for the night was simple: “1,000 songs in your pocket.”
Over the years, many celebrities have thrown their star power behind the iPod, including John Mayer, U2 and Oprah Winfrey. BMW introduced the first car entertainment system with a built-in iPod system, and within a few years, most car manufacturers had followed suit.
But tech analysist say it was inevitable the iPhone would one day replace the iPod.
“When Apple created the iPhone it knew that it would ultimately mean the beginning of the end of the iPod,” Ben Wood, chief analyst at technology advisory firm CCS Insight, told the BBC.
Carolina Milanesi from Creative Strategies said the decline of iPod sales was connected to the rise of iPhone sales – like the move from digital sales to streaming.
“The demise of the iPod is probably the best example of Apple not being concerned about cannibalising its own products,” she said.
The iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player on the market, just like the iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone – but that unique Apple design proved to be the push digital music needed to start to tempt people away from CD and cassette players – and file-sharing.
In 2001 the music industry was fighting for survival against illegal file-sharing as tunes were ripped and shared on platforms faster than record labels could issue legal threats.
The launch of iTunes, and the iPod shortly afterwards, provided it with a lifeline in the form of revenue for legitimately purchased downloads.
It also revived the fortunes of Apple, which was languishing in a market dominated by Windows PCs.
It was introduced on stage by the late Steve Jobs at an event on 23 October 2001.
“With iPod, listening to mu
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