Why Apple Is Killing The iPod Touch Forever

The iPod has finally met its end. Apple has just announced that they are ceasing production of the seventh-gen iPod Touch. So, if you've been harboring the dreams of buying one of Apple's last dedicated music players, rush to your nearest Apple Store or online retailer, or forever regret the missed opportunity. Apple says the iPod Touch will be available while supplies last, which is a clear sign that no fresh batch will be hitting the shelves again. 

Why is Apple riding the iPod into the sunset? According to Apple, no room remained in their modern product lineup. "Today, the spirit of iPod lives on. We've integrated an incredible music experience across all of our products, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to HomePod mini, and across Mac, iPad, and Apple TV," Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Greg Joswiak, wrote in the official announcement. 

When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPod all the way back in 2001, he boldly proclaimed that "listening to music will never be the same again." The iPod, indeed was a remarkable device for its time. The ability to carry a thousand songs in a pocketable form factor was a huge achievement two decades ago. Rivals arrived and failed. One of the iPod's biggest competitors, Microsoft Zune, not only failed to capture the market but became one of the most noteworthy tech disasters in recent memory.

A product out of time

After the initial release of the first iPod, Apple refined the design and diversified its iPod portfolio with Nano, Shuffle, and Touch. The iPod Touch was so well received that it was used as a stepping stone or a doorway to the future that was iPhone. As Steve Jobs said, this new device was "an iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator." The fact that the iPhone effectively included all of the iPod's best features among its far more versatile feature set started the iPod on the fast track to redundancy. 

Fast forward to the dawn of streaming music services like Spotify and music players like iPod were branded as redundant once again. A lack of internet connectivity, audiophile-grade DAC, support for lossless music, and wide codec support made the iPod feel like a bit of a relic of the past. Apple's own namesake music streaming service didn't do the iPod any favors either — why use a device intended for MP3 files when one already has an iPhone handy?

It may have been the Apple Watch that signed the death certificate for iPod. One of the final novel iterations of the iPod — the classic watch strap iPod nano combo — was given the boot by a device that effectively integrated iPod functionality in its far more vast feature set. Once again, like the iPhone was to the iPod touch, the Apple Watch was to the iPod nano.

With the iPod Touch riding into the sunset soon as another legacy Apple product, the iPod hardware category is finally meeting its end, too. Apple pulled the plugs on the classic model in 2014, while the Shuffle and Nano were discontinued three years later. The current-gen iPod Touch was already holding on for dear life going on three years after its debut — it was only a matter of time before Apple put the last remnant of its iconic music player line on cold ice.