Why Has Apple Discontinued the iPod?

Apple has finally killed the “iPod” brand, just over twenty years since its original introduction in 2001. The iconic lineup of portable media players that drove Apple’s growth in the early 2000s is now something people don’t really care about outside of the nostalgia factor.

On its website, Apple states that its last iPod, the iPod touch (7th generation), will only be available as long as supplies last, meaning it’s no longer in production. So, why has Apple decided to discontinue the iPod? And is it the right move for the Cupertino-based company? Let’s find out below.

The iPod Has Been on the Way Out for Years

At this point, we can only speculate as Apple has been silent about why it’s discontinuing the iPod lineup, besides the announcement in an Apple Newsroom post. But, it’s safe to assume the iPod touch’s rapidly declining sales over the past decade are mainly the reason for the discontinuation. That begs the question: Why have people lost interest in the iPod?

iPods and other portable MP3 players peaked before smartphones took off and reached mainstream adoption. However, almost everybody—including teenagers—owns a smartphone nowadays, which they can use to listen to music. So, why would people buy an iPod solely for listening to music, especially when their smartphone can do it just as well?


For listening to music at home, you have products like the HomePod mini that only costs $99, with which allow you to stream the entire Apple Music library using just your voice. And if you like to browse on the move, you also have the iPad (9th generation), which gives you a much bigger screen for $329.

The declining sales of the iPod touch and the rising popularity of other Apple products probably pushed the company to pull the plug on the iPod. We think Apple was probably right to kill the iPod because it just doesn’t make sense in 2022.

Why the iPod Touch Doesn’t Make Sense in 2022

For $199, the iPod touch (7th generation) is a tough sell, considering it packs the Apple A10 Fusion processor from the iPhone 8 series that came out in 2016. So, it can’t handle graphically intensive mobile games like PUBG Mobile with buttery smooth frame rates. Also, the 4-inch screen is too tiny for anything besides listening to music by today’s standards.

If you’re lucky, you may be able to grab an iPhone SE from third-party retailers for just a hundred dollars more, which gives you a bigger screen, a better processor, and an improved camera on top of cellular capabilities. And don’t forget double the storage space too.

And lastly, since Apple is phasing out the seventh generation iPod touch, we don’t expect it to officially support iOS 16 when the company rolls out the update later this year for its iPhone lineup. So, you’re basically spending two hundred dollars on a three-year-old product with no guarantees on software support.

All in all, the iPod touch is only worth considering if you’re buying it for someone who’s not old enough to use a phone yet, like kids in elementary school. Or if you’re a collector and want to own this iconic product for decades to come. Everything considered, there aren’t many reasons to keep the iPod around.

Apple Killing the iPod Is No Surprise

Apple stopped focusing on iPods years ago, so the move to discontinue comes as no surprise. The company did away with annual refreshes of the iPod touch in 2012, and since then we have seen only two newer generations of this model. Furthermore, Apple removed the iPod from its site’s homepage in 2015, indicating the end was on the horizon.

Fortunately, we still have plenty of other potential Apple products to be excited about this calendar year, from the iPhone 14 to the M2 MacBook. It’s time to move beyond iPods and other portable media players, as we have much better gadgets to look forward to.

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