It has been just over 20 years since Apple released the first iPod, and the line of portable media players won’t make it to 21. Apple has announced the end of the iPod Touch, which was the last remaining device in its iPod lineup. There won’t be any new versions of this device, so anyone who wants a piece of technology history will have to grab one before the current stock is sold out.
Apple released the first iPod in late 2001, sporting a Firewire port and up to 10 GB of storage. That sounds unimpressive now, but 10 gigs in a portable device that fit in your hand was a big deal — many laptops of the day shipped with a similar amount of total storage. It would not be a stretch to say the iPod was a key part of Apple’s early 2000s revival, and it spun that success into the iPhone, which continues to be the most popular smartphone in the world.
But with that success comes some hard choices. In 2007 and 2008, iPods still made sense. The iPod Touch in particular served as a way for people to access the iOS App Store without committing to an AT&T contract and paying through the nose for the iPhone.
Apple somehow managed to announce the end of the iPod Touch without actually saying the words. Instead, it recapped the history of the iPod line and said the iPod Touch would be available only while supplies last. It wouldn’t be in keeping with the company’s image to admit that people just aren’t buying iPods anymore — and why would they? As Apple noted, you can pick up an iPhone SE that’s vastly more powerful and modern than even the most recent iPod Touch, which was released in 2019.
Apple has slowly whittled down the iPod lineup over the years, settling on just the Touch model with the discontinuation of the Shuffle in 2017. It’s unclear how long it will take for Apple and retailers to sell through the current stock of 7th generation iPod Touch units, but this is Apple, so there’s no fire sale. If you want an iPod Touch before they’re gone, pricing starts at $200 for the 32GB version. It has an A10 processor (which debuted in the iPhone 7) and a 4-inch 1136 x 640 LCD. It’s not competitive with even the cheapest iPhones, but for the time being, the last gasp of the iPod is the cheapest way to get into Apple’s iOS ecosystem.