R.I.P. IPod Touch – Era Ends As Apple Discontinues Its Last Handheld Music Player

Apple broke the news today that it’s discontinuing the iPod Touch, the 20-year-old portable music player that had “captivated users all over the world who love the ability to take their music with them on the go.” It’s the last of its breed — the iPod nano and iPod shuffle were discontinued in 2017.

The slender device was transformational. But by now, the company said, “the experience of taking one’s music library out into the world has been integrated across Apple’s product line — from iPhone and Apple Watch to iPad and Mac — along with access to more than 90 million songs and over 30,000 playlists available via Apple Music.”

The tech giant’s post announcing the move was titled, “The music lives on.”

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The iPod and iTunes music software introduced most people to digital music purchases, which were controversial at the time as the music industry battled sharing apps like Napster, which was shut down after being sued by and losing a court battle with big music labels. The iPod was a pioneer in getting people to pay for digital music, charging 99 cents a song or $9.99 per album. Apple expanded to digital movie and TV downloads in 2005.

The original iPod, introduced on October 23, 2001 held 1,000 songs and had a 10-hour battery life, weighing in at 6.5 ounces. The devices will be available through Apple’s website, stores and authorized resellers for $199 while supplies last. They comes in six colors and 32GB, 128GB and 256GB models.

“Music has always been part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the way iPod impacted more than just the music industry — it also redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and shared,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing.

The company took the opportunity to tout the iPhone as the best device for streaming and storing music on the go.

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