The iPod is dead, well almost. The product range that helped bring Apple back on top and control the global music scene for many years has been discontinued. Earlier this week, Apple announced that it had stopped selling both the iPod Nano and Shuffle. This means only the iPod Touch –now available only in 32GB and 128GB options — is now available to buyers.
The original iPod was released roughly 16 years ago on October 23, 2001. Steve Jobs’ idea was to make a simple music player with an attractive design, intuitive interface and the ability to store up to 1000 songs. At $399 (or approx Rs 25,597), it didn’t come cheap, but it helped Apple project itself as a premium brand. Then came the iTunes store, which revolutionised the digital music industry. As the iTunes and iPod grew in popularity, Apple added more models (Shuffle, Nano and Touch) to the iPod lineup.
Now, that Apple has finally killed the iPod, here’s a look at the 10 most memorable iPod models.
iPod (first generation, 2001)
The first iPod was heavy and a bit chunky, but without the existence of this particular model there would no iPods at all. The first-generation iPod had a scroll wheel, and four buttons around it for easy navigation.
It connected to the computer via Firewire, and had the ability to store over 1,000 songs. We’ve included the first-generation iPod because of the industrial design. And of course there’s a nostalgia factor attached to it.
iPod (third-generation, 2003)
The third-generation iPod was introduced in 2003. It was the first iPod to be drastically redesigned. It was the only iPod that came with four capacitive playback buttons above its wheel (which wasn’t clickable).
The third-generation iPod was radically redesigned, had the dock connector, and was offered with a capacity of up to 40GB. It was a slightly weird design though.
iPod Nano (first-generation, 2005)
Launched in 2005, Apple iPod Nano replaced the iPod Mini as the low-cost digital music player. It was small, ultra thin, and had a colour display.
The entry-level model came with 1GB internal memory, while the top-end model was sold with 4GB storage. It proved to be a popular iPod among the runners and fitness enthusiasts.
iPod (fifth-generation, 2005)
It was a game-changing iPod – after all this model had the ability to play video. A big deal, back then. It was offered in 30GB and 60GB storage capacities.
In 2006, Apple updated the “video iPod” with an improved colour screen, longer battery life, and the storage capacity moved up to 80GB for the high-end model.
iPod Shuffle (second-generation, 2006)
Like the first-generation iPod Shuffle, the second-generation model also came without a screen. It was smaller than a matchbox, had a single 1GB storage option, and a metal clipping on the back for securing the device to your shirt, or slingbag.
The small-sized iPod had a central Play/Pause button and four controls arranged around a click wheel. It was the perfect iPod to listening to music while running.
iPod Nano (third-generation, 2007)
It was the full blown iPod, but had a smaller form factor. Although small in size, the third-generation iPod packed a 2-inch colour screen. And of course, a smaller click wheel. Like the iPod classic, it had a cover flow, and it’s the first iPod Nano that can be used to play games.
The iPod Nano was available in two capacities, 4GB and 8GB, and five colors to choose from: light gray, dark gray, light green, light teal, and ‘Product Red’.
iPod Touch (second-generation, 2008)
In 2008, Apple introduced the second-generation iPod Touch. It sported a 3.5inch, 480 x 320 multi-touch display, similar to the iPhone. In fact, it was basically an iPhone without the 3G connectivity and cameras – it was fully capable of running iOS, the apps store, and came with 802.11n WiFi.
It also came with a integrated speaker; and enhanced battery life compared to the first-gen model. It’s popularity among children made the iPod Touch one of the most successful iPods ever.
iPod Nano (fifth-generation, 2009)
The fifth-generation iPod was colourful like its predecessor, but gained a camera on the back. Although the camera was limited to record VGA (640×480) videos, it was a cool feature nonetheless.
Design-wise, it had a tall, narrow design; the user interface was similar to the fourth-gen model with the exception of a few notable features, such as FM radio, speaker, and a pedometer.
iPod Touch (fifth-generation, 2012)
It was a premium iPod model with a 4-inch screen (640 x 1136 pixel), a dual-core A5 chip, an iSight camera with a built-in flash, a new strap option called an ‘iPod touch loop’,40 hours of music playback, and the iOS 6 with Siri.
Available in only 32GB and 64GB storage options, the iPod Touch (fifth-gen) was launched in multiple colour options. This was the thinnest iPod of its time. At $299 (or approx Rs 14,691), it was priced on the higher side.
iPod Classic (sixth-generation, 2007)
In 2014, Apple quietly pulled the Classic from its website. Tim Cook stated that the company no longer had access to the components and a redesign would have been too costly.
Once considered to be the star music player in the iPod lineup, iPod Classic, at 160GB, could hold 40,000 songs. It was the last iPod to be sold with the classic click wheel.