The original iPod music player debuted 13 years ago, in October 2001. It remained one of Apple’s core product categories over the years, despite declining sales and a world of listeners increasingly more reliant on streaming subscription services. Now, as Apple moves into larger-screen smartphones and wearable devices for our wrists with the unveiling of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch Tuesday, a standalone MP3 player has become too antiquated to keep alive.
When Apple’s online store came back online this afternoon at around 12:00 p.m. PT, the iPod classic — the company’s last touchscreen-less music player that first debuted in 2007 — was gone.
It’s no surprise that Apple bid farewell to its sixth generation iPod. The device eventually held as much as 160GB of music and accounted for a healthy chunk of the 54.83 million iPod units shipped at the division’s sales peak in 2009. Yet those numbers began steadily sliding downward as Apple’s iPhone and competing Android smartphones sales begin to eat into the MP3 market, while new device form factors like the iPad tablet carved out a new product niche.