RIP iPod: A look at Apple’s iconic music player over the years

RIP iPod: A look at Apple’s iconic music player over the years

Apple announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch earlier this week, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its west marks the end of the entire iPod series.

RIP iPod capability
To get the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the most notable iPod releases of the last 21 years.

Genuine iPod (2001)

Launched in October 2001, the original iPod was introduced as a device that put 1,000 songs in your pocket. It has become one of Apple’s most iconic and well-known products and is one of the devices responsible for launching Apple into success.

2001 ipod

The original iPod offered a hard drive with 5 GB of storage and a scroll wheel that spins naturally and remains the only iPod with this design. It also had a FireWire port for connecting to a Mac and sold for $ 399. Apple followed in the footsteps of the original iPod with an almost identical second-generation model in 2002 that had a capacitive touch wheel with side-click buttons, and a third-generation model added an even more refined touch wheel with buttons on the top. The third generation iPod also added a Dock Connector.

third generation ipod

With the fourth generation model released in 2004, Apple introduced the Click Wheel, a replica of the Touch Wheel that also incorporated buttons. The fourth generation model is notable because Apple continued to use the Click Wheel for years to come.

ipod click wheel 4th gen

The color-coded iPod followed the fourth-generation model later in 2004, and Apple extended the color-coded display to all models in 2005 with the color-coded iPod. Both were considered part of the fourth generation series.

ipod color

Apple added video capabilities in 2005 with the fifth-generation iPod and it was also the first iPod to be released in black in addition to the special black and red U2 version of the iPod.

u2 ipod

After the iPod video, Apple introduced the classic iPod and released several versions in 2007, 2008 and 2009, all of which were similar in design. The 2009 classic iPod was Apple’s latest iPod in size with a 160 GB hard drive, click wheel and widescreen color display. It stayed until it stopped being released in 2014.

ipod classic view

iPod mini (2004)

Apple’s first iPod mini was released in 2004 and was much smaller in size than the standard iPod. It came in a lot of fun colors including yellow, blue, pink and gold and had a typical click wheel.

ipod mini 2005

The iPod mini did not last long and while there was a second generation version in 2005, after that it stopped being released in favor of the iPod nano.

iPod nano (2005)

Replacing the iPod mini, the iPod nano is one of Apple’s most exciting iPods because of the many major design iterations it has seen over the years.


Apple started with a slim, color-coded aluminum iPod with a click wheel, color screen and flash memory that allowed Apple to reduce the size. The nano was replaced in 2006 with a second-generation version that had more rounded edges, a lower form factor and brighter aluminum colors.


For the third generation iPod nano released in 2007, Apple went in a completely different direction and this nano was colloquially known as the “fatty” iPod nano. It had a wider body with a wider screen and had many color choices.


The nano fatty lasted only a year before being replaced by the once again slim fourth generation iPod nano, which came in a whole rainbow of colors. It has a higher screen, a curved front end and an accelerometer for “Shake” function that lets you shake an iPod to shuffle songs.

ipod nano 4

Apple’s 2009 fifth-generation iPod nano was similar to the fourth-generation model, but had a higher screen and a camera and microphone. It was also released in brighter colors, but Apple retained the wide range of color options.


The nano received a major design overhaul in 2010 with the sixth generation version being just a square screen. It used a multi-touch screen instead of a click wheel and this is the version in which people attached watch straps, making it something like the forerunner of the Apple Watch.

6th generation ipod nano watch strap

Apple changed the design in 2012 with the seventh generation iPod nano, restoring the rectangular shape but leaving the multi-touch screen in place. The nano of this era looked like a smaller iPod touch, with a Home button and support for many applications. The seven-generation iPod nano acquired new colors in 2015 before being discontinued in 2017.

ipod nano colors

iPod shuffle (2005)

Apple’s first iPod shuffle was introduced in 2005 before the second-generation iPod mini and looked a lot like an Apple TV remote control. It was Apple’s first screenless iPod, with nothing but a controller to keep the size low, and it doubled as a flash drive.

ipod shuffle επετειος wikimedia commons

The second-generation iPod shuffle had a major redesign in 2006 and Apple reduced it to about half the size of the original and added a belt clip. It was touted as the smallest MP3 player in the world at the time, and there was even a small iPod shuffle dock for charging via the headphone jack. It was released in silver, but Apple eventually came out with additional colors such as pink, blue, green and orange.

ipod shuffle 2nd generation

The iPod shuffle had another redesign in 2009, with Apple adding a voice feature that lets it pronounce the names of songs and albums aloud using text-to-speech. This is the model where Apple removed the controls of the device, instead of using headphones with a connected remote control for playback.

ipod shuffle 3rd generation

In 2010, Apple decided that the controls on the device were not a bad idea, introducing the fourth generation iPod shuffle. The fourth generation model was the latest iPod shuffle, with bright colors, a smaller frame and the return of the Control Pad.

The ipod shuffle series 2015

The iPod Shuffle received no further design updates, although Apple introduced new colors in 2015. It was finally discontinued in 2017.

iPod touch (2007)

The first iPod touch was released in 2007 with the iPhone and was a more affordable alternative to an iPhone that did not have mobile capabilities. It looked a lot like an iPhone with a 3.5-inch multi-touch screen and had WiFi support, Safari integration and apps like YouTube, Mail, Maps and Weather.

genuine ipod touch

The second- and third-generation iPod touch models had the same design, but when the iPhone 4 was released in 2010, Apple also redesigned the iPod touch to look similar. Included a FaceTime camera on the front, a rear camera and iMessage support, and in black or white.

ipod touch 2011

Apple redesigned the iPod touch again in 2012 and the fifth generation model had a larger screen and a slimmer body, plus it was the first iPod touch to be released in bright colors. It came with the iPhone 5 as an A5 chip pocket computer.

ipod touch 5 colors

After the fifth generation iPod touch, the design did not change, but Apple introduced a sixth generation model in 2017 and a seventh generation model in 2019, both with updated chips. Following the release of the seventh generation iPod touch in 2019, the device remained uninformed for three years until it was discontinued earlier this week.

IPod Touch 2 background function

IPod replacements

Apple said it decided to discontinue the iPod series because the iPod features are now integrated into every Apple device, from the iPhone and iPad to the Mac, Apple TV, HomePod and Apple Watch.

The ipod touch has stopped

Almost every modern Apple device supports the Apple Music service introduced by Apple in 2015 and is also available online, on Android devices and more, making the iPod redundant. Apple sells iPod touch while stocks last, but has already sold out in the United States.

You may still be able to find an iPod touch from a third-party retailer, but be sure to act fast because they sell out quickly as people aim to get one of the latest iPods available.

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