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Final refrain for iPod as Apple stops production

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Apple has put out word it is no longer making iPods, the trend-setting MP3 players that transformed how people get music and gave rise to the iPhone.

Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs introduced the devices nearly 21 years ago with his legendary showmanship flare, and the small, easy to operate players helped the company revolutionise how music was sold.

It packed “a mind-blowing 1,000 songs” the company said at the time, and together with Apple’s iTunes shop established a new distribution model for the music industry.

Buying complete albums on vinyl gave way to paying 99 cents a piece for selected digital songs.

Industry trackers and California-based Apple itself have long acknowledged that the do-it-all iPhone would eat away at sales of one-trick devices such as iPod MP3 players. The trend toward streaming music services, including one by Apple, has made devices designed just for carrying digital tunes around less enticing for consumers.

Apple said in a blog post that the current generation of iPods will only be available as long as current supplies last.

“Music has always been part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the way iPod did impacted more than just the music industry,” said Apple senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Greg Joswiak.

“It also redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and shared.”

Joswiak said that the “spirit of iPod” lives on in its lineup of products including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and its HomePod smart speaker.

A display of iPods in Cologne, western Germany. PHOTO: AFP
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