Out with the old. In with the new.
The original iPod was released nearly 13 years ago in October 2001. The device was known primarily as a media player alone, and did not have a touch screen until 2012. Most innovations that could have been reserved for the iPod product were instead used for the iPhone.
Eventually, this would give the impression that the iPod was a one-trick pony. The iPod's upgrades from its first generation were modest at best: the lovable click wheel, additional colors, and more storage space. Back in 2004, those innovations for the fourth generation iPod were a huge deal. Comparatively, in 2014, the iPhone 6 has Wi-Fi capability, takes better pictures than almost any camera for the same price, has touch screen functionality, and a host of other functions that make the iPod an obsolete product by comparison.
The iPod Touch, the most successful iPod of late, added a touchscreen and physically resembles the iPhone 5, but lacks most of the features that made the phones so popular. Despite cutting the price and adding a rear-facing camera to the iPod Touch in June, the iPod division has sold less than half of the units sold in 2013 in the first three quarters of 2014. The iPod Touch line will continue for now, but is likely to be phased out soon as well.
Sales for the iPod have steadily declined since the media player peaked in sales in 2009 and as Android smartphones, Android tablets, iPads, iPhones, and cheaper MP3 players with similar features began to hit the market. Apple was able to stave off the death of the iPod classic by releasing an upgrade to the sixth generation iPod with 160 GB for $249, that's more music than most of us will probably ever need, but it wasn't enough.
Perhaps the biggest factor in the iPod's decline is the popularity of music streaming sites such as Spotify, which gives music enthusiasts the ability to listen to anything at a whim without concerns of storage space, conflicting file types, and other minor headaches that come along with media players.
The iPod classic had a great run, but the time has finally come to lay the gadget to rest. Salute.