Its time had come. Thinner, more attractive Apple products with barely-there bezels are carrying the torch forward with new features such as haptic sensors and Touch ID, so the Cupertino, Calif., tech firm has laid the iPod Classic to rest.
While Apple was looking to the future of digital wallets and wearable computers during its Sept. 9 press event, the classic iPod was quietly delisted from the company's website.
There was no eulogy from Apple to say goodbye to the MP3 player, but the company's biggest media event of the year was as good a time as ever to end shipments of the iPod Classic. The MP3 player had its day and it's less likely anyone would have checked in on it when the world's attention wasn't on Apple's entire product line.
It's not the end of the iPod line, but it's an indication of where the series is soon headed. Back in 2009, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said his company was anticipating the decline of its MP3 players.
"For traditional MP3 players, which includes Shuffle, Nano, and Classic, we saw a year-over-year decline which we internally had forecasted to occur," Oppenheimer said. "This is one of the original reasons we developed the iPhone and the iPod Touch. We expect our traditional MP3 players to decline over time as we cannibalize ourselves with the iPod Touch and the iPhone."
Oppenheimer's use of the word "cannibalize" aptly describes Apple's treatment of the iPod line during the last half a decade or so. It was like upgrading a computer, pulling the relevant parts for use in newer systems and relegating the rest to recycling.
The click wheel was revolutionary, stated Apple CEO Cook during Apple's latest press event. But the arrival of touch screens allowed users to navigate massive libraries with just as much ease as the click wheel, all while offering double the screen space.
The iPod series' large capacities have survived and have been paired with calling features, GPS and mobile data. With the proliferation of cloud-based music streaming services, the iPod Classic's core service has also been undermined.
The iPod Classic will continue to serve millions of music lovers faithfully for who knows how long, but the warm cloud of nostalgia will eventually lift. Many casual tech enthusiasts have long since put away the redundant MP3 for good, as everything that made it legend has been placed into smartphones by either Apple or the tech company's competitors.
Everyone will have to say goodbye to the iPod Classic in their own way, but there's so much tech to look forward to and fall in love with right now. IPod Classic, R.I.P.