Like the moontower, the bathing machine, and the Cooking Dog before it, the unceasing march of technological progress has finally come for the Apple iPod, easily one of the most important inventions of the last half-century or so—especially if we’re only talking about inventions that would be mentioned on The A.V. Club… because there are probably water filtration systems or surgical advancements that are more important to humanity in general, but they didn’t lay the groundwork for eventually selling people on the concept of smartphones, creating a world where nearly everyone is constantly walking around with a computer in their pocket.
What we’re saying is that the iPod is dead, with Apple announcing this morning that it is discontinuing production of the iPod Touch and therefore ending the iPod line after more than 20 years. In a post titled “The music lives on,” Apple pointedly notes that it sells a bunch of other devices that do all of the same stuff that the iPod Touch does, in addition to making phone calls and/or having bigger screens and/or streaming music throughout your house and/or fitting on your wrist.
Basically, like the aforementioned Cooking Dog (which was an extremely sad animal that was specifically bred to run on a little wheel to turn a spit and has now gone extinct), the iPod Touch is simply obsolete. There’s no reason to have one unless you want an iPhone with a worse screen that doesn’t make calls, which is a duty that could be filled by an old iPhone anyway.
The good iPods, the ones with a click wheel and no way to access Twitter, have been gone for a long time. It would be very unlike Apple to embrace nostalgia for retro technology and replace the Touch with an updated version of those old models, so the writing has been on the wall for the iPod for a long time now. That being said, a new iPod with a click wheel and a nice little screen and no way to access Twitter would be extremely cool, but there are still companies putting out cheap (and very much not cheap) mp3 players… so, again, the iPod is just kind of unnecessary these days.
Apple says the remaining stock of iPod Touches will be available while supplies last, and the various colors and storage sizes all still seem to be easy to get on the Apple website. That won’t be the case forever, though, so if you might want to grab one while you can before the eventual iPod Touch nostalgia kicks in (the hipsters will say that U2’s “Vertigo” just sounds better on an iPod Touch, even though we associate that song with a much older iPod generation, so it doesn’t really make sense to reference it here).