In a subtle but telling move, iPods will be demoted from the table display to wall racks in Apple Stores beginning next Wednesday. The iconic digital music players will now be found alongside other accessories like headphones, chargers, and adapter cables. Several Apple Store managers tipped 9to5Mac on this in-store change.
While the standalone device has quietly lost its place in the pecking order thanks to the near ubiquitous presence of smartphones, not the least of which is Apple’s own iPhone lineup, many of us remember a time not long ago when the iPod was the pinnacle of digital music technology.
When Apple first launched the original iPod in 2001, it was presented as an ‘ultra portable’ device that could hold 1000 songs (whoa!). “With iPod, Apple has invented a whole new category of digital music player that lets you put your entire music collection in your pocket and listen to it wherever you go,” said then-CEO Steve Jobs in a press release at the time. “With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again.”
Fourteen years later, Apple prefers its users to stream music through Apple Music rather than load MP3s onto an iPod. While its music streaming service just launched in June, iPod sales have long been on a downturn as smartphones now perform the same functions, along with a world of new ones. In a world where people can access the internet — and millions of songs — on a phone in their pocket, iPods are nearly as antiquated as the iPod episode of the hilarious ‘Kids React’ video series made them seem.
iPods may be stashed away in the corner of Apple Stores (and difficult to find on Apple’s website), but they aren’t being discontinued yet. Just weeks ago, Apple introduced the sixth generation iPod Touch with Apple Music and Beats 1 pre-installed. With an 8-megapixel camera, iOS 8.4 and a 64-bit A8 chip, though, it’s definitely not your vintage iPod. The new iPods come in three models with 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacity which are available for $200, $250, and $300, respectively — if you can find them on the shelf.