'iPod Father' Tony Fadell Comments on Discontinuation of iPod Classic

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Tony Fadell, who formerly worked at Apple and is widely known as the "father" of the iPod, today commented on the recent discontinuation of the iPod Classic in an interview with Fast Company, saying that he's "sad to see it go."

"The iPod's been a huge part of my life for the last decade. The team that worked on the iPod poured literally everything into making it what it was." Eighteen months after launch, the iPod owned the portable media player category, and for the next decade, it continued to do so. "Products just don't come around like that often," laments Fadell. "The iPod was one-in-a-million."

Though he's sad to see the end of the iPod, Fadell notes that the product was "born to die," with employees speculating in 2003 or 2004 what would kill the device. "Even back then, at Apple," says Fadell, "we knew it was streaming. We called it the 'celestial jukebox in the sky.' And we have that now: music in the cloud."

ipod_classic_views
The final iPod classic was introduced in September of 2009, and rumors of a discontinuation of the product circulated for years before Apple retired the device in September of 2014. Following the announcements for the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and the Apple Watch on September 9, Apple removed the iPod classic from its online store.

Apple's iPod sales have been dwindling for the last several years, and in January, Tim Cook noted that the iPod was a "declining business" for Apple. As of Q3 2014, the iPod made up just one percent of Apple's total revenue, being dwarfed many times over by the iPhone and iPad, both of which have adopted the iPod's music playing capabilities.

Top Rated Comments

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77 months ago
It's not streaming that killed it...

It's not streaming that killed the iPod.
Sorry, but when you have a 20GB library like me, stream it over 3G would cost an enormous amount of money.

What killed it, is Apple not renewing them. If Apple didn't stick with a 6+ years old iPod Classic and had added flash memory or bigger storage on the iPod Nano, features like Bluetooth to the iPod Classic, the iPod business wouldn't be declining like it is right now because I can't be the only one with a 20GB+ library that wants a new device with enough flash storage.

I hear people saying "Well buy a 64GB or 128GB iPhone".
Well guess what: there's also people like me who prefer a device dedicated to music.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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77 months ago
I should get one for later when the internet and power are all gone :)
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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77 months ago
Maybe iPod sales is a 'declining industry' due to lack of updates and high prices. I'm not saying that the iPod is likely to be a large part of Apple's market, but to expect consumers to pay 2014 prices for 2010 tech and then claim people aren't buying them for another reason is a little insulting.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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77 months ago
I disagree strongly with the folks saying the 128gb iPhone6 replaces the classic. Nothing had the immediate tactile feedback of the scroll wheel. I've owned iPods with scroll wheels, then tried iPod touches to hate the lack of tactical buttons - strongly disliked them. I was here foolishly dreaming they would update the classic with quicker software and a smaller size. But no more. The buttons are gone, and that to me, sucks.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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77 months ago

The 128 GB iPhone 6/6 Plus essentially replaces it now.


Not everybody wants to spend $900 on a device that they'll replace in a couple of years.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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77 months ago

Agreed. Sales wouldn't skyrocket if prices dropped, but at least drops would put the prices within the realm of reality. 16gb iPod Nano should be $100, not $150. Even with the Apple tax...


Plus if the iPod classic was updated to 256/512GB storage over its lifespan, I have absolutely no doubt it'd still be a great seller for a niche market. Huge storage space, coupled with a simple UI that claims to do nothing beyond playing music is still a good thing to have, IMHO.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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