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

by

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

(View all)
Avatar
80 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)
Avatar
80 months ago
I should get one for later when the internet and power are all gone :)
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 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)
Avatar
80 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)
Avatar
80 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)
Avatar
80 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)

Top Stories

'A New iOS Update is Now Available' Popping Up Repeatedly in iOS 14 Beta [Fixed: New Beta Available]

Thursday October 29, 2020 6:11 pm PDT by
Many users running iOS 14 beta are reporting that they are seeing a dialog box pop up repeatedly asking them to update from the latest iOS 14 beta. Threads in our forums, Reddit, and Twitter are reporting the issue. The dialog has been appearing for a few days now, but as of tonight has started appearing more frequently, every time an iPhone is unlocked. There's been further discussion in...

Apple Seeds New iOS 14.2 Versions Which Stops 'New iOS Update Available' Alerts

Friday October 30, 2020 1:09 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded "Release Candidate" versions of upcoming iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates to developers and public beta testers, 10 days after seeding the fourth betas and a month and a half after releasing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates. iOS and iPadOS 14.2 can be downloaded by developers through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper developer profile has been...

Apple One is Now Available: Save Money by Bundling Apple Music, iCloud Storage, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and More

Friday October 30, 2020 7:47 am PDT by
Apple One bundles are now available in the United States and over 100 other countries, allowing customers to subscribe to multiple Apple services through a single plan, including Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud, and more. To sign up for Apple One on an iPhone: Open Settings App Tap on Your Name at the top Tap on Subscriptions Tap on Apple One The prompt for Apple One...

Black Friday Spotlight: Best Buy Kicks Off a Month of Apple Deals and More

Friday October 30, 2020 10:02 am PDT by
We've begun tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....

Apple Launches AirPods Pro Service Program for Crackling/Static Problems and ANC Issues

Friday October 30, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of a new service program for AirPods Pro sound issues, which is designed to address AirPods Pro units experiencing static or crackling sounds or problems with Active Noise Cancellation. Faulty AirPods exhibit the following problems, according to Apple:Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone ...

Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'More Exciting Things' in Store For This Year

Thursday October 29, 2020 2:20 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2020 (third calendar quarter), Cook said that while he doesn't want to give too much away, "this year has a few more exciting things in store." Cook is likely speaking about the Apple Silicon Macs, as Apple has previously said the first Apple Silicon Mac will be coming before the end of 2020. There are rumors of a third fall event ...

Hands-On Comparison: iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro

Friday October 30, 2020 2:29 pm PDT by
For those still trying to make a decision between an iPhone 12 or an iPhone 12 Pro, we picked up both models and in our latest YouTube video, did a hands-on comparison between them. Our video highlights the similarities and the differences so you can which one is the best fit for you and whether the iPhone 12 Pro is worth an extra $200. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...

Apple One Service Bundles Set to Launch Tomorrow, Fitness+ Coming This Quarter

Thursday October 29, 2020 1:39 pm PDT by
Apple in September announced Apple One, a new series of services bundles that will let Apple device customers purchase several services together in one package instead of separately, saving money for those who use multiple Apple service products. Ahead of Apple's earnings call, Apple CFO Luca Maestri told Bloomberg that Apple One is set to launch on Friday, October 30. Apple One Bundle...

PSA: Apple One Premier Bundle Only Available in US, UK, Canada, and Australia

Friday October 30, 2020 2:39 am PDT by
Apple's new Apple One series of services bundles launches on Friday in over 100 countries and regions, but the top Premier tier will be limited to the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. The limited rollout of the $29.95 Premier tier is down to the fact that Apple News+ is currently only available in the above countries. Apple News+ is exclusive to the Premier tier,...

Apple Says Record 2020 Mac Sales Attributed Primarily to MacBook Pro

Friday October 30, 2020 12:24 pm PDT by
Apple on Thursday reported its earnings for the fourth quarter of the 2020 fiscal year, including Mac revenue of $9 billion, a new quarterly record. Apple ended the year with annual Mac revenue of $28.6 billion, an all-time high. In its annual Form 10-K report [PDF], filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today, Apple said increased Mac sales in fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal ...