The iPod died slowly, then all at once. After nearly 16 years on the market, more than 400 million units sold, and one Cupertino company launched into the stratosphere on its back, Apple quietly pulled the iPod Nano and Shuffle out of its virtual stores today. The iPod Touch still lives on: In fact, Apple now offers the Touch with 32 gigs of storage starting at $199. But that's not a real iPod; it's an iPhone-lite. Today officially marks the end of Apple's era of standalone music players.
OK, so you're probably looking at your smartphone and wondering why you should care that a music player, which offers one very old and outdated version of one feature on your phone, no longer exists. That's fair! It's been years since the iPod sold in massive numbers—Apple even stopped reporting its sales separately in earnings releases, relegating iPods to the "Other Products" category with dongles and headphones and those crazy cases for your Apple Pencil. Back in 2014, right around the iPod Classic's discontinuation, Tim Cook said that "all of us have known for some time that iPod is a declining business." There's just no room left in the market for an iPod.