The iPod, the most famous digital music player born in 2001, allowed Apple to revolutionize the music industry and conquer the planet, but the Apple brand decided to stop its production with the breathlessness of its sales. .
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“Clearly, this is one of the products launched by Apple that has completely changed our lives,” Francisco Jeronimo, an analyst at IDC, told AFP.
At the height of its glory, this little device sold tens of millions of copies each year. With its iconic design and despite a price of 400 dollars at launch, the iPod quickly crushed all competition with a promise: "put 1000 songs in your pocket".
Over the years, it became cheaper, more colorful, better in terms of storage, and sales exploded.
On social networks, many users have united under the banner "iPod RIP" to say a last goodbye to it, after Apple's announcement.
"Noooo, iPod touch, you were too pure for this world!" “, for example, tweeted the American entrepreneur Anil Dash.
“We bowed down”
"He didn't just change the way we listen to music, he changed the entire music industry," said Apple founder Steve Jobs in 2007. No one could argue against him. , at a time when music streaming was in its infancy and suffering from piracy.
Online music-sharing platform Napster terrified the industry by dismissing the idea of paying labels or musicians. For its part, after tough negotiations, Apple had obtained from the record companies the right to sell single titles on iTunes, for 99 cents.
"We bowed because we didn't have the advantage," Albhy Galuten, one of the leaders of the Universal Music group at the time, told the New York Times on Tuesday.
For years, several bands like AC/DC, the Beatles or Metallica, however, refused to let Apple market their music.
“It was the first legal digital model”, reminds AFP Marc Bourreau, professor of economics specializing in the music industry.
Despite a first "dip", the music world was able to quickly take advantage of this new model and enjoy a "very big rebound", he adds.
With streaming, “people are spending more on average than they were spending before.” “The music industry, logically, is better off for it.”
But we had to face the facts: the iPod was not going to survive the arrival of the iPhone in 2007. In front of a crowd full of expectations, Steve Jobs then unveiled this new product which brought together the functionalities of iPod and a phone.
He himself programmed the death of his flagship device, when it represented 40% of Apple's revenue, according to an analysis by Statista.
Five years later, the iPod accounted for only 10% of the Apple brand's revenues, and sold far less than the iPhone. Neither consumers nor Apple had the use of both anymore.
“I don't see why people would buy walkmans in the future,” explains Francisco Jeronimo. "They are everywhere now: in cars, speakers, watches, even in connected glasses".
Like Sony's Walkman, the pioneer of the genre, the iPod and its contemporaries now seem to belong to a bygone era and are aimed at buyers in search of nostalgia.