I was recently surprised to read an article that, based on the latest sales figures from Apple, questioned whether we are finally seeing the death of the iPod.

I say surprised, because it had been ages since I’ve even thought about the once-iconic gadget and, to be honest, if pressed to give a considered opinion, I would have probably guessed that it had already died a long time ago.

But alas, the nifty little device that revolutionised the way we listen to music, all those years ago – and effectively bumped off the Walkman – is alive… but the prognosis isn’t all that good. The sad fact is that as a standalone MP3 player, the iPod is losing relevance, as consumers now have a large choice of music apps, cloud storage and streaming services that they can tap into via their smartphones.

The latest financial figures from Apple show that the iPod sold only six million units in the last quarter – reflecting a 52% decline in year-on-year sales figures (12.7 million iPods were sold during the same quarter in 2012).

Apple says that the latest sales slump translates into a 55% decrease in revenue from iPod sales, the device now accounts for a mere 1.7% of the company’s total revenue.

These figures are even more shocking when viewed alongside the sales figures for Apple’s iPhone and during the same quarter. These devices hit record sales figures of more than 51 million and 26 million units, respectively.

That the iPod, as a standalone device, has been losing popularity is not surprising. Even Apple says that it expects the device to continue on a downward trajectory, as it has been since 2009. The latest sales figures though reflect the biggest drop in unit sales since the iPod was unveiled in 2001.

As a result, it is unlikely that Apple will release any further upgrades to the device, but is also unlikely to scrap the iPod altogether. Instead, it will probably be left to die out naturally.

Perhaps, ironically, the iPod’s demise is being traced to the launch of the original iPhone, which could do all the things that the iPod ddi , as well as offering additional functions… such as calling. Despite this, the iPod still remains the best-selling MP3 player in the world.

And while the relentless march of technology has claimed many victims in the past, and will continue to do so as time goes by, I would venture to say that the iPod marks a significant milestone in history. It is probably the most popular (and last) standalone device to have had such a profound impact on a generation.

The fact that it is still around, nearly 13 years after it launched, is testimony to the genius behind its design.

Happy reading!

Martin Czernowalow