Wow, my 401 (k) really takes the beating. Glad to have invested all that money in Bitcoin! Ухххх…

The usual look

A few weeks after the introduction of the iPhone in January 2007, Steve Jobs visited New York to show his creation to the Editor-in-Chief in several publications. I took it to lunch at Newsweek, and my bosses were surprised by the hands-on demonstration of the new device a few months before its release. Talking to Jobs before he left, I shared with him the thought: wouldn’t it be cool to have an iPhone without a phone? I mentioned this because at several points in his presentation he explained why some features were limited by the security and connectivity requirements of the mobile operator.

He told me it wouldn’t work, rather humiliating.

However, later that year we saw the iPod Touch – an iPhone without a phone, complete with iOS, a touch screen and, of course, a music player, among many other available applications. It was one of the countless 180s that Jobs performed during his years at Apple, a skill that freed him from prejudice. Or was it at the time we were talking and he, uh, misdirected me? Anything. However, at that time no one knew that this miracle without a SIM card would one day be the last remaining device, which received the iconic name iPod. And this week they are gone. On Tuesday, Apple announced it would stop releasing the iPod. (You can still grab one until stocks are complete.) The company has taken a rare step by releasing a press release looking back at the legacy of the iPod, which has captured a generation of fanatics.

Including me. I wasn’t going to ignore this event – I wrote the book on an iPod! So even though I wrote last week that Apple is losing its soul, this week I have to talk about Apple literally losing touch.

What do Apple and the whole world lose when they no longer have an iPod? The question is irrelevant because it was difficult to call the iPod Touch. His iPodness appeared through the origins of the iPhone, and as all Apple botanists know, Jobs introduced the iPhone as three devices in one – a phone, an Internet communicator and an iPod. But the iPhone’s secret weapon was actually how its operating system worked with sensors and connectivity to deliver new types of apps. The iPod Touch, like its sibling phone, contained music as just one of a million other features. In the days following Apple’s announcement this week, scientists pondered the iPodness anthology. Jobs himself once approached me with this question when I asked him why we should consider the newly announced iPod Shuffle without wheels and display as an iPod. What there is iPod? I wanted to know. “The iPod,” he told me, “is just a great digital music player.”

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