Face the music: That iPod you discarded is worth a fortune

Apple iPod digital music player

Apple iPod digital music player (AP Images)

(NEXSTAR) — In the age of wireless streaming, Apple’s landmark iPod Classic music player might seem primitive but admiration for the once-ubiquitous device lives on — and so does demand. At least for some former users.

Even though Apple discontinued the product in 2014 (its iPod Touch model is still available), you can still buy brand new iPod Classics at auction sites such as eBay. But these circa-2001 (iPod Classic was released in November that year) gadgets will cost you more than even the latest iPhone.

One eBay post lists a “2001 Apple iPod 5 GB 1st Generation — White” for $29,999, while the item is listed elsewhere for $28,000 and, more modestly, $14,995.

Used iPod Classics go for much cheaper, however. Depending on condition and storage, the devices fall in the $250-$450 range.

iPods sit stacked awaiting sale Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2004, at the Apple store in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Apple discontinued its smaller iPod models, the Nano and Shuffle, in 2017. Data shows sales of iPods peaked in 2008, with 54.83 million units sold. Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 and sales rapidly declined, as iPhones could do everything an iPod could do and more.

Additionally, in keeping with the times, the company launched its music streaming service Apple Music in 2015. As of June 2021, Apple Music had 78 million subscribers, roughly 19% of premium subscribers worldwide, according to Statistica.

Apple Music and its competitors still lag well behind streaming juggernaut Spotify, however. The Stockholm-based platform accounts for around 35% of all subscribers globally.


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