The 2021 iPod Classic render celebrates two decades of iPods – but will we ever see another?


The iPod turns 20 next month, and while it’s far from certain that Apple will mark the anniversary in any meaningful way, a concept artist imagined what it would be like if the company decided to bring the drive back from. music, the click wheel and all.

In his latest YouTube video, the designer Andrea Copellino produced an iPod Classic for 2021, following the flat aesthetic the company introduced with the iPhone 12 and iPad Pro. The shiny metal back of the original iPod slants to the sides, but not to the back, as Copellino has chosen to imagine that the fictional 2021 model will adopt wireless charging.

He also envisions Apple not including a 3.5mm headphone jack, opting instead for a wireless experience centered around using AirPods.

The UI has been updated to be more colorful and curved than the original text design. And while Copellino kept the click wheel from the original, it also updated the icons to match the most recent Apple TV 4K remote.

Concept iPod 2021

(Image credit: Andrea Copellino)

If he concedes that the company would probably go full screen rather than relaunch a control scheme abandoned in 2014, Copellino defends his choice by stressing that he would only draw an iPhone 12 without it; a fair point.

Does the iPod have a future?

Released October 23, 2001, the original iPod revolutionized portable music. In an era when MP3 players were thin sticks that could barely hold more than a music album, Apple introduced a sleek product with a 5GB capacity that could hold up to 1,000 tracks.

Concept iPod 2021

(Image credit: Andrea Copellino)

But with the advent of the smartphone, dedicated mp3 players have lost popularity and the iPod was no exception. The first iPhone, released in 2007, could multitask with the best of them, and it only got better over subsequent generations.

The iPod Classic was killed off in 2014. And while the iPod Touch is still available on the Apple store, it’s hidden in a submenu in the music section and hasn’t been refreshed since 2019. It has a 4-inch, thick screen frames all around and runs on the Apple 10 chip. In other words, it has the same power as an iPhone 7 while looking like an iPhone 5, undesirable in 2021.

Concept iPod 2021

(Image credit: Andrea Copellino)

Copellino is clear that its rendering is just a little fun, and there’s almost no prospect of Apple making a device like this these days, even with a big anniversary coming up. But that doesn’t mean Apple has given up on the idea of ​​dedicated music players altogether.

In May, MacRumors writer Steve Moser said Apple could relaunch the iPod Touch “this fall”. It included a bunch of renderings showing a device that looks a lot like an iPhone 12, with square edges and a Face ID for unlocking.

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Since we haven’t seen any other leaks or heard anything else about a potential new iPod Touch since, Moser’s follow-up tweet – that this is a rumor rather than a confirmed leak – is probably premonitory. But with the iPod celebrating its 20th anniversary in just 47 days, it’ll be interesting to see what Apple has up its sleeve to mark the occasion.

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