Apple has discontinued the iconic iPod after claiming that its functionality is now redundant in the era of feature-rich smartphones.

Two decades after Steve Jobs famously unveiled the first iPod in what was a seismic moment for the music industry and tech, Apple says that it will finally stop selling the device in stores.

It marks the end of an era for the portable media device that revolutionised music listening and showcased Apple’s ability to innovate with industry-leading products.

Since its launch in 2001, Apple has introduced several different iPod products, including the final, seventh-generation iPod Touch, which is the only one available today.

Apple senior vice-president Greg Joswiak said that the “spirit” of the iPod will live on in its other popular products, not least the iPhone, which replaced it as the primary media player for consumers.

Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi believes that Apple knew that it would eventually have to phase out the iPod when it first launched the iPhone in 2007.

She said: “The demise of the iPod is probably the best example of Apple not being concerned about cannibalising its own products.”

In total, around 450 million iPods have been sold during the last 20 years, but it has shifted less since the iPhone became Apple’s number one product in 2010.

The evolution in mobile phone technology in recent years and the change in how people listen to music on streaming services on smartphones means that there isn’t really a compelling case to purchase an iPod.

Fans of the device can still buy one, but only “while stocks last”, according to Apple.