Top 5 Most Obscure iPods in History

It has been over a month since Apple has officially discontinued the entire iPod line by giving the iPod touch the end-of-life status. The iPod was a huge impact on how we discover and share music. Now, the music clearly lives on with the highly acclaimed iPhone and AirPods. The iPhone would never be the same without the iPod’s existence.

Throughout the past score (20 years), the iPod had seen lots of redesigns and introductions to new models. However, there are some models that you might forget they exist today. Without further ado, let’s looks at the top 5 obscure models in iPod’s history.

iPod touch (5th generation) minus the iSight Camera

Image: Apple
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Apple introduced a slight variant to the 5th generation model back in 2013. What made this model unique was that it featured only a FaceTime HD camera, so you could only take selfies and make FaceTime calls with that thing. It was also the only iPod touch model that had a silver aluminum back with a black glass front. The rest of the silver models that were sold featured a white glass front. It was sold alongside the higher-end models with more color options and a back camera.

This rare model was eventually replaced by the same full-fledged model with an additional back camera this time. While it had all of the features that you’d find in a full-fledged iPod touch, the only thing not included in the box was the “iPod touch loop” – an accessory that you could strap on the iPod touch and wrap around the wrist.

iPod shuffle Special Edition in Stainless Steel

Image: Apple

The 3rd generation of the iPod shuffle (introduced in March 2009) brought the infamous smallest design for an iPod in history. Because it did away with the clickable buttons, the only way you could control this device was using the headphone with the remote. If you happened to lose them, you’d be out of luck unless you went ahead and buy third-party compatible headphones.

This premium model (announced in Sept. 2009) was sold as an Apple Store exclusive at $99. The only thing special was that its enclosure was made entirely out of stainless steel. The rest of the models were offered in aluminum with multiple color options.

iPod + HP

keegan / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Apple is fairly well know for its collaborations with other companies such as Nike, but did you know that Apple teamed up with one of its competitors? Enter the iPod+HP. Although the iPod was clearly designed and branded by Apple in California, the iPod+HP were technically branded by HP, thus HP distributed those rare models.

Fun fact: the iPod+HP (released in January 2004) was planned to be offered in “HP Blue” to match the color of the HP logo, but that plan never came to fruition. Down the road, HP later expanded its lineup with an HP-branded iPod shuffle, iPod mini, and iPod photo. What made it more bizarre was that even though Apple technically designed those products, you couldn’t get they repaired at an Apple Store, but instead, you had to send those to the HP Authorized Service Center. This confusion eventually came to a stop in July 29, 2005.

iPod U2 Edition

Image: Apple

One of the most famous collaborations related to the music industry is Apple’s partnership with U2. In fact, Apple teamed up with Bono to release a special U2 edition of the iPod (4th generation), released in October 2004 to promote U2’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb album. This obscure model featured a black plastic front with a red-colored Click Wheel, to match the U2 album’s color scheme. This set the model apart from the “Signature White” design of the original iPod. The signatures of all four members of U2 were engraved on the back. Apple would later partner with U2 again in 2014 by adding U2’s Songs of Innocence album to everyone’s iTunes libraries, but that’s a story for another day.

Harry Potter Collector’s iPod

Image: Apple

To celebrate the release of the Harry Potter audiobooks in iTunes, Apple released a Special Harry Potter Edition of the iPod (4th generation) in September 2005. Just like the U2 iPod, the back had an engraved Hogwarts logo. There was a catch, you couldn’t just buy that iPod alone. You had to buy it with the audiobooks if you wanted to own one.


So these are the rarest iPods that any average users would never know of. The spirit of the iPod will forever be a memory of everyone who owned one. Did you own any of these models? Let us know in the comments below.

Nick Soong
Author: Nick Soong

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