From this post from theverge, Apple has stopped producing one of the last throwbacks to the earlier pre-iPhone devices - the iPod line. The iPods - in my opinion - helped to solidify Apple's 'comeback' with not just computer owners, but people who in the past weren't interested in the computers Apple offered. By improving on the portable media players that were offered at that time, Apple enabled a whole new group of people to become fans of their products, and helped to eventually propel the company to one of the most valuable companies in the world. Without these devices, I don't think we get to the iPhone being a success that it is today, along also with iTunes and the App store.
I have a 4th generation iPod that stopped working two years ago, I had a lot of music on it that I lost most of it - it was great for just a music player - didn't have to worry about e-mail or phone calls like on the iPhone causing a disturbance. Of course the iPod Touch is still in production, I had a few of those and they are great, but something about the 'click wheel' on the original iPod's set them apart.