Apple ends Nano and Shuffle
It feels like many tech companies are keen to mark the end of an era. First, Microsoft announced it would be killing off MS Paint, although fans were able to save the app with the company moving it to the Windows store instead.
And now Apple has announced it will be discontinuing the iPod Nano and the iPod Shuffle.
A brief history…
As the Guardian reflects, Steve Jobs revolutionised the way we listened to music with the launch of the iPod in 2001. The claim that it could hold “1,000 songs in your pocket” astounded the world. Looking back now, the original iPod looks like a clunky device, but at the time its design was jaw-dropping.
The original iPod marked the start of Apple’s path as a leader of innovation.
The Nano and the Shuffle were released in 2005, a whole two years before the introduction of the iPhone. There were launched as smaller and less expensive alternatives to the original iPod, opening up the device to a much wider audience.
The Nano was one of Apple’s first flash-based iPods. It replaced the iPod Mini, which had, until 2005, used small 1.8in hard drives. The Shuffle was unlike the rest of the iPods, as it dropped the screen and randomly played the 500 songs it could store on its 2GB handset. This also meant that users weren’t able to go through and select a specific song. However, it proved particularly appealing to those working out.
The tech giant killed the iPod Classic at the same time as it launched the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch in 2014, and it stopped updating the Nano and the Shuffle in 2012 and 2010, respectively. And now, the devices will be no more.
In an email, an Apple spokesperson stated: “Today, we are simplifying our iPod line-up with two models of iPod Touch now with double the capacity starting at just $199 and we are discontinuing the iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano.”
Apple’s iPod range will now just feature the iPod Touch, available in 32GB and 128GB. The previous Touch models, 16GB and 64GB, will no longer be available.
Is the smartphone to blame?
Just as the original iPod revolutionised the way we listened to music, so did streaming services.
With the rise of the modern smartphone and Spotify, which launched in 2008, and 4G, users suddenly had a new way of listening to music. They could access thousands of songs from their phone, and they only needed one device, a device that could do it all.
Realising where people were going to listen to their music, Apple launched Apple Music in 2015, making its iTunes Store take a back seat.
So, perhaps Apple sealed the fate of its iconic iPod range when it invented the iPhone?
Who knows what else Apple has in store for the future of music and how we listen to it?