Apple Kills Off iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle

Kif Leswing, reporting for Business Insider:

“Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup 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,” an Apple representative told Business Insider in an email.

The iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano have been removed from Apple’s website and online store.

The end of an era. It took exactly one decade for the iPhone to completely cannibalize Apple’s entire iPod business.

I’m sure there are still tens of millions of these iPods in use, and will be for years to come. They’re great for working out. The hardware form factor isn’t what did these in — it’s the antiquated notion of having to sync audio files to them via a cable connected to a Mac or PC. If the content on your audio player isn’t coming to it over the air, most likely streaming, it isn’t relevant.

It’s interesting to think about a Nano-sized iPod running iOS. In theory that’d be useful. But if it didn’t have cellular networking, it could only stream when you were on Wi-Fi. So people would just keep using what they’re using today for audio — their phones. Even though the phone is a worse form factor purely as an audio player because it’s so big, comparatively, it’s better overall because it has a network connection almost everywhere.

The iPod Touch (which Apple updated yesterday) exists as an alternative to an iPhone. An iPod Nano running iOS would exist as something people would buy, and then carry around, in addition to their iPhone. I don’t think that would sell.

Update: What I’m describing — a tiny device that can stream network audio sources to wireless headphones — would sure make for a great future Apple Watch.

Friday, 28 July 2017