Apple has discontinued its iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle personal media players. The only iPod that remains in Apple’s fleet is the iPod Touch, which is based on the iOS device hardware and software stacks. At present, Apple’s iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle are still available from retailers like BestBuy, but EOL of the outdated iPods once again signals that MP3 players are essentially a dead product category.

Apple launched its first iPod in late 2001 and the player quickly gained popularity among users of Apple’s Mac computers. Initially, Steve Jobs did not want iPod to be compatible with Windows-based PCs as he considered the player to be an important selling point for the Mac platform as back then MP3 players from other makers were not sophisticated or user friendly. Moreover, in the lack of smartphones in Apple’s arsenal, iPod and iTunes (launched in early 2003) were in the center of its personal digital media strategy of the company.

Other executives at Apple persuaded the CEO to make iPod and iTunes compatible with Windows in 2004 and this is when sales of the music player started to grow rapidly. Several years later, the iPod became Apple’s most successful product ever and brought the company billions of dollars. Over time, many third-party accessories were developed for iPods, creating an industry around one product. Besides, Apple’s iPod players were among of the most desired Christmas gifts in the U.S. in the second half of 2000s.

Throughout its more than 15-year history, Apple’s iPod has changed its form-factor multiple times and switched hardware platforms for a dozen of times. For example, Apple’s initial iPods used miniature HDDs (including HGST’s  and Seagate’s 1” hard drives in the iPod Mini), but eventually all of them switched to NAND flash memory. With iPod Touch, the players obtained hardware found in iPhones and started to use iOS.

As sales of Apple’s iPhones increased, shipments of the company’s iPods declined because people now use smartphones to watch videos and listen to music. As a result, the company began to phase out the iPod. At first, Apple discontinued the iPad Classic player in 2014. This week, the company EOLed its iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle, as well as iPod Touch with 16 GB and 64 GB of memory. The only iPods left are the iPod Touch models with 32 GB and 128 GB of storage.

The discontinued iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle were released on 2012 and 2010, respectively. Moreover, the existing iPod Touch was launched in mid-2015. Officially, Apple claims that the discontinuance of the outdated iPods is a way to simplify the product family. On the other hand, due to dropping sales of personal media players (the company has not reported sales of players for years), it may simply make no sense for Apple to keep the cheap and unpopular models in the lineup.

"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," a statement by Apple reads.

Related Reading:

Sources: The Verge, Business Insider.

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • solipsism - Friday, July 28, 2017 - link

    @Wolfpup, you do it through the Watch app on an iPhone. It will pull songs from your Music library so I guess you could say it syncs with iTunes since you can sync the iPhone with iTunes.

    BT headphones only. There is no 3.5mm or Lightning port on the Watch. A nifty feature is the W1 chip in the (currently) 3 headphones from Apple and Beats that allow for instant BT setup and switching across all your devices with little effort. You don't have to use these, but it does make pairing and switching sources for BT headphones easier.
  • edzieba - Friday, July 28, 2017 - link

    Once they dropped physical controls (and thus the ability to operate it without removing it from your pocket), the iPod Nano ceased to have a reason to exist. At that point, I switched to a bluetooth headset with on-board AVRCP controls, and just used the phone I already carry.
  • Wolfpup - Friday, July 28, 2017 - link

    The Nano at least has a play/pause button, I think? I still wish iOS devices and the like did!
  • Daniel Egger - Friday, July 28, 2017 - link

    > ... it may simply make no sense for Apple to keep the cheap and unpopular models in the lineup.

    Am I the only one who's rather disturbed by such a statement?

    Popularity seems to be very relative, as Apple throws out products left and right which still have a market and make a lot of money just because there've products in their lineup making a magnitude more money. This troubles me quite a bit since I really like Apple products but "mainstream" is in many cases less useful than specialised to me, in some cases that makes them even close to useless even (like the current MBP).
  • solipsism - Friday, July 28, 2017 - link

    They can afford to take the financial hit and just because someone may still want it they technically "still have a market," but that's not how this works.If the cost for R&D, component sourcing, manufacturing, assembly, etc. is not expected to yield a net profit then they should drop it.
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, July 29, 2017 - link

    So many iPod models, and yet none are as good as the Sansa Fuze in my car. Requirements: <3.2" tall, a screen, physical buttons, 50GB (or microSD slot).
  • Lord of the Bored - Saturday, July 29, 2017 - link

    I miss my Fuze. It was a fantastic little thing.
  • Briank69 - Friday, August 11, 2017 - link

    I found this funny IPOD Video on youtube.

    Please don't kill the IPODs.
  • IllinaCruz - Monday, April 16, 2018 - link

    I have one iPod and getting an error with safari browser is not working, last week I found an iPod Support and they solved Within a day, and its free, I was shocked.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now