It’s been coming for the last ten years since the original iPhone hit the streets, but today was finally the day: the non-iOS iPod is no more. Apple has now completely cannibalized its original hit product. All that remains of the venerable old lineup is the iPod Touch, but for the first time since 2001, there is no longer a model available running the old Pixo OS.
This is the way of technology. Times change and the world marches on, leaving older devices behind. The iPod Classic, the last successor of the original iPod design, was discontinued three years ago. The iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle have hung on in the meantime as less expensive music playback devices that were ideal for exercise, yard work, and other uses that make sense independent of an iPhone.
However, the writing has been on the wall for the Nano and Shuffle since Apple rolled out their Apple Music service. Neither device has a method for independent Internet connection to sync with such a service. Regardless of the sync situation, neither device can play the DRM-locked music from Apple Music, anyway. The lagging sales of stand-alone iPods didn’t justify Apple upgrading them to work with Apple Music, so the Nano and Shuffle have just been playing out the string. Today was the day the runway finally ran out.
Based on Apple’s current lineup of devices, I think that they expect the Apple Watch to fill the niche left by the absence of the Shuffle and Nano. They are slowly making the Watch more of stand-alone device, geared toward those who want to exercise without their phones. watchOS 4 contains new features meant to make syncing music to the Apple Watch easier and more automated, making it a solid stand-in as an independent workout music player. The real key is that, since it works in tandem with an iPhone, the Watch works with Apple Music.
Even though it is time to move on, I still have a soft spot for the iPods Shuffle and Nano. When I first started thinking about purchasing an iPod around 2004, the Shuffle was by far the most attainable device for me.
I ultimately bypassed it and decided to hold out and save up for a full size iPod instead. However, by the time I had close to enough money saved, the original iPod Nano was on its way. I ultimately ended up choosing the 4th Gen iPod because of its greater storage capacity, but I loved the really cool looking, super-thin design.
For anyone who has been following the mobile technology scene and Apple since the early 2000s, today is definitely a turning point worth noting. So raise your glass to two of the devices that paved the way for the Apple we know today. Without the iPod ecosystem, who knows what Apple would be up to right now.
Are there still any iPod holdouts left out there? If so, how are you feeling today? Are you resigned or still holding on? Let me know in the Comments below, on Flipboard, on our Facebook page, and on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.