When Apple killed the iPod Classic back in September 2014, the question on everyone’s mind was how long will the rest of iPod line-up continue? Years came and went and the iPod Nano and Shuffle resiliently dragged on – relics of the past surviving in a day and age of touchscreen smartphones and streaming services like Gaana and Apple Music.
With every new Apple keynote, analysts predicted the death of the iPod line-up. The iPod Touch was expected to stay – it is after all a great way for kids to access the iOS ecosystem – but the Nano and Shuffle were not. And sadly that fateful day has finally come.
Apple silently removed all mention of the two iconic devices from their product pages yesterday and sent this statement to The Verge – ” 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”
Many would say good riddance – ‘The iPod Nano and Shuffle? They do not belong in today’s hyper connected world. They are relics of the past that had their time in the sun and deserved to die’
Yes, maybe the iPod Nano and Shuffle do not belong in the world we live in today. Give a 2010’s kid an iPod Nano or a Shuffle and they will be flummoxed. They will be stumped at the fact that you have to physically transfer songs via iTunes and have to manually arrange them (in the iPod shuffle). They will be shocked at the fact that the Shuffle does not even come with a screen and that the Nano does not have Wi-Fi, 4G or cannot run any application.
The iPod Nano and Shuffle hold a very special place in the hearts of every single kid from the 90’s. Before smartphones became popular, before we were old enough to drool over laptops or high-end gaming rigs, it was the iPod Nano that captured our imagination
But the iPod Nano and Shuffle hold a very special place in the hearts of every single person of my generation – every kid of the 90’s who grew up with white earbuds dangling from their ears, for whom the iPod was synonymous with being cool and trendy. Before smartphones became popular, before we were old enough to drool over laptops or high-end gaming rigs, it was the iPod Nano that captured our imagination.
I remember it as vividly as it was yesterday, that fateful day in 2005 when my aunt gifted me the first generation iPod Shuffle. If I have to pinpoint the day when my love for technology started blossoming, it would have to be the day I started playing around with the iPod. It was just so far ahead of its time. Compared to the clunky Mp3 players I was used to, the Shuffle was a revelation. It was meticulously designed, super easy to use and had great sound quality.
It will not be remiss to say the iPod began my love and obsession for gadgets and technology. Smartphones and paraphernalia all arrived at a much later stage. When Apple introduced the iPod Shuffle and Nano, the company was already selling millions of iPod Classics (known simply as the iPod then) and iPod Mini. The Nano and Shuffle were hailed by critics and users as they were way head of their time – not only were they an exercise in miniaturisation, they were dead simple to use.
Over the years I have owned multiple iPod Shuffle variants – all of them in fact expect for the bizarre third generation Shuffle in which Apple moved all the controls to the headphones. I use my 4th gen iPod Shuffle to date while jogging or using the treadmill and still admire its craftsmanship and attention to detail. The Nano is even closer to my heart – as an adolescent, almost every teenager used to smuggle his/her Nano to school and we used to compare each other’s playlist.
Compared to the clunky Mp3 players I was used to in 2005, the iPod Shuffle was a revelation. It was meticulously designed, super easy to use and had great sound quality
Many will argue over Apple’s reasoning behind this decision. Did they do it because of a lack of sales? Or maybe because the iPods were becoming too costly to produce? I do not believe any of these reasons to be true. Apple has been manufacturing the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle for so long that they must have perfected and streamlined the manufacturing process. Additionally, the two devices have not received a price cut in years. Thus they must have been earning Apple some money (if not a massive amount).
No. The reason Apple has decided to kill of the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle is simply because the company wants to streamline their product portfolio and look ahead. The iPod had its time in the sun. The future is about the iPhone and Apple Watch. Apple is being future forward here. And that hurts.
It’s time to say goodbye to the traditional iPods. We can look back to a simpler time as much as we want, but the truth is that the world has moved on and so should we. Adios.