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Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Say goodbye to non-iOS iPods: Apple has officially tossed the iPod nano and the iPod shuffle into the dustbin of history, where they’ve landed on top of the iPod classic (see “Eulogy for the iPod classic,” 11 September 2014).

Watchful observers noticed that the links to both products on Apple’s Web site went defunct last week, and Apple confirmed to the Verge that both products have been discontinued.

To smooth things over, Apple has doubled the storage capacity of the iPod touch: “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,” Apple said. That means you can now buy a 32 GB iPod touch for $199 and a 128 GB model for $299; the 16 GB and 64 GB models have disappeared.

The writing has been on the wall for a while — neither of these products has seen substantial updates in years. Apple last revised the iPod nano in a significant way in 2012 (see “Apple Redesigns iPod touch, iPod nano, and iTunes,” 12 September 2012) and the iPod shuffle in 2010 (see “Apple Releases Smaller and Thinner iPods,” 1 September 2010). You may still be able to buy them from other sources for a while, but stock will eventually run out.

If you’re in the market for a small music player, Apple would prefer that you purchase an Apple Watch and a pair of AirPods, which at over $500 nets the company much more profit than the relatively cheap iPods. Of course, the Apple Watch can hold only a single playlist and syncing is slow — we’d like to see Apple make the Apple Watch a better replacement for the small iPods in future versions of watchOS.

For those who prefer Spotify to Apple Music, an $85.99 music player called Mighty aims to replace the iPod shuffle. We haven’t tried it, but it claims to clip to clothing, pair with Bluetooth headsets, hold 1000 songs, provide up to 5 hours of battery life, and be drop and water resistant.

Are there any other devices you’re considering as a replacement for the iPod nano and iPod shuffle? Tell us about them in the comments!


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Comments about Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle
(Comments are closed.)

David Chew  2017-07-31 13:57
I download podcasts to my shuffle and wear it everywhere under my shirt. I have a spare and now intend to purchase an additional spare. At over 60 yrs old, I hope the three will last my lifetime.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-07-31 18:46
The real question will be how long iTunes continues to support the iPod shuffle. I strongly suspect you'll outlast it. :-)
Mark A. Smith  2017-07-31 19:48
I guess us 60 year olds just aren't in the hip and aware target market for Apple anymore, David! ;-)
Dennis B. Swaney  2017-07-31 18:57
The iTouch is redundent - who is going to carry one of those in addition to their iPhone? I was hoping at least a 64GB Nano would be released so I could put my entire music library on it. I use my Nano with Bluetooth headphones when mowing my acreage. The iPhone & iTouch are too big & heavy physically for this purpose.
David Emme  2017-08-01 07:30
Some of us (admittedly, likely a very small number!) disagree. I've used the iTouch for some years, and not for a music player. It's my current PDA (remember those?). Since I "don't get out much", I have no need for a mobile phone, but would be lost without the capabilities of note-taking, shopping lists, databases of various information, e-books to read in the doctor's waiting room, etc. YMMV!
I cannot see what could replace a minimal player with a scroll wheel - already bought an extra iPod nano 2nd gen that can be charged with a Firewire-charger. The 4th gen might be something to look into, but it had mostly unnecessary added functions, but a bigger 16 GB model, but the form of the 2nd gen was best I think (that was the one that really made their players peak). Also esp. the 4 GB model I have still have better sound than any iPhone etc. I have listened to that came afterwards (not using Apple headphones naturally, where sound quality differences would not matter much - instead still use the cryptic Yuin company's pk-2 earbuds)
Mark A. Smith  2017-07-31 19:46
I went out an got a nano last month in anticipation of this move. I'm putting it on the shelf for when my click wheel nano dies. at least this last gen model has a SSD. But I use it for my car, and operating the new controls is far more distracting than the older design.
Curtis Wilcox  An apple icon for a Friend of TidBITS 2017-08-01 07:20
All nanos used solid state storage, none used magnetic drives. Only the classic iPod and iPod mini used magnetic drives.

I still use a 5th gen. nano from 2010, the last with a click wheel. I don't use it driving but I agree about the newer model's touchscreen controls.
tpetro-roy  2017-07-31 20:08
I, and a lot of people I know, use the Shuffle, once waterproofed by various companies (Audioflood in my case), for swimming workouts. Sorry to see it go.
I have multiple iPods (Shuffles, Nanos), but these days, offering from SanDisk are more attractive: 16Gb with FM tuner and drag-and-drop copying (no iTunes restrictions). If I need a new music player (I refuse to carry my phone when I run), I won't be buying Apple.