Apple today confirms the discontinuation of its iconic iPod Nano and iPad Shuffle portable media players. With smartphones capable of streaming music from apps such as Spotify and offering more functionalities, it is always inevitable that single-function music players will eventually be rendered obsolete and be replaced by newer and more advanced innovations.

The latest decision to wind up both Nano and Shuffle follows the announcement in 2014 that the iPod Classic, the father of all iPod players, won’t be assembled anymore.

The iPod Classic first debuted in 2001, helped propel the iTunes Store to become the largest music vendor in the US by 2008 and the world by 2010. After six generations, however, it gradually went out of fashion and the production was halted in 2014.

More portable media players such as the iPod Nano and the iPod Shuffle were launched in 2005 as technology allowed for larger storage in smaller packages. The first-generation iPod Shuffle uses Apple’s proprietary Click Wheel before the navigational component was replaced by a touchscreen, similar to that of the iPhone, from the sixth generation onwards.

On the other hand, the iPod Shuffle is a no-frill, fuss-free audio player that didn’t bother to include a visual display. The first generation resembles a stick of chewing gum before being it was shrunk into a matchbox in its second generation. It was subsequently moulded into a lighter before ending its course in an unobtrusive frame that is no larger than the accompanying pair of earbuds. 

This marks the latest chapter in the push for more cloud-based interactions as media consumers begin the shift towards adopting streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify. 

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