Apple has killed off its last two remaining portable app-free music players, the iPod Nano and the iPod Shuffle.
The future of Apple’s iPod line has been questionable ever since the first launch of the multi-use iPhone in 2007. It was in 2010 and 2012 that Apple stopped updating the Nano and Shuffle, and in 2014 the life of the original iPod Classic came to an end, the same year that the iPhone 6 was launched.
As the cost of flash chips decreased, the storage capacity of smart phones then increased. This extra space allowed the iPhone to be launched with a built in iPod app which effectively did everything an iPod would, but with a touchscreen interface and smaller storage than a hard drive-based iPod. This convenience of having a multi-talented device has slowly removed all relevance for even the largest-capacity music players.
It was the introduction of streaming music that has pushed the offline iPod to come to a final end. When Spotify launched in 2008, it gave users access to millions of tracks without having to own a vast library of music. However, the requirement of connection and application support means only computers and smartphones are able to make the most of the app.
It is not only music players that have lost a place in the market due to smart phones. Single use devices such as compact cameras, the calendar book, portable gaming machines and the alarm clock have all been wiped out, with plenty more long-standing devices likely to fall in the face of the all-conquering smartphone.