The iPod is on its death bed. Apple said on Thursday that it was discontinuing the iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano, leaving the iOS-equipped iPod Touch as the only model left in Apple’s venerable line of portable music players.
Though the move may be sad for the nostalgic among us, it’s completely unsurprising from a business perspective. As this chart from Statista shows, the iPod has gone from Apple’s primary cash cow to something it stopped bothering to count as a separate sales category by 2015.
The second Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone as, in part, “a widescreen iPod with touch controls,” the writing was on the wall. The rise of streaming services, Apple Music included, has only cemented the iPod’s obsolescence. And it’s hard to say Apple subsuming its most popular product wasn’t a wise move: The iPhone has made it the world’s most valuable company, and there’ve been more iPhone sales in the past two years than iPod sales in history.
In the end, Apple saw greener pastures. It can look back at its old standby with fondness, but now it’s simply time to move on.
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