The music hasn't stopped for Apple's iPod lineup. But it's getting ever fainter.
Apple today (July 27) doubled the capacities on its iPod Touch lineup, so the $199 music player now offers 32GB of storage while the $299 model tops out at 128GB. That's the good news if you have a soft spot for the iconic music player.
And the bad news? The iPod Shuffle has been lost in the shuffle, as has the iPod Nano. Apple's killed off both slimmed down versions of its music player.
The fact that Apple now has just a lone iPod for sale isn't exactly a startling development in a world where smartphones now double as music players (and digital cameras and portable computers, too). But if you're old enough to remember the Apple Is Doomed Days of nearly two decades ago, it's still sobering to see a once-significant product fading from view.
Go back a little more than decade, and the iPod helped drive Apple to record profits. That's changed since the arrival of the iPhone 10 years ago, as Apple's phone now accounts for around two-thirds of Apple's revenue.
So why keep the iPod Touch around at all? Because it's a relatively low-cost entry into the iOS platform. The 32GB iPod Touch costs $200 less than the cheapest iPhone, and there's no monthly cellphone plan required for the music player. Parents in particular appreciate the iPod Touch as a way to let their kids enjoy all those mobile games and messaging apps without having to buy a phone for them.
And while it's a far cry from the iPod's glory days, the iPod Touch isn't exactly being left in the dust by Apple. The current model will be able to run iOS 11 when that updated operating system arrives this fall. That might also explain why Apple's keeping the Touch while sending the Nano and Shuffle to go live on a farm upstate — the Touch can download apps, and the Nano and Shuffle cannot.
The iPod Touch is powered by an A8 processor, a generation behind the chip inside the iPhone SE and iPhone 6s. The device also features a 4-inch display with 1136 x 640 resolution, and it's got a rear 8-megapixel camera along with a front 1.2-MP shooter.
Still want to get your hands on a Nano or Shuffle? You can probably find them through online resellers, at least until supplies fade out.