Apple Kills Two iPods, But the iPod Touch Just Got Better

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.

Credit: Apple

(Image credit: Apple)

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.

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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.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.

  • I wasn't even aware that Apple still made the Nano! I remember when they first came out..
  • Brad_53
    I'll echo that - I didn't know these products (shuffle and nano) were still on the market.
  • shingman5
    Philip - The A8 processor is on the Apple TV fourth gen, iPad Mini 4 and iPod Touch!!

    Doesn't share the same chip as iPhone SE & 6s!!

    Do some further research and find out more before you publish!!
  • raqcoon
    iPod Touch is stellar for music listening & playing instruments through effect apps, and multitrack recording as well. The cost of the Touch is about the same as one good guitar pedal, but low-cost apps allow a slew of effects often on par sonically to its physical counterparts.

    The next step seems to replace the analog TRRS jack with digital via Lightning, a la iPhone 8 & X. Items such as iRig will have to accommodate the change, and more consumer expense, but alas a cleaner signal in & out. Granted, there are Lightning audio interfaces, but specifically the iRig Acoustic pickup would greatly benefit by a digital connection.