USA: The iPod is dead. This week Apple pulled the last stand-alone audio players from their online shops and ended an era. The product that arguably made Apple what it is – 400 million units sold – and the product that set music free and created a platform for the podcast. RIP.
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The iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle are just the latest in a long line of single-use devices killed off by the multitalented smartphone. The move leaves nothing but multi-use, connected devices in the brave new world of streaming, apps and games.
In a world of Spotify there was an argument to be made – still – that offline players would have a place in people’s lives. However these players are already integrated in your smartphone. Apple it self sent a pretty clear message to the world when they launched Apple Music and their “radio stations”. The message being: “music is Apple music”, as in the app not a little piece of extra hardware.
The smartphone has won yet one another battle. It has already killed off compact cameras, the rolodex, calendar book, portable gaming devices (almost) and the alarm clock.
One of the only single-use devices seemingly left untouched is the Amazon Kindle. But, as you rightfully would point out, there is an app from Kindle as well. Some commentators believe that even the tablet will die as screens on our smartphones grow ever bigger.
Next victim in the Apple line-up, barred the iPod Touch that still exist, would be iTunes itself. If Cnet gets it right. In an article about the iPod killings they write:
“…as of iOS 5 in 2011, iTunes was no longer required to activate an iPhone, either. No computer, no problem: the iPhone (and, by then, iPad) was finally a truly standalone device. iCloud backup sealed the deal: You didn’t even need iTunes to backup your device any more.”
What happens next? Well, one things is true: not even the iPod killed off radio.