iPod Nano and Shuffle discontinued marking the end of iconic MP3 players

Apple has announced it is discontinuing the iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano, the last two music players in the company’s lineup that are strictly music players and lack internet connectivity.

The devices were the only ones left that could not play songs from Apple Music, its streaming service that competes with Spotify and Pandora.

The two devices are the direct descendants of the original iPod introduced by then-CEO Steve Jobs in 2001, widely seen as putting Apple on the eventual path toward the iPhone. They can only play songs that have been downloaded from iTunes or from physical media such as CD.

The Nano and Shuffle came out in 2005 as less expensive and smaller alternatives to the standard iPod.

But the California-based company stopped updating the Nano and Shuffle several years ago.

The company's sales of iPods peaked in its fiscal year 2008 when the devices generated revenue of $9.2bn (£7bn).

The then-nascent iPhone accounted for $1.8bn (£1.4bn) in revenue that same year.

Last year, the iPhone generated revenue of nearly $136bn (£104bn).

Sales of iPods have plunged by so much that Apple no longer provides specifics about the devices in its financial statements.

Although Apple is continuing the iPod brand with the iPod Touch, these devices are more akin to iPhones without the cellular connectivity.

They run iOS like the iPhone and are capable of installing the same apps including the ability to stream from Apple Music.

Alongside the announcement Apple also dropped the price of its two iPod Touch models, which now cost £199 for the 32GB version or £299 for the 128GB model.

Yesterday, a judge in a Wisconsin court found that Apple's A-series CPUs, specifically the A7, A8 and A8X system-on-chip designs, were found to have infringed on a 1998 computer microarchitecture patent owned by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

The chips were used in iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads.

The university's patent licensing arm initially sought $400m from Apple but the Judge ultimately awarded $506m because Apple continued to use the patented technology without license until the IP expired in December 2016.

Earlier this week, Cochlear Ltd, which provides devices to those that are hard of hearing, announced that audio from Apple devices can now be streamed directly into its hearing implants without the need for additional devices. 

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