Apple discontinued sales of two of its music players, iPod nano and iPod shuffle on Thursday in a move reflecting the declining popularity of the devices in an era when most users listen to the music on their smartphones.
The two portable music players have already been taken down from the "Music" category on Apple's official website when CGTN digital checked on Friday.
"Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod touch, now with double the capacity starting at just 199 U.S. dollars and we are discontinuing the iPod shuffle and iPod nano," the spokesperson told the Verge by email.
But the iPod product line still remains alive since the company plans to continue to sell its Internet-connected iPod Touch.
In a show of its commitment to the iPod Touch, Apple doubled the storage capacity of its top-of-line model to 128 gigabytes, while the model with 32 gigabytes is also preserved. The previous 16-gigabytes and 64-gigabytes capacities are no longer available.
Introduced in 2005, the nano and shuffle are featured with cheaper price and smaller size. Apple stopped updating the two music players a couple years ago.
The U.S. smartphone giant has long predicted iPods would gradually fade away as more people bought iPhones or other smartphones that can play music.
According to AP, the company's sales of iPods peaked in its fiscal year 2008 when the devices generated revenue of 9.2 billion US dollars. The then-nascent iPhone accounted for 1.8 billion US dollars in revenue that same year.
In 2016, the iPhone generated revenue of nearly 136 billion U.S. dollars. Sales of iPods have plunged by so much that Apple no longer provides specifics about the devices in its financial statements.
The iconic iPod classic
This isn't the first time for the Cupertino-based tech giant to take down music player from its product line.
The company announced to kill its portable music player iPod classic in September 2014. Debuted in 2001, the sixth-generation 160- gigabytes iPod classic was the last Apple product in the iPod line to use the original 30-pin iPod connector and the iconic click wheel.
Apple CEO Tim Cook explained the reason for killing the iPod classic during an interview at the Wall Street Journal's technology conference in October 2014. He said that the only problem was that the company simply couldn't get the parts to build it.
"We couldn't get the parts anymore, not anywhere on Earth," Cook said. "It wasn't a matter of me swinging the ax, saying 'what can I kill today?'" Business Insider reported.