Apple's cheapest and smallest iPod, updated with new colors on July 15, 2015.
At a Glance
At $49, the clip-on 2 GB iPod shuffle is Apple's cheapest and smallest iPod model. Aside from changes to color options, the iPod shuffle has not been updated since September 2010, with the most recent color update coming on July 15, 2015.
- 2 GB for $49
- Six color options including (PRODUCT) RED
On July 15, 2015, Apple introduced a new color lineup for its entire family of iPods, including the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle. The new color options include space gray, gold, silver, pink, blue, and red.
No other changes were made to the iPod shuffle, which continues to offer 2 GB of storage and sell for $49.
In More Detail
Apple's iPod shuffle has gone through several design changes since its introduction in January 2005, with the current form factor having been introduced in September 2010. Priced at $49 and offering 2 GB of storage, the only changes made to the device over the past five years have been in color options.
The September 2010 fourth-generation iPod shuffle launch included silver, blue, green, orange, and pink color options, and that set of colors remained available until September 2012 when it was replaced with an expanded set of new and tweaked colors including slate, silver, purple, pink, yellow, blue, green, and a special (PRODUCT) RED version.
September 2013 saw only the replacement of the slate color option with a new "space gray" color that was highlighted on the iPhone 5s but also quietly brought to the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle. The July 2015 update brought a new gold color and new shades of blue and pink to go along with the previous silver, space gray, and red option carried over earlier generations.
Color changes aside, at nearly five years old the iPod shuffle is one of the oldest products in Apple's product lineup, but it is unclear what Apple's plans are for its future. Apple has redesigned the iPod shuffle several times over its lifetime as it has sought to make the device as small as possible, but actually reversed course with the current fourth-generation design in making it larger than the previous model. That design had almost entirely done away with on-device controls and was not particularly well-received by customers.
On the assumption that Apple feels it has optimized the design of the iPod shuffle with the current models, the most likely changes would be to capacity and pricing, but the company has so far given no signs of interest in making those changes. With iPod sales continuing to fall and the iPod shuffle making up only a small portion of that shrinking segment, Apple may simply feel that the product is not worth a significant investment in updating its design or specs.
During Apple's fourth quarter 2014 earnings call, CEO Tim Cook referred to the iPod as a declining business. Currently, iPod sales make a up just two percent of the company’s revenue.
With fresh new colors just released and sales of the iPod lineup continuing to wane as users shift toward smartphones for their audio consumption, we're not expecting any further updates for quite some time. At this point in the iPod's lifecycle, Apple is only making major updates every few years, although there could be an occasional price drop or color change to try to provide a spark for sales volumes from time to time.