Review: 2010 iPod shuffle

by Steve Hildreth

For 2010, Apple took the iPod shuffle back in time. That is to say, they ditched the gum-stick styled 2009 shuffle in favor of the style of the '08 shuffle with buttons on the front. The familiar clip is on the back, and the on/off and shuffle buttons are on top. Compared to the '08 shuffle, the '10 model is smaller and square, as opposed to rectangular. It's functionally similar to the '08 shuffle with the addition of VoiceOver and no need for a dock.

Whether you prefer to have the buttons on the front or on the earphone cord like the '09 shuffle is a matter of opinion, but it's clear that Apple, or perhaps its customers, prefer the former. The 2010 model probably represents the ideal form factor for this type of shuffle.

Where does Apple take the shuffle from here? I don't know. Personally, I'd like to see Apple ditch the cord altogether and offer a shuffle that is entirely within the earphones themselves, no cord at all, with communication between the two earphones via something like Bluetooth. It's not like Apple needs the free advertising provided by white earphone cords any longer. What do you think? Post your comments below the pictures.

The 2010 iPod shuffle is offered in a single 2GB model for $49 at The Apple Store. Five colors are available, including silver, blue, green, orange, and pink.

View a short video walk-through of the iPod shuffle:

Click in image for full size version: