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iPod classic may be a 'stopgap' device

updated 03:05 pm EDT, Thu October 11, 2007

iPod classic teardown

Market research firm iSuppli has torn down Apple's new iPod classic, saying that the device has taken a backward-looking approach to personal media player functionality as well as technology. "While the rest of the iPod line has migrated to solid-state flash memory, the new iPod classic continues to employ venerable Hard-Disk Drive (HDD) technology for storage," the company wrote. "Furthermore, the iPod classic lacks some of the other advanced features found in the other new iPods, namely wireless capability and a touch screen." Apple can offer the iPod classic at a lower price than the its predecessor with increased capacity, but iSuppli says the dated features suggest "stopgap" measures that will likely limit the classic's life span and success in the market.

Apple's total bill of materials (BOM) for the iPod classic is quoted at $127 per unit, and the device sells for $250 (80GB) or $350 (160GB).

The teardown shows material costs of this year's third quarter of 2007, listing the hard drive at $78 as by far the most expensive component. The iPod classic's display ($11.90), core processor ($8.60), and DRAM ($5.80) follow as the most costly parts. Given the iPod classic's competitive storage capacity, combined with the highest battery life of all the company's iPods, power users may find this model a clear choice over the other flash-based designs.

by MacNN Staff




  1. wjdennen

    Joined: Dec 1969



    is this news? Yes, it uses a hard drive. No, it does not have wireless. etc.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: news

    Its hard to call it 'news' when the name itself implies backward thinking (isn't thay why they called it 'classic'?) Most people who view the touch wish it had a venerable hard drive so it could store a lot more content then it can currently.

  1. itguy05

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I (and many I know) would have loved the Touch's screen and UI with the HD of the "Classic". If it would have had that I would have gladly bought one.

    So, I'll wait.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969



    when they can c*** 80+ GB into a iPod touch, i'd surely buy one! But for now, I'll stick with my classic!

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969


    classic forever

    I don't want a touch screen iPod. The touch screen is probably great if you want to surf the internet, use e-mail, and watch movies all the time on the somewhat larger screen; but for a music player with occasional video, I much prefer the click wheel - one hand navigation, no dirty screen.

    The death of hard drive-based iPods has been predicted for two years now - I'm really glad that Apple instead produced this awesome iPod classic with 160 GB of storage.

  1. psdenno

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...the Classic fits a role, meets a need, and does a fine job at what it was designed do do - stuff a tone of movies and tunes into a small package. Any who call if "stop gap" miss the message.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It is news ...

    This is (potentially, but not surprising) bad news for all the folks who just dropped the cash on a HD-based iPod Classic. I would get a flash-based Classic before I bought a HD unit. If Apple were planning on replacing the HD in the very near future (less than 3-6 months) they should have just waited on the Classic model.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    About capacity & power...

    ...wifi & a large screen consume juice and so this can take much lossless music or video in your pocket at this price...

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's the storage, stupid

    I have a 5th gen video iPod, 30gb, and the only thing that would make me give it up would be the iPod classic with 160gb storage. I could put my entire music library on it plus a fair amount of video.

    There is no flash-based player offering anywhere near this much storage, and AFAIK flash storage capacities are not going to catch up with traditional HDD capacities anytime in the near future.

  1. nhmlco

    Joined: Dec 1969



    To rephrase the previous post, "Flash storage capacities are not going to catch up with traditional HDD capacities anytime in the near future for ANYWHERE NEAR THE SAME COST-PER-GIGABYTE.

    If you want a $2,000 flash-based 80GB iPod, it's entirely doable...

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