updated 10:50 am EST, Tue February 8, 2011
Could signal update or death of core iPod design
Stock of the iPod classic is on the decline at several retailers, a report observes. At Apple's online store, for instance, the silver Classic is now shipping in one to three days, as compared to 24 hours last week. Best Buy's website notes that the same color has gone from one-day shipping last week to being backordered by one to to two weeks. At Target, shipping times are now listed as two to four weeks.
The black-tinted Classic appears to be unaffected by shortages. Apple allowing silver stock to fall low could nevertheless signal plans to kill off one or both models, or else finally release an update. The Classic has not been updated in any form for over a year; it still uses a 160GB hard drive, a clickwheel, and a version of the original iPod firmware.
Apple could potentially upgrade the Classic to use a recent 220GB Toshiba drive, sized at the 1.8 inches the player would need. The company has however thrown most of its efforts behind flash memory in recent years, as well as touchscreen interfaces, preferring to ditch the sort of buttons used by the Classic whenever possible. Apple might therefore prefer to provide high-capacity storage through a 128GB iPod touch, although unlike its predecessor, the Touch can't be used as a "dumb" storage device for backing up music and other files.