updated 12:29 pm EDT, Fri September 6, 2013
Player now almost completely outdated
Apple will likely retire the iPod classic this year, Wired argues in a new report, citing analysts and other commentators. The Classic hasn't seen a hardware update since 2009, and is now lacking many features standard in other Apple devices such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Lightning connectors. Its primary advantage is storage, since at 160GB it can hold more than twice the music and video of the largest iPod touch; even the highest iPad capacity is 128GB.
A practical concern for Apple is that the player has become a marginal part of its business, yet requires proprietary parts and software, for instance a compact hard disk instead of flash memory. Apple's flagship portable devices -- the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch -- are all flash-based devices with touchscreens and iOS. Even the iPod nano uses a touchscreen and firmware loosely based on iOS. By using the same parts across multiple lines, it can make production more cost-effective.
To fully abandon the Classic Apple may have to introduce a 128GB Touch. The company already has a 128GB iPad, and is rumored to be bringing the capacity option to the iPhone 5S. As a corollary benefit, Apple could choose to bump the minimum storage in iPhones, iPads, and Touches to 32GB, but it may want to keep 16GB models around for price reasons. Any changes should be revealed during Tuesday's press event at Apple's Cupertino headquarters.