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iPod classic likely to finally disappear this year, report suggests

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Player now almost completely outdated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.

by MacNN Staff




  1. HappySlug

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-31-10

    My old, but still functioning iPod Photo 60GB is a few GB from capacity, so if Apple kills the Classic, I may have to bite the bullet and buy one before they are gone. I still think the classic form is ideal for use as a pure music player. Especially in the car, where you want some tactile feel to the controls. I'm just not that enamored of the Touch as my primary music player, even if it had the capacity. Sure it's great for video, but I have an iPhone I can use for those rare occasions. What I most want from a music player is capacity and ease of use. I really like the physical controls over the touch ones for play, pause and skip, so I can activate them without carefully looking where I'm tapping. I'm sure I'm a dying breed of iPod classic lovers, but still hoping they keep the form a bit longer.

  1. machobbes

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-13-09

    Well, Apple should make the iPod Classic "a hobby". It deserves to be kept as a reminder of the origins of modern Apple.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    My old 5th gen 60GB click wheel iPod is uesd as juke box and is physically connected to my Nissan Rogue via USB cable (hidden inside arm rest compartment). I use the dashboard or steering wheel to controls the iPod. It would be nice to have wi-fi build-in the iPod so I can sync to my car from my house.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I think Apple's use of iTunes in the Cloud (plus 3G/LTE) will essentially turn all iOS devices into very large-capacity iPods. For $25/year, you can have access to at least 25,000 songs of your own music, PLUS things the iPod Classic can't offer like iTunes radio and other services like that. I too will miss the dedicated form factor and "local copy," but the writing's on the (virtual cloud) wall.

  1. dprimary

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-01-10

    The classic iPod style iPods are still the best music players. I hate to use an iPhone, iPad or touch to play music. Anything with a touch screen is poor user interface for a music player. I have to pick it up look at it to find the right control and skipping forward or back, adjust the volume and often hit another control by accident. On the ones with the scroll wheel I don't even take it out my pocket or open my eyes to control it. I can be on flight home after a long day, reach in my pocket skip a few songs, adjust the volume, and try to get some rest. It would be nice for them to add wifi to for sync, hopefully they still have people working on the classic to keep making great music players. Storage is not the most important feature on the classic, the user interface is.

  1. ptkdude

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-08-06

    I was actually shopping for an iPod Classic last week to replace my 30GB Video which is on its last leg. I found at the time that both Walmart and Amazon were out of stock. At both online stores, they are now back in stock, which tells me the Classic isn't going anywhere; why would they restock if the item is being discontinued in a few days? It's certainly possible they are just going through the remaining stock from Apple, but we usually see stocks disappear just prior to a product update.

  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-01-09

    Not that it would totally solve the problem, but Apple could just make an iPod Classic with flash memory instead of a hard drive, you know. It would probably be fairly easy.

    Oh, and if you like tactile controls, why not just get a Shuffle? 2GB isn't enough for your music collection, but it's definitely enough to not hear the same song twice between recharges, and there's a "fill at random automatically" setting so you can have it change its playlist automatically.

  1. ChasmoeBrown

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-27-06

    If ssd

    If Apple keeps the Classic but takes it SSD, it really needs to be 256GB, as in 2 of the 128GB SSD's. Going down from 160GB to 128GB really defeats the main purpose of the Classic. And SSD prices have just about come down enough to put 2 in a Classic.

    A 256GB touch would definitely work for me. . .

  1. Mike Wuerthele

    Managing Editor

    Joined: 07-19-12

    Originally Posted by The VicarView Post

    Not that it would totally solve the problem, but Apple could just make an iPod Classic with flash memory instead of a hard drive, you know. It would probably be fairly easy.

    Easy, but crappily expensive.

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