updated 01:33 pm EDT, Thu May 29, 2014
Player may be headed towards discontinued status
Links to the iPod classic have disappeared from the refurbished sections at Apple's US and Canadian online stores. Refurb models are still referenced at some international storefronts, like the UK and France, even if units aren't necessarily available.
Despite being a cornerstone of Apple's resurrection in the 2000s, the Classic has become increasingly marginal to the company, and rumors of it being discontinued have circulated for the past several years. The device was last updated in 2009, and uses storage and interface technologies no longer seen in any other Apple product. Its only advantage is capacity, since at 160GB it can hold more music and video than even the most expensive iPhone or iPad.
Apple may be ready to drop the product this year, particularly if decides to increase the capacities of the iPhone and/or iPod touch. Those are currently capped at 64GB; raising the ceiling to 128GB might be enough to make the Classic redundant.