Engineering effort to re-make low demand device would be 'massive'
Without much fanfare, Apple discontinued the hard drive-based iPod classic in September of this year. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal's WSJD conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook had a simple explanation for fans of the high capacity device -- lack of parts availability led to the demise of the last non-flash iPod.
Removal of iPod classic from range after seven years of availability
At the same time as introducing new iPhones and the Apple Watch, Apple has apparently stopped selling the iPod classic. The long-running music player is no longer visible in Apple's online store, suggesting the company has finally retired the device after seven years, and almost 13 years after the first version of the iPod went on sale.
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.
iPhone accident replacement fees rise to $79
In addition to expanding to Europe, AppleCare+ is now also available for the iPod touch and iPod classic. In the US this costs $59, and extends warranty coverage from one year to two, with matching phone support, and two accidental damage incidents at a reduced $29 fee. Previously, only regular AppleCare was available for iPods.
Company adds new matching color to iPod line; iPod Classic untouched
In addition to the "Space Gray" color option it unveiled for its iPhone line earlier today, Apple has altered its iPod options to add the color to the choices available, or replaces any previous black option -- except for the 16GB iPod touch model and the iPod Classic, both of which were offered in a dark gray style prior to today's rollout. The iPod Classic, unchanged in its two gray color options, remains available on the Apple online store despite rumors to the contrary. The "Space Gray" makeover strongly hints at forthcoming changes to the iPad.
Player now almost completely outdated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.
iPod credited in part to Jonathan Ive
Apple has won two new design trademarks via the US Patent and Trademark Office. The first is for the fourth-generation iPod classic, at the time still known as just the iPod. The fourth-gen, released in 2004, was the last model to be strictly music-only; later the same year the company put out the Photo, which gave the iPod a color screen and let people view images on it. It also raised capacity to 60GB. The iPod trademark is credited to Apple's lead designer, Jonathan Ive, as well as another long-time designer for the company, Chris Stringer.
iPod introduced 10 years ago today
Apple's iPod on Sunday marked its tenth anniversary in a very different landscape. The MP3 player was unveiled on October 23, 2001 at an event in Apple's Town Hall at its Cupertino headquarters in what's now considered one of the late Steve Jobs' crowning achievements. Its first iPod, available in just a 5GB capacity with only Mac and FireWire support, reached stores on November 10 that year for $399.
Rumors of classic/shuffle iPods' deaths premature
rumors were flying that Apple planned to discontinue the iPod shuffle and iPod classic. The axe was supposed to fall at today's big media event. That did not happen, and both iPods continue to be part of Apple's iPod lineup.
May support upcoming death of iPod classic
Apple has silently dropped access to an "iPod Click Wheel Games" section on the iTunes Store, AppleInsider notes. Until this week, it was possible to get to the section via a drop-down menu for the App Store. Apple began selling games for clickwheel iPods in 2006, but they were quickly eclipsed two years later with the introduction of the App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch.
Non-touch iPods may disappear at October 4 event
A rumor with a potentially far-ranging impact has alleged that Apple might drop the iPod classic and iPod shuffle. The two remaining non-touch iPods would disappear "this year," TUAW heard from its lone source. Only the iPod nano and iPod touch would remain, although it's not clear if Apple would slash their prices or deliver upgrades.
Discounts on refurbished products
Today at Apple's online store save big on a variety of refurbished Apple products like the refurbished 8GB iPod nano in blue, black, silver, green, orange or pink, now $129 after a $20 price cut. Or for $149, after a $30 discount, upgrade to the 16GB iPod nano, which is available with the same color options as the 8GB model. Also priced at $149 is the 8GB iPod touch, originally released in September of 2009.
Refurbished iPods at discount prices
Today at Apple's online store chose from a wide selection of refurbished iPod models like the 5th generation 8GB iPod nano, now only $99 after a $50 price break. Or for $129 upgrade to the current-generation 8GB iPod nano with multi-touch display and built-in FM Radio. The 16GB 5th-generation Nano is also on the list for $149 after a $30 price drop.
May be connected to exchange rates
Apple's Australian division has lowered the prices on all iPod models. As with most countries, Apple charges more for its products in Australia than it does in the US, even when taking exchange rates into account. The latest cuts may be an acknowledgment, however, of the flip in value between the American and Australian dollars.
Apple chief says iPod classic to stay for now
The iPod classic is still going to survive for awhile longer, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs is now known to have said in e-mail. A fan urged him not to kill off the hard drive MP3 player as it was the "the best iPod in the line" after worrying about the lack of updates at the September 1 event last year. "We have no plans to," the company co-founder wrote back to the MacRumors reader from his iPhone.
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.
Apple waiting on iPod touch capacity?
Despite today updating the Touch as well as the Nano and Shuffle, Apple has left the iPod classic unchanged. The player currently holds about 160GB worth of music and video, and supports up to 36 hours of audio playback. These specifications are no different from the ones announced during last year's iPod refresh.
iPhones, iPods cited as offending products
Apple, Sprint, Verizon and Samsung have been targeted in a new lawsuit, accusing the companies of false patent marketing, according to AppleInsider. The group called Americans for Fair Patent Use asserts that the companies are claiming expired patents, and/or attaching some patents to products for which they don't apply. In the case of Apple, the iPhone, the iPod touch, the fifth- and sixth-generation iPod classics and the third- and fourth-generation iPod nanos are all said to have product guides claiming patents which "expired prior to the first sale in the United States of any Apple Product."
Supports iPhone 4
Konnet Technology has announced a new charging dock and AV transmitter for iPhones and iPods, the ReflexDock Pro. The device is compatible with the new iPhone 4, and lets users watch video on a TV. Features include sync support via a USB port, and a design meant to enhance speaker output and microphone reception for iPhones.
Company claims 15 new patents in total
The USPTO has officially granted 15 new patents to Apple, covering several different areas of technology. A full five of the patents involve the design of the iPod classic and the third-generation iPod nano, reflecting how long it can take to get a submission approved. Filings for the iPod designs were originally submitted in the third quarter of 2007.
Issue affects Classics, Nanos
Apple has finally announced an effort towards fixing problems with iTunes 9 sync, a British website reports. "We are aware of the issue and are investigating," an Apple spokesman is quoted as saying. The company has otherwise had no comment on the matter since early September, when iTunes 9 was released.
Refurbished iPods from Apple's online store
Apple's online store today has a wide selection of refurbished iPods at reduced prices. The previous-generation 1GB iPod shuffle, in pink is available for $39, the 2GB model is available for $20 more. Previous-generation 8GB iPod nanos are also available in orange, green, purple, pink, silver, yellow, and black for only $99. The 16GB Nano is also featured for $129 in all of the same colors. The second generation iPod touch is available in three configurations; 8GB for $149, 16GB for $199, or 32GB for $249. Last on the list is the 120GB iPod classic which is available in both black or silver for $189.
Books include text and images
TimeStream on Wednesday announced a new series of digital books, Notescasts, designed to be read from an iPod classic and iPod nano. The e-books are installed using the "Notes" feature available on a variety of iPods. Many of the books contain several hundred pages of text, along with color pictures.
Outputs to TVs, stereos
TUNEWEAR has launched a new iPhone and iPod dock, the VisualDock. The unit is an AV-capable docking station with S-Video and line outputs. Special controls toggle simulated 3D sound, and alternating between charge or charge/sync modes when connected to a computer. The dock supports the iPhone 3G and 3GS, all iPod nanos, first- and second-generation Touches, the Classic and the older fifth-gen video iPod.
Update available for latest 160GB models
Apple has released a firmware update, v2.0.3, for the latest 160GB iPod classic. The update adds support for Genius Mixes, the iTunes feature that automatically creates playlists. Tracks are analyzed and combined into several genre-based mixes that can be listened to via iTunes or directly from the iPod.
Cuts affect all models
Slightly less than two weeks after introducing new models, Apple has announced a series of price cuts to its older, refurbished iPods. An 8GB Touch is now $149, for instance, a drop of $40. A 16GB Touch is now $50 less at $199, and a 32GB model has been slashed in cost by $30, reaching $249.
Users report crashes, sync problems
The recently-launched iTunes 9 update is causing a variety of problems for iPod classic owners, comments on Apple's support forums suggest. Issues primarily revolve around sync, to the extent that a number of people complain they are unable to to sync media at all. Some Classics may be ejected automatically when connected via USB, while others may cause crashes, or fail to be detected by iTunes, preventing any form of interaction including firmware updates.
iPod nano 5G protective cases
Scosche, Griffin Technologies, and Belkin have all announced new and revised cases for Apple’s latest fifth-generation (5G) iPod nano. The kickBACK hard-case with integrated rubber siding is developed by Scosche, and offers shock resistant protection and a hinged kickstand for widescreen viewing. It also includes an opening for the iPod nano’s video camera, and comes with built-in traction nubs for improved grip on flat surfaces. Originally released in October of 2008 for the iPhone 3G, the new version can also be purchased from the company’s online store and is currently priced at $24.
Toshiba intros quietest, largest 1.8-inch HDD
Toshiba has recently unveiled a new lineup of portable hard drives for portable consumer electronic devices, all based on a 1.8-inch form factor and up to 160GB in capacity. All MKxx34GAL units use a single platter that is less than a fifth of an inch (5mm) high, making them suitable for portable media players, digital video cameras and other portable electronics. Toshiba touts its new drives as offering the highest storage capacity, best power efficiency, most durability and quietest seek operation.
Same iPod designs, new storage and colors
As part of its music event, Apple on Wednesday refreshed the iPod classic and third-generation iPod shuffle. The iPod shuffle has received the most noticeable changes with new color options. Beyond the original black and silver, the screenless player will now also come in blue, green and pink at its existing $79 price. The company is also introducing a special stainless steel trim that will cost $99 at the same capacity and is rolling out a 2GB edition with the same features for $59.
iPod touch absent from reseller part number list
A leaked list may reveal today's iPod capacity changes, or the lack thereof, according to a report. Said to have been supplied by "people familiar with the matter," the list details an assortment of iPod models and colors, as well as their onboard storage in gigabytes. Significant in the collection is a new iPod classic, with 160GB of memory instead of the current 120GB. Silver and black colors remain.
iPod prices cut ahead of new models
Apple in a rare move this morning dropped the prices of most iPods at the online Apple Store ahead of today's special music event. The iPod touch has received the largest drop and now costs just $279 for a 32GB model, $249 for a 16GB model and $189 for an 8GB version. The iPod nano has received more modest drops from $199 to $149 for a 16GB edition and from $149 to $129 for 8GB versions. The iPod classic has also received a mild price cut to $229 from $249.
First time Sony leads in four years
Sony's Walkman players overtook Apple's iPods in market share for the first time in Japan in over four years, according to a study by BCN. Although Apple held the lead as recently as a month ago, a sudden surge in the Walkman's popularity and a corresponding drop in the iPod's has led to Sony just edging out Apple with 43 percent of the market versus 42.1 percent. The upset ends an unprecedented 241-week run for Apple, which took the top spot from Sony in early 2005.
Current iPods discontinued
All current iPods SKUs are being discontinued, sources in Apple's Authorized Reseller network claim. The sources note that even though stock is running low or empty in many cases, no new resupply shipments to third-party vendors have been scheduled. The dwindling numbers have been anticipated however, as an attempt by Apple to drain inventory in advance of new iPods, which should be announced in September.
FTN on iPod retail sales
In spite of recent Piper Jaffray observations, iPod sales actually did better than expected in July -- at least at retail, according to FTN Equity Capital Markets analyst Bill Fearnley Jr.. Having surveyed a collection of retailers across the US, Fearnley notes that 27 percent of them reported above-plan iPod sales for July, as compared to 7 percent for June, and a group of 13 percent who claimed below-anticipated results in May.
Apple wins six patents
Apple has been granted six new patents, including an iChat filing and several submissions involving product design. The iChat video patent, titled “Digital image coding system having self-adjusting selection criteria for selecting a transform function," relates to coding digital video images and reducing loss of image information by adjusting parameters in the coding process.
Blue Mics Mikey Review
With audio recording finally moving down into the home after years of being largely confined to studios, Blue Microphones has decided to follow suit by launching one of its first sub-$100 dedicated audio devices, the Mikey. But can piggybacking on an iPod provide a complete, properly high quality means of getting audio for a company used to providing the whole solution? We answer this in our Mikey review.
iLuv iPod shuffle Adapter
iLuv today quickly followed Belkin by providing official details of its own remote adapter for the newer iPod shuffle. Already teased, the IEA15 gives any minijack earbud or headphone set the same controls as Apple's remote, both for click actions and for volume. The add-on is also confirmed to add full remote control to any other 2008 iPod as well as the iPhone 3GS.
iLuv iEP515 and iEP315
iLuv catered to owners of Apple's latest handhelds today with two in-ear headphone sets. Both the higher-end iEP515 and basic iEP315 are primarily treated as upgrades for the iPhone 3GS with an in-line remote and microphone in addition to passive noise reduction through its design. Their controls are also supported on the third-generation iPod shuffle, second-generation iPod classic and fourth-generation iPod nano as well as the iPod touch, where the microphone also works.
iPod classic phasing out?
The iPod classic may soon become extinct, at least in its traditional form, recent hard drive sales are thought to indicate. The Classic is the only iPod that continues to use a hard drive, specifically a 1.8-inch 120GB model. A new 250GB Samsung drive has failed to find significant sales, despite being deliberately marketed at builders of media players and netbooks.
iPod Camera Order Leak
Apple has been ordering enough camera sensors that every iPod except for the shuffle could have a camera with its next update, Asian sources claim. The American company is believed to be ordering cellphone-quality units worth about $10 but in too large numbers to simply apply to iPhone orders. Which models would get the update aren't specified by TechCrunch, but it's speculated that more than one iPod model would have to be covered given the sheer numbers.
Samsung May end 1 8in HDDs
Samsung may be triggering a sudden crunch in supplies of 1.8-inch hard drives through a strategic decision, Taiwan-area notebook builders reportedly said today. They claim that the Korean company has stopped development of the ultra-mobile disks in favor of solid-state drives, cutting the number of suppliers in half. Only Toshiba is left, DigiTimes says, and it's feared that prices might go up as the remaining producer tries to control demand.
MS targets iPod in Zune ad
In airing a new video, Microsoft has expanded its ad competition with Apple to encompass music support. The ad specifically targets the iTunes Store, and relies on a financial speaker named Wes Moss to criticize the value of buying tracks outright instead of subscribing to a service like the Zune Pass. At 120GB, claims Moss, the full-sized version of the iPod classic would cost roughly $30,000 to fill when using the iTunes Store.
Unibody iPods in works?
Apple may be exploring the concept of a unibody iPod, a freshly-exposed patent application implies. Apple began incorporating unibody designs into its products in October of last year, with the introduction of new MacBooks and MacBook Pros. The production technology is said to make hardware lighter, thinner and sturdier, as a result of using tougher material and fewer parts.
Apple solar, iPod patents
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a collection of new patents, all revolving around the company's portable devices. Unusual amongst these is a patent for solar power circuitry, which could in theory be used to power iPods, iPhones and MacBooks when away from a wall socket. The patent was applied for in 2006 however, and has not been used in any commercial products.
DealNN: Garmin GPS
Today's DealNN deals include a wide selection of items from GPS units to iPods. For today only (12/19/09) Newegg.com has reduced the price on the Garmin StreetPilot c330 GPS unit from $199.99 to $79.99. The 120GB iPod classic is priced at $219.97 with free shipping at Amazon.com. Two deals on Transcend memory products are currently featured at TigerDirect.com: the 8GB JetFlash flash drive is $14.99 and the 4GB Micro SDHC memory card is priced at $8.99. Get a free 12 month subscription to Mac|Life magazine with the purchase of Office 2008 for $159.98 at MacMall.com. J&R.com has reduced the price on the Polk Audio miDock iPod speaker system from $79.95 to $39.95.
New RoadTrip for iPhone
Accessory maker Griffin has introduced a new version of its RoadTrip with SmartScan FM transmitter, tailored to the iPhone 3G. The device plugs into a car's 12V power socket, and broadcasts audio from an iPhone or iPod to a frequency set on the car's radio. The SmartScan feature identifies the three clearest frequencies in a given region, and assigns these to available preset buttons.
iPod classic 2.0.1 update
Mirroring a similar update for the fourth-generation Nano, Apple has issued a v2.0.1 firmware update for the 120GB iPod classic. The change list is in fact similar to that for the Nano, primarily introducing support for Apple's in-ear headphones equipped with a mic and remote. Also corrected is a bug in saving Genius playlists, and an unspecified number of minor problems. The update is presently available only through iTunes, and is incompatible with 80 or 160GB Classics.
Griffin Wave for iPods
Griffin has announced that its Wave case has been updated and redesigned for the new iPod nano 4G, Touch 2G and Classic. The new version features the same wave-shaped contours of the original iPhone version, but has been modified with a double-helix design on the front and back. The iPod cases also feature Griffin's EasyDock design, which lets users simply slip off the case bottom in order to charge and sync.
PDO case announcements
PDO has announced that it will be releasing cases for the new iPod models in mid-October, and is now shipping the Sleek Crystal Case for the iPhone 3G. The Sleek Crystal Case will also be available for the Touch 2G and Nano 4G, and is a hard shell that encapsulates a device and protects it from bumps and scratches. The case leaves all important controls accessible, and comes bundled with film to protect screens and/or clickwheels. The Touch model will sell for $25, while the Nano model will sell for $20. The iPhone version is $25.