Apple May Drop iPod Classic, shuffle

| Rumor

Apple’s iPod lineup may be set to lose two long-time members of its family: the iPod classic and the iPod shuffle. Anonymous sources claim Apple is ready to drop the two models from its music player lineup to focus on the iPod nano and iPod touch, according to TUAW.

iPod classic gone? Maybe.Losing the two iPod models would help Apple streamline its media player lineup with just touch-based devices, and all of its products would be running iOS, save for the iPod nano.

On the down side, Apple would be giving up the entry-level music player market by dropping the US$49 iPod shuffle — a market that the company may no longer have an interest in. Discontinuing the iPod classic, however, would mean the end of iPods with hard drives, and would leave the company without a high storage capacity music player since that model ships with a 160GB drive.

Apple is set to host a media event on October 4 where it plans to talk about the iPhone. There isn’t any word on whether or not there will be any iPod-related announcements to go along with the iPhone surprises.

Since there isn’t any way to confirm whether or not the anonymous sources are right, for now we’ll have to take this rumor with an appropriate dose of salt.

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4 Comments

geoduck

Discontinuing the iPod classic, however, would mean the end of iPods with hard drives, and would leave the company without a high storage capacity music player since that model ships with a 160GB drive.

They have the Touch with 8Gb, 32Gb, and 64Gb. If they dropped the 8 and added a 128Gb unit it would fill the gap for all but the absolute top users.

Apple would be giving up the entry-level music player market by dropping the US$49 iPod shuffle ? a market that the company may no longer have an interest in.

I wonder if they introduced a bottom end, 4Gb for example, Nano if they could come close to the shuffle in price. Maybe $99. Not quite the $49 of the shuffle but sub $100 would be a big deal for all touch and with a screen.

There isn?t any word on whether or not there will be any iPod-related announcements to go along with the iPhone surprises.

I hope their is. For example the Touch going to the same form factor as the iPhone,giving it room for a better camera. A Touch with a Data Plan option (the iPhone without the phone idea that’s been kicking around for a couple of weeks).

Dorje Sylas

As has been said over at TUAW, if the iPod Touch goes to 128 GB as the top end then killing the Classic isn’t as much of an issue, especially with iCloud backing that up or the missing 32 GB. Killing the costly to repair HDD based Classic makes sense from many angles with iCloud, a 3G iPod (which don’t think will happen, but people seem to want this odd duck), and a bump in internal solid state memory. Remember the even as late as the 5th gen iPod it was topping out at 80 GB. It wasn’t until the 6th gen (classic) that it got to 160 GB.

Killing the Shuffle doesn’t make nearly as much sense. As you say they’d loose their lowest end iPod which is good for young kids, exercise, and general convenience of not having to look at buttons to skip or repeat songs.

I’ve seen people comment that you can get the same kind physical control with iPod/iPhone headphones. However I will counter point that Apple tried that with the last Shuffle and it was basically dead before Jobs got done introducing it. The iPod/iPhone headphones are rather bad construction quality and can’t take much abuse (especially from say rigorous exercise) so using them as a replacement to physical non-look buttons a no go.

The only way I could see the shuffle finally getting the boot is if Apple somehow got tactile (self-rasing) element into the Nano’s screen. So it can make its own physical buttons on demand. Which would amusingly enough require nano-techonlogy to do. I could also see the shuffle going if they brought back some exterior buttons to the Nano’s design (which I don’t think will happen).

Lee Dronick

Killing the Shuffle doesn?t make nearly as much sense. As you say they?d loose their lowest end iPod which is good for young kids, exercise, and general convenience of not having to look at buttons to skip or repeat songs.

I have one of the “tie clip” shuffles and it is handy.

mlvezie

I really hope they don’t kill the Classic. For people who want or need a device that doesn’t come with all the connectivity stuff (eg, if they work in an area where such devices aren’t allowed), the Classic is really the only option if you have a lot of songs.

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