iPod classic: Not Dead Yet

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that the entire iPod line was getting updated at the company’s music-related media event on Wednesday, but the iPod classic was conspicuously missing from the day’s announcements. Despite Mr. Jobs’s statement, the iPod classic didn’t get updated, but it wasn’t dropped from the lineup, either.

The iPod classic is the only hard drive-based iPod in Apple’s product lineup, and as of now it’s also the only model that retains the familiar Click Wheel design that’s been part of the iPod’s iconic image ever since it was first introduced in 2001.

The iPod classic, still the same as it was.

Apple unveiled the new iPod shuffle, iPod nano and iPod touch at the media event at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. All of those models used flash chips for storage instead of a hard drive.

While offering the highest storage capacity of any iPod model, it also offers surprisingly long battery life, too. The iPod classic can run for 36 hours in audio playback mode, compared to the iPod touch’s 40 hour playback time.

The iPod classic is available with a 160GB hard drive and silver or smoke-colored bodies for US$249. Considering the substantially lower cost of hard drive-based storage, Apple won’t likely drop the iPod classic until it can but flash RAM at a price point that’s more in line with hard drive storage costs.