Rumor: Apple may discontinue iPod shuffle, classic this year

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Reports continue to surface that Apple will discontinue the iPod classic after an impressive 10-year run, while the iPod shuffle is also expected to get the ax as the company moves toward a multi-touch lineup for its iconic portable media players.



TUAW cited a source on Tuesday as saying that Apple will discontinue the iPod shuffle and iPod classic this year. According to the report, the company is looking to retire the platter-based hard drive used in the iPod classic as it has come to favor flash-based solutions, while the iPod shuffle's lack of a screen "has been an issue" since it was released.



The publication noted that it had been "sitting on [the] tip for a while" and decided to publish the report in light of speculation from CNet that Apple may "stick a fork in the iPod" at its iPhone event next week. The report's author, Victor Agreda, Jr., declined to specify the nature of his source, though he did note that the person is "NOT an analyst."



Last week, Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair also predicted that Apple would discontinue the iPod classic. He also expects a modest update to the iPod touch, which may include an improved camera, a white model, and 3G data capability. AppleInsider was first to report this summer that Apple would release a white iPod touch model with few changes.









In fact, rumors of the demise of the iPod classic and shuffle have persisted for some time. Last year, speculation arose that Apple would discontinue the iPod classic, but the device went unmentioned, and, consequently, unchanged, at last year's iPod event. Though some had also suggested that the smaller multi-touch iPod nano would push out the iPod shuffle, AppleInsider reported last year that Apple intended to keep the shuffle around for the time being.









Though the iPod classic and iPod shuffle are still available from Apple and its resellers, the report warns that customers who want to buy either device should do so "sooner rather than later." Apple currently sells the 160GB iPod classic for $249 and the iPod shuffle for $49.



Also contributing to speculation that less popular iPod models will be discontinued this year is the fact that Apple has eclipsed its annual fall iPod event with this year's iPhone 5 release. Whether intentionally or due to unspecified delays, this year's iPhone release has been pushed back from its usual summer launch to coincide with the fall release schedule. Others have pointed to the fact that Apple's invitation for next week's event does not mention the iPod, instead making the iPhone the star of the show.







Sales of iPods have steadily declined for Apple as its booming iPhone and iPad businesses come to provide the lion's share of the company's revenue. In the most recent June quarter, iPads outsold the iPod line by almost 2 million units. The company has guided for a decline in iPod units in the September quarter, which wrapped up last weekend.



The iPod's share of Apple's total revenue has dropped off sharply from 55.55 percent in the first fiscal quarter of 2006 to around 8 percent in recent quarters.



Released in October 2001, the iPod is credited with reinvigorating Apple's brand and driving the company's profitability for much of the past decade, while also laying the groundwork for the company's next two "post-PC" hits: the iPhone and the iPad. For instance, Apple leveraged the economies of scale achieved through sales volumes of the iPod to release the iPhone in 2007 with an unprecedented 8GB of storage.
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Comments

  • johnmcbostonjohnmcboston Posts: 187member
    Tragedy if true.



    Shuffle: small, portable, easy interface. Yes, you can buy headphones with in-line control, but nothing beats the shuffle for portability and 'feel to use' interface.



    Classic: Yes, I have my whole library in work, and can shuffle 160GB all day, week, year long. Now you want to limit me to 16GB again? no thanks. (Sorry, Apple, most companies int he world don't allow streaming work over company internet)



    Granted they may not be huge sellers, but they have their place. "slow and steady" can make money too.
  • mbarriaultmbarriault Posts: 237member
    I think the point is that they're not making enough money. classic and shuffle has their purposes, sure, but Apple generally doesn't aim for niche market.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,513member
    Classic, sure, but shuffle? The shuffle is popular.



    At any rate, if it happens, I'll pick up a third gen and a fourth gen. Then I'll have one of each.



    Replace my second-gen being used as a tie clip with the third-gen (which is more stylistically appropriate but requires the headphones to appear as what it is. Good as gold.



    Maybe even find a brand-new stainless steel third-gen.
  • cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnmcboston View Post


    Classic: Yes, I have my whole library in work, and can shuffle 160GB all day, week, year long. Now you want to limit me to 16GB again? no thanks. (Sorry, Apple, most companies int he world don't allow streaming work over company internet)



    What are you talking about? The biggest capacity iPod that isn't a classic has 64GB, not sixteen.
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,367member
    Apple has a weird tendency to cut off product lines early. The ipod touch and iphone as mentioned don't have the same capacity. I guess they could try to force people who buy shuffles into a nano instead but it still provided a cheap option. I used my nano at the gym. The battery is dead right now but I plan to replace it (not feeling like buying a new one + armband and stuff to match the current shape). Anyway we've had a lot of rumors lately without strong sources or confirmation. It seems worse than usual.
  • obi-wan kubrickobi-wan kubrick Posts: 131member
    I think they should keep the iPod Classic until the Touch has over 120GB of storage, i.e. not for another year or so right?



    The iPod Shuffle is my favorite iPod and the only one I use.
  • dunksdunks Posts: 1,168member
    The nano was bound to replace the shuffle given the similar form factor.



    I still love jogging with my second gen shuffle. I think the rusted orange remains the best colour finish on any of their consumer devices.



    It's still in pretty good nick. It will be a sad day when I eventually have to retire it.



    Does losing the classic hint at an 128GB iPod touch? I could see them going either way on this one. With iCloud and social technologies they could push the idea that currency - as in "What's happening now, today, this week?" - is slowly eclipsing our desire to carry a static collection of everything with us at all times.
  • wardcwardc Posts: 150member
    Apple might just make a dual 512GB blade SSD-based iPod with 1TB of RAID-0 storage, of course, that would be a $2000 iPod, but wouldn't it be coooool!?



    EDIT: Flash is the wave of the future and where everything is going....iPods, iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and eventually all desktops will come with SSD as standard...physical spinning hard drives are going to be a thing of the past, they are much slow(er), they are crash/fault prone, and because of the moving parts they are not as durable...drop an iPod classic while music is playing, the music may stop, or you may damage the internal HD altogether and have to get a new one. Flash is light and durable, and you really don't have to worry about all the issues that plauge physical spinning disks. We see Apple did this with the MacBook Air, no longer offering a HD-based variant, they are all Flash/SSD now.



    The only thing, they better not make the iPods out of glass like the iPhone 4, because you barely drop the thing and it shatters.
  • johnny mozzarellajohnny mozzarella Posts: 1,737member
    Will iPod touch be rebranded as iPad nano?

    128GB iPad nano replaces 160GB iPod classic?

    iPod nano becomes just iPod.

    The shuffle can go away if the nano can come down to $99

    4GB iPod nano?
  • johnny mozzarellajohnny mozzarella Posts: 1,737member
    Also we saw a prototype nano without a clip.

    Perhaps they will start to embrace the nano as a watch concept.
  • wardcwardc Posts: 150member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    Will iPod touch be rebranded as iPad nano?

    128GB iPad nano replaces 160GB iPod classic?

    iPod nano becomes just iPod.

    The shuffle can go away if the nano can come down to $99

    4GB iPod nano?



    They have 256GB Blade-based SSD flash they are using on the MacBook Airs, they could easily use something like this in the next-gen iPod, but it would probably retail for near $600 with this level of storage, unless Apple can get it and build it for cheap(er).
  • christophbchristophb Posts: 1,370member
    Have a Classic in reserve and a replacement battery and display from ifixit just in case theY discontinue with no notice as is the norm. I use only lossless encodes and 160GB barely contains my current music library. I am not a member of Gen-MP3.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,513member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Obi-Wan Kubrick View Post


    I think they should keep the iPod Classic until the Touch has over 120GB of storage, i.e. not for another year or so right?



    64GB chips exist now.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    Also we saw a prototype nano without a clip.

    Perhaps they will start to embrace the nano as a watch concept.



    And we also saw a nano WITH a clip and WITH a camcorder. Weird as heck.
  • cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    64GB chips exist now.



    Actually, an iPod touch with 64GB of NAND flash memory has been around for nearly a year. It's an old milestone.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 17,193member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post


    I am not a member of Gen-MP3.



    You shouldn't advertise that.



    Companies are tailoring their strategies as though you're a dying breed.... cough, cough....



    Ah, progress. \
  • christophbchristophb Posts: 1,370member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    You shouldn't advertise that.



    Companies are tailoring their strategies as though you're a dying breed.... cough, cough....



    Ah, progress. \



    Which is why I have to buy SACDs from Japan and Europe. Someone out there still supports quality. CD sample rate PCM is far too much compression for my taste (ear) and gear as it is. They can market to the masses and who can fault that? I refuse membership.



    Long live vinyl!!! Resistance is not futile!!!!
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,233member
    Even if this is true, then I don't see the big deal.



    If the rumor turns out true, then anybody who wants or needs an iPod classic should just go out and buy one before they disappear and then they'll get many years of use out of it. I have an iPod fourth generation, which is pretty old now and I don't use it all that much, but it's still working fine after all these years and it'll still probably last for many years to come.



    A 500 GB iPod classic with USB only sounds like a complete nightmare to me, and I definitely wouldn't want one.
  • wigginwiggin Posts: 2,082member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    while the iPod shuffle's lack of a screen "has been an issue" since it was released



    Huh? An issue for who exactly? Apple tried to take away the buttons and they are saying the lack of a screen is an issue?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dunks View Post


    The nano was bound to replace the shuffle given the similar form factor.



    At 3 times the price? Not a very good replacement device.



    Since the current nano was introduced, I have only ever seen one of them outside of an Apple store. If anything should be discontinued it's the nano. Or better yet, bring back the the previous generation. I still think part of the reason for the drop in iPod sales is because of who poor the nano is. How much of the past nano sales were people upgrading from older models. Now there is no reason to upgrade because the latest nano is crippled compared to the one you already own.
  • jpellinojpellino Posts: 563member
    Classic has no app revenue stream like the Touch. Nano form factor has reached shuffle-ness. The button interface was nice though. We're still using the original shuffle and my original Nano. With syncing an everyday occurrence now, capacity ain't the driver it used to be.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 17,193member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post


    Long live vinyl!!! Resistance is not futile!!!!



    I still adore my vinyl too, but my B&O stylus is finally ready to give, and it's my last one..... might have to bite the bullet and make it a museum piece.



    Although, it's still fun to see my teenage kids (and their pals) gather around it as though it was some strange object from the 17th cent.
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