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Apple's iPod classic may also gain camera, report claims

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
While the iPod touch and iPod nano are widely expected to receive a camera upgrade in September, a report suggests that a new version of the aging hard-drive-based iPod classic could also snap pictures.

Citing industry sources, Taiwanese rumor site DigiTimes has reported that OmniVision will become the sole supplier of 3.2 megapixel CMOS image sensors for the upcoming line of iPod upgrades. The report singles out the iPod touch, iPod nano and iPod classic as camera-toting devices that will debut next month.

Omnivision is also one supplier of the 3.2 megapixel cameras for the iPhone 3GS. The report states that the CIS maker, with the addition of the iPod lineup, is expected to ship 18 million devices to Apple per quarter.

Whether the rumor proves true or not, any potential upgrades to the iPod classic this fall would likely be the last for Apple's sole remaining hard-drive-based media player. Flash memory has become less expensive and more reliable in recent years, and is now the standard on the remainder of Apple's iPod lineup.

Apple is expected to announce its new iPod product line at a media-centric event on Sept. 9. That event is likely to feature iPods with cameras, as well as the possible introduction of iTunes 9, rumored to have social networking features
post #2 of 74
When the new iPods are announced on 9/9, when will they actually go on sale in stores?



Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While the iPod touch and iPod nano are widely expected to receive a camera upgrade in September, a report suggests that a new version of the aging hard-drive-based iPod classic could also snap pictures.

Citing industry sources, Taiwanese rumor site DigiTimes has reported that OmniVision will become the sole supplier of 3.2 megapixel CMOS image sensors for the upcoming line of iPod upgrades. The report singles out the iPod touch, iPod nano and iPod classic as camera-toting devices that will debut next month.

Omnivision is also one supplier of the 3.2 megapixel cameras for the iPhone 3GS. The report states that the CIS maker, with the addition of the iPod lineup, is expected to ship 18 million devices to Apple per quarter.

Whether the rumor proves true or not, any potential upgrades to the iPod classic this fall would likely be the last for Apple's sole remaining hard-drive-based media player. Flash memory has become less expensive and more reliable in recent years, and is now the standard on the remainder of Apple's iPod lineup.

Apple is expected to announce its new iPod product line at a media-centric event on Sept. 9. That event is likely to feature iPods with cameras, as well as the possible introduction of iTunes 9, rumored to have social networking features
post #3 of 74
Now this is taken too far...

Why would anyone buy an ipod classic?

Just because it has a larger memory?

I bet iPods will get larger flash memory which is very near to the Classic's hard disk capacity.

With the touch screen and app store, even the Touch without camera beats Classic (with camera) any day.

Classic is analogous to the White MacBook.
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post #4 of 74
I haven't seen mentioned- since these iPods aren't phones may one hopefully sport a zoom or a flash?
post #5 of 74
I still hope they are going to put GPS in the iPod touch, then I won't need to buy a t-mobile plan...
post #6 of 74
I don't need a camera in an iPod Classic, just bigger hard drives. Still using my older 160 GB.
post #7 of 74
I thought i there was a rumors back befor the 3gs came out that they bought a bunch of 3.2 and 5.0 mega pixel cameras, so when the 3gs came out i thought the ipods were going to get a 5.0 Mp camera... i guess thats not gonna happen, won't be replacing my camera like i hoped eaither, 5.0 is good enough but 3.2 isn't i already have that on my phone.
post #8 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chintan100 View Post

Classic is analogous to the White MacBook.

Not entirely true. It's been said on this site (I believe) and on others, that the most popular Mac notebook is the white plastic macbook. Whereas on the iPod side, the Nano or possibly the Touch is the most popular iPod.

w00master
post #9 of 74
this is very unlikely! The classic is doomed.

I can't see a camera on a nano either it's too small.

However, the iPod touch will transform in a great camera. Introducing different models: from high capacity touches with high end compact lenses to low capacity touches with low end compact lenses.
post #10 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chintan100 View Post

Now this is taken too far...

Why would anyone buy an ipod classic?

Just because it has a larger memory?

I bet iPods will get larger flash memory which is very near to the Classic's hard disk capacity.

With the touch screen and app store, even the Touch without camera beats Classic (with camera) any day.

Classic is analogous to the White MacBook.

Some of us actually listen to music on our iPods, and don't play games on it. And we actually have quite a big music collection, since we like music, and don't just listen to Britneys newest album over and over again.
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post #11 of 74
I'm wondering if Classic has become a device for professional use. Are consummers really buying this platform?

I also have to wonder about Apple going SSD on this machine. Seems like they ought to be able to drop in a SSD module fairly easy. The advantages are there from lower power to the use of advance wear leveling. That is of course if they keep Classic around at all. It doesn't seem to make much sense in the face of 64 & 128 GB Touch iPods.

I don't have a Classic or anything but my iPhone right now so I have a hard time grasping Classics draw. That is beyound high capacity. High capacity though is something from the past if you ask me. Apple should be able to exceed 64 GB in the Touch if it really wants to.


Dave
post #12 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by updeau22 View Post

When the new iPods are announced on 9/9, when will they actually go on sale in stores?

Most people are expecting them to be available on 9/9.

Apple has always sold new iPods on the announcement day. Sometimes a specific model is a little late (e.g., the highest capacity model), but for their consumer lines, Apple ships the day of.
post #13 of 74
I have a 60 Gb Classic, and would like a 128 GB version. I have sworn not to upgrade again, untill I can get a 128 Gb iPhone.
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post #14 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm wondering if Classic has become a device for professional use. Are consummers really buying this platform?

I also have to wonder about Apple going SSD on this machine. Seems like they ought to be able to drop in a SSD module fairly easy. The advantages are there from lower power to the use of advance wear leveling. That is of course if they keep Classic around at all. It doesn't seem to make much sense in the face of 64 & 128 GB Touch iPods.

I don't have a Classic or anything but my iPhone right now so I have a hard time grasping Classics draw. That is beyound high capacity. High capacity though is something from the past if you ask me. Apple should be able to exceed 64 GB in the Touch if it really wants to.


Dave

There is no technological reason why Apple can't drop in flash memory into the iPod classic. The problem is the price of the memory combined with the ongoing development and support costs for keeping around a dying platform. Apple likes to kill off legacy hardware pretty quickly.

It is unlikely that we will see a 128GB iPod touch this time around. The current high-end model is 32GB, so the next one should be 64GB. The cost of 128MB of flash memory is a little too much for Apple to retain its margins (or would make the device way too pricey).
post #15 of 74
The classic is beyond its time and should be phased out.
post #16 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by T'hain Esh Kelch View Post

I have a 60 Gb Classic, and would like a 128 GB version. I have sworn not to upgrade again, untill I can get a 128 Gb iPhone.

Since the iPhone maxes out at 32GB right now, you probably have two more years to go (64GB in 2010, 128GB in 2011).
post #17 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr O View Post

this is very unlikely! The classic is doomed.

I can't see a camera on a nano either it's too small.

However, the iPod touch will transform in a great camera. Introducing different models: from high capacity touches with high end compact lenses to low capacity touches with low end compact lenses.

It is unlikely that Apple would change the camera part simply for low-capacity iPod touches. The camera part isn't that expensive and Apple typically does not reduce the feature set on lower-capacity models within the iPod product line.

I will point out yet again that more megapixels do not necessarily equate to a "better" camera. The reason is because video limits your shutter speed to approximate 1/60 sec. Low-light performance is far more crucial than squeezing out 1-2 megapixels of extra resolution.
post #18 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chintan100 View Post

Why would anyone buy an ipod classic?

Just because it has a larger memory?

Bingo
post #19 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tac22 View Post

I thought i there was a rumors back befor the 3gs came out that they bought a bunch of 3.2 and 5.0 mega pixel cameras, so when the 3gs came out i thought the ipods were going to get a 5.0 Mp camera... i guess thats not gonna happen, won't be replacing my camera like i hoped eaither, 5.0 is good enough but 3.2 isn't i already have that on my phone.

Yet again I will point out that more megapixels do not necessarily equate to a "better" camera. The reason is because video limits your shutter speed to approximate 1/60 sec. Low-light performance is far more crucial than squeezing out 1-2 megapixels of extra resolution. The more elements (for higher resolution) you pack into a sensor, the less light sensitivity you get (plus more noise).

That's basically why DSLRs are so expensive: the sensors (especially the full-frame ones) are very pricey. P&S and cameraphone sensors are puny and very inexpensive.
post #20 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chintan100 View Post

Now this is taken too far...

Why would anyone buy an ipod classic?

Just because it has a larger memory?

I bet iPods will get larger flash memory which is very near to the Classic's hard disk capacity.

With the touch screen and app store, even the Touch without camera beats Classic (with camera) any day.

Classic is analogous to the White MacBook.

Are you joking? Or simply clueless?

LOTS of people are waiting for a new iPod classic and HAVE been for two years. Last Year was a horrible downgrade, with the loss of FOURTY GIGS of storage to the 120 classic.

I know several people with 160 gig classics that are waiting and expecting a larger capacity device. 160 gigs (let alone 120!!!) is ridiculously too small to be the largest of iPod lineup. With the prices on storage now we should be seeing a 200+ gig iPod, or even a 300+ gig iPod to keep the real media hounds happy.

Just because you don't need this doesn't mean its unnecessary. Millions of musicians and DJ's need the largest iPod available.

My closest friend is simply a media hound, and he is staring at the 12 free gigs on his iPod classic, hoping something bigger is on the horizon.

Of course, no one would be opposed to a 256 gig flash classic..
post #21 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chintan100 View Post

Now this is taken too far...

Why would anyone buy an ipod classic?

Just because it has a larger memory?

The storage, and the tactile controls. Bringing your whole iTunes library with you is a godsend, especially on road trips and vacations. If anything, Apple should be pushing that feature MORE, not taking it away. As it is, even 160GB isn't big enough for me anymore, I want a 240GB model.

Quote:
I bet iPods will get larger flash memory which is very near to the Classic's hard disk capacity.

If the Nano's capacity exceeded 160GB, that would be a suitable replacement. There's nothing about the hard drive itself that's necessary.

Quote:
With the touch screen and app store, even the Touch without camera beats Classic (with camera) any day.

Absolutely not. I have both a 160GB Classic, and a Touch (a shuffle too), and I never use the Touch at all anymore. The Classic is the workhorse. The touch screen is cool for all of about five minutes, then it's nothing but annoying. Especially when you're on the go all the time, tactile controls on the device are a critical feature. Touchscreen SUCKS if you're using the iPod when moving around, exercising, etc.

If/when my Classic gets lost/broken/stolen (again), I'll seriously pissed-off if all that Apple has in their lineup is low capacity touchscreen crap.
post #22 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

It is unlikely that Apple would change the camera part simply for low-capacity iPod touches. The camera part isn't that expensive and Apple typically does not reduce the feature set on lower-capacity models within the iPod product line.

I will point out yet again that more megapixels do not necessarily equate to a "better" camera. The reason is because video limits your shutter speed to approximate 1/60 sec. Low-light performance is far more crucial than squeezing out 1-2 megapixels of extra resolution.

Still needs a flash and zoom.
post #23 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

Since the iPhone maxes out at 32GB right now, you probably have two more years to go (64GB in 2010, 128GB in 2011).

And add one more year to that to get the 128 GB touch into the mid-range tier and put it within the price range of the current Classic.
post #24 of 74
...said the last version of the iPod would be the one launched two versions ago. I don't think anyone with more than a bone in their head would believe any speculation you provided regarding the classic's demise. Though it's respectful that at least this time you employed some logic (flash versus hard drive pricing) to back up the statement.
post #25 of 74
In the advent of a 64+ gig iPod Touch, the iPod Classic has become the "prosumer" model of iPod line... used by the few audiophiles who have huge libraries, and could care less about the aesthetic appeal and reliabilty of the device. That being said, we know Apple's opinion of prosumers. Being one in the Mac department, I can disclose that it's disheartening.

-Clive
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post #26 of 74
Now this is one rumor I don't believe.

I'd believe Apple is cancelling the iPod Classic over adding a camera to it. Hard disk media players are done.
post #27 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Now this is one rumor I don't believe.

I'd believe Apple is cancelling the iPod Classic over adding a camera to it. Hard disk media players are done.

Right? I can see taking a picture/video and hearing that hard disk churn and churn-
post #28 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Hard disk media players are done.

Remember when Apple convinced us that Flash models were inferior to HDD models?

Comical how quickly things change...

-Clive
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post #29 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Are you joking? Or simply clueless?

LOTS of people are waiting for a new iPod classic and HAVE been for two years. Last Year was a horrible downgrade, with the loss of FOURTY GIGS of storage to the 120 classic.

I know several people with 160 gig classics that are waiting and expecting a larger capacity device. 160 gigs (let alone 120!!!) is ridiculously too small to be the largest of iPod lineup. With the prices on storage now we should be seeing a 200+ gig iPod, or even a 300+ gig iPod to keep the real media hounds happy.

Just because you don't need this doesn't mean its unnecessary. Millions of musicians and DJ's need the largest iPod available.

My closest friend is simply a media hound, and he is staring at the 12 free gigs on his iPod classic, hoping something bigger is on the horizon.

Of course, no one would be opposed to a 256 gig flash classic..

Agree. Except I don't ever see Apple putting a double-platter drive back in the Classic again. That would require them to make it thicker, and that's why the 160 GB options was dropped. From here until it's retired, there will be one model (thickness), so the upper limit is going to be the max capacity of single-platter 1.8" drives, whcih I believe is still stuck at 120 GB.
post #30 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chintan100 View Post

Now this is taken too far...

Why would anyone buy an ipod classic?

Just because it has a larger memory?

I bet iPods will get larger flash memory which is very near to the Classic's hard disk capacity.

With the touch screen and app store, even the Touch without camera beats Classic (with camera) any day.

Classic is analogous to the White MacBook.

iPod Classics are generally for the people who aren't really interested in a "do it all" device. I want an iPod for one thing: music. And I want it to do it well. I don't want to fumble with a touch screen when I'm driving or running. I want a physical button to press.

I have 60gigs of music and that is growing every day. I have an 80gig I'm hoping to replace soon (it has bad sectors so it now acts as a 40gig), and I'm not going to spend $250 just for an extra 40 gigs (being the 120 model). I would definitely buy an iPod Classic for $250 if it was a 180 or 250gb.

The camera means nothing to me, though.
post #31 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chintan100 View Post

Why would anyone buy an ipod classic? Just because it has a larger memory?

Well yes. The largest current solid state iPod is the touch at 32GB. The iPod Classic offers almost four times as much at 120G. I don't need that much, but some people do. I'm sure we'll see that gap close, but it's not there yet.
post #32 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drow_Swordsman View Post

iPod Classics are generally for the people who aren't really interested in a "do it all" device. I want an iPod for one thing: music. And I want it to do it well. I don't want to fumble with a touch screen when I'm driving or running. I want a physical button to press.

I have 60gigs of music and that is growing every day. I have an 80gig I'm hoping to replace soon (it has bad sectors so it now acts as a 40gig), and I'm not going to spend $250 just for an extra 40 gigs (being the 120 model). I would definitely buy an iPod Classic for $250 if it was a 180 or 250gb. ...

Those bad sectors are *because* it's a hard drive model and not solid state though.

The trouble is that new 1.8" single platter hard drives are only going to get *more* expensive and flash chips or SSD's are going to get *less* expensive. At that price point, Apple will more likely be able to put in an SSD drive of a larger capacity before they could find someone willing to manufacture a reliable 250 Gig platter drive of that size for the same price. At the same time, the amount of people who will deal with such a large portable, or need the storage capacity so much that they consider it, is dropping all the time.

SSD's will be made in the 1.8" format for some time to come. Regardless of what size they come out with, I would suggest you buy a new Classic *this* year regardless of the storage and learn how to open it up and replace the hard drive yourself because next year it might be discontinued altogether. Either that or wait until end of life and pick up a second hand one on eBay.

If you are careful, you can keep upgrading the hard drive yourself with bigger and cheaper SSD drives in the 1.8 format for many years to come.
post #33 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by F1Turbo View Post

I don't need a camera in an iPod Classic, just bigger hard drives. Still using my older 160 GB.

Yeah, my 120B is fabulous for my car. Can't live without it. Couldn't imagine a Nano (too small) or a Touch (too fancy) performing that role.
post #34 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

In the advent of a 64+ gig iPod Touch, the iPod Classic has become the "prosumer" model of iPod line... used by the few audiophiles who have huge libraries, and could care less about the aesthetic appeal and reliabilty of the device. That being said, we know Apple's opinion of prosumers. Being one in the Mac department, I can disclose that it's disheartening.

I wouldn't say "prosumer" as that implies someone who is ahead of the curve in all respects. Ripping your media to unnecessarily large sizes and carrying it all around with you is not that rational.

A similar "prosumer" on the picture taking side would be someone who habitually carries every picture they ever took, and also stores them in RAW format on a ginormous computer/viewer that they lug around with them.

No one would ever call that person smart or professional.
post #35 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Now this is one rumor I don't believe.

I'd believe Apple is cancelling the iPod Classic over adding a camera to it. Hard disk media players are done.

Don't stop believing.

Personally I don't have an opinion either way but don't forget they said the last two versions of the classic were done because of the hard drive, and "they" were wrong.

I think people are missing the point when they just dismiss the HD iPod out of hand, because they once again are misjudging Apple's motivations. If Apple can make their target margins selling the classic while not negatively impacting brand perception and/or cannibalizing higher margin products, there will still be a classic.

It's easy to view Apple solely as a company building gee whiz products that wow people. They're still a business.
post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Millions of musicians and DJ's need the largest iPod available.

I find this statement a bit hyperbolistic.

First of all, "Millions?" You're kidding yourself. Secondly, the "need" of an iPod for a DJ is a joke, since they usually use a computer to manage their music. iPods are too functionally limited for professional DJs. Third, why do musicians need several weeks worth of music at their fingertips for their careers?

No, there's really no professional need for an iPod Classic. This is purely an audiophile gadget. Apple is not alienating a huge market, either because the number of people who are oblivious to that sort of thing outnumber those who do probably 10:1.

-Clive
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post #37 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Still needs a flash and zoom.

I don't know if flash would really be all that useful. On-camera lighting on a typical P&S camera is pretty bad light (especially as a primary source) and the effective range is very very short. Also, flash sucks batteries dead.

As for zoom lenses, the physical limitations of the iPod touch make a non-sucky zoom lens to be doubtful. Zoom lenses are a compromise anyhow (distortion, speed, weight, cost, etc.). The effective f-stop will slow because of the extra elements, the focus time would increase, battery life would decrease, and there would be more failure (physical damage due to drops, etc.). You can't repeal the laws of physics.

Cameraphone lenses should be optimized for wide-angle, low-light performance, good enough for low-light video recording.
post #38 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

I find this statement a bit hyperbolistic.

Apple is not alienating a huge market, either because the number of people who are oblivious to that sort of thing outnumber those who do probably 10:1.

I think you guys are missing the point. Apple alienates (or doesn't alienate) customers at the time and place of its choosing - history has loads of examples of this, the most recent being Firewire, matte screens, and (my non-alienation example) just keeping the AppleTV around as a hobby.

Apple is not afraid to make decisions that potentially alienate users because they have the confidence they won't lose those same customers based on their limited competitive alternatives.

Having said that, they're more than happy to sell low rev products until development and production costs overtake the margin value target Apple has chosen. Classic's been back before, it'll likely be back again. But don't be surprised if classic = touch + a hard drive.
post #39 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

I don't know if flash would really be all that useful. On-camera lighting on a typical P&S camera is pretty bad light (especially as a primary source) and the effective range is very very short. Also, flash sucks batteries dead.

As for zoom lenses, the physical limitations of the iPod touch make a non-sucky zoom lens to be doubtful. Zoom lenses are a compromise anyhow (distortion, speed, weight, cost, etc.). The effective f-stop will slow because of the extra elements, the focus time would increase, battery life would decrease, and there would be more failure (physical damage due to drops, etc.). You can't repeal the laws of physics.

Cameraphone lenses should be optimized for wide-angle, low-light performance, good enough for low-light video recording.

It's not a phone- and it needs both. Battery useage is not an issue when your not depending upon phone calls. Otherwise- why bother? It should have a kick ass camera to really be considered a substitute for a real camera. Otherwise its not worth investing in- especially without a flash.
Limited cameras are understandable in a phone but in this case if it doesn't deliver- why bother? Adding a camera for the sake of adding a camera is Ok for the kiddies but not appealing enough to buy yet again just for that.
post #40 of 74
Obvious reason for the cameras is shrinking iPod sales. This whole camera thing is just a marketing ploy to redefine what an iPod does.

I am curious as to how Apple intends to add a camera to a slow HD-based iPod. I can't imagine the performance will be nearly as smooth as its flash-based brethren.

Ideally, the classic should focus on its niche by providing the biggest capacity drive available. They surely ought to know the demographics of the device.
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