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Low inventory, new HDD raise questions on future of Apple's iPod classic

post #1 of 109
Thread Starter 
Availability of Apple's only remaining hard drive-based portable media player, the 160GB iPod classic, has run low at some stores, as Toshiba has begun sales of a new 1.8-inch hard drive with a 220GB maximum capacity.

Limited availability of the iPod classic was first discovered by AppleInsider. As can be found in the AppleInsider iPod Price Guide, online retailer Amazon is sold out with shipping times of two to four weeks of both the silver and black 160GB iPod classic models, though stock is still available through the site via resellers. And MacMall is sold out of the black model, but the silver remains in stock at a discounted price of $244.99.

In Apple's official online stores, the silver 160GB iPod classic ships in one to three business days. However, the black model has a quick shipping time of within 24 hours.

Limited stock of the iPod classic has lead to speculation that Apple could finally ax its last hard drive-based media player, the device with the iconic click wheel that helped the iPod lineup become so dominant. Of course, speculation that the iPod classic line is at an end is nothing new, even as the product has continued to soldier on year after year.

The limited inventory could also be sign of a forthcoming increase in capacity of the device. In late January, Toshiba -- maker of the hard drive found in the existing iPod classic -- released a new line of 1.8-inch drives that are available in capacities up to 220GB.

Toshiba's new microSATA-based drives are available with storage of 160GB, 200GB and 220GB inside an enclosure that weighs just 48 grams and is 5mm by 54mm by 71mm. They feature a 16MB buffer for improved performance, and require just 0.35 watts of power at low power idle, the smallest power consumption levels for any serial-ATA drive.



"Regardless of the device, customers expect to be able to store and access their favorite content, applications, and key data wherever they are," said Maciek Brzeski, vice president of mobile marketing at Toshiba Storage Device Division. "These new drives build on Toshiba's history of innovation and leadership in the 1.8-inch drive segment."

The iPod classic has continually been pushed into the background as Apple's flash-based media players, particularly the iPod touch, have taken over the market. At last year's introduction of new iPods in September, the iPod classic went unmentioned, but retained its 160GB of storage capacity and $249 price point.

In 2009, Apple increased the capacity of the iPod classic to 160GB. But the upgrade was minor, considering that two years prior Apple had sold a thicker 160GB model that was eventually discontinued in 2008. The 2009 update to the iPod classic gave the 160GB device the same slim profile as the 120GB model released in 2008.

Though the iPod classic lags behind newer models in terms of features and performance, it trumps the rest of the iPod lineup in capacity. The largest iPod touch from Apple has less than half the internal storage with 64GB.
post #2 of 109
I love my 64GB iPod Touch, but after apps, photos and videos, there's simply not enough room for my music, even if I severely trim it down from the 120GB (and growing) I currently have on my hard drive. The iPod Classic is perfect, and I've been waiting for a real upgrade in features without a downgrade in capacity for five years. Come on, Apple, just give me something with at least 160GB and you've got me sold.
post #3 of 109
It is likely that the iPod classic is at the end of the line. Apple previously ignored Toshiba when they bumped the storage capacity.

Steve doesn't look back into the past, he looks to the future.

It's time to say goodbye to the iPod classic.
post #4 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

It's time to say goodbye to the iPod classic.

To the Smithsonian it goes....

I've held off on an iPad or a new iPod purchase until they come out with 128+GB of memory, so I can store my whole music collection in Lossless. (~90GB)

I wish Apple would support FLAC files. From what I've read, there's a hack/dual-boot OS that you can load on iPod Classics that will allow you to play FLAC files, though.
post #5 of 109
I have to agree, say, bye, bye.

Best
post #6 of 109
To the Classic: You made Apple what it i$ today with all your failing hard drives taken from hits at the gym no matter what holder you wore.
post #7 of 109
I miss the click wheel and wish it was on the back side of the iPhone.
post #8 of 109
iPod classic touch. 160 gigs meets touch screen. Make ui super simple like the nano and maybe even keep the clickwheel. I know low prob but would be pretty cool.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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post #9 of 109
iPod classic? They were still making that? I'd forgotten all about it.
13" MacBook Pro 2.26GHz; iPhone 4 32GB
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13" MacBook Pro 2.26GHz; iPhone 4 32GB
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post #10 of 109
*sniff*
post #11 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I love my 64GB iPod Touch, but after apps, photos and videos, there's simply not enough room for my music, even if I severely trim it down from the 120GB (and growing) I currently have on my hard drive. The iPod Classic is perfect, and I've been waiting for a real upgrade in features without a downgrade in capacity for five years. Come on, Apple, just give me something with at least 160GB and you've got me sold.

most people don't need to carry everything all the time since you can't consume it. i always have a week or so of music on my iphone and still have room for apps and videos with 32GB total storage.

since there are a few A sides on an album, i don't need to carry around most of my music
post #12 of 109
It's not going anywhere.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #13 of 109
The 10th anniversary iPod Classic in 2011 think about it. I strongly believe it will stick around one more year. There are plenty of audiophile's that I'm sure want to rip their music at full CD quality and store it on an iPod Classic.
post #14 of 109
The real scare from this story is that Apple might no longer make a click wheel iPod. That would be truly sad, since the click wheel is by far the best interface for a music player.
post #15 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

most people don't need to carry everything all the time since you can't consume it. i always have a week or so of music on my iphone and still have room for apps and videos with 32GB total storage.

since there are a few A sides on an album, i don't need to carry around most of my music

Its a convenience thing. I would love a 2 TB iPad to carry literally every video I own on it, just in case I feel like watching something.

Of course, Netflix helps - and I wish I could stream from my own iTunes via internet which would also help.
post #16 of 109
It will be sent to the Isle of Misfit Apple Products That Steve Jobs No Longer Loves.
Final Cut Pro and Xserve are there, crying their eyes out, "Whyyyyy Steve? Why don't you love us anymo-o-ore????"

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #17 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

At last year's introduction of new iPods in September, the iPod classic went unmentioned, but retained its 160GB of storage capacity and $249 price point.

It has been a while and my memory may be sketchy, but I recall Jobs actually saying during that keynote that "every iPod model" was getting a revision. That statement along side no actual iPod Classic update made me think the Classic is on it's way out.

My guess? This October they will announce a new iPod Touch with twice as much memory on all lines, making the largest a 120GB model, and at that point they will discontinue the Classic.
post #18 of 109
It all depends upon sales. If it's profitable, Apple would likely upgrade it. If it's reaching the point where sales are just too low to justify its continuance, I would expect them to drop it.
post #19 of 109
Just because touch is cooler and more "gee whiz" doesn't make it better. In the case of a music player, the click wheel is far superior. You can easily skip or change volume with one hand and no eyes. A touch device (as cool as they are... I LOVE my iPad) requires TWO hands and your eyes... you have to look at the screen in order to do anything.
post #20 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

Just because touch is cooler and more "gee whiz" doesn't make it better. In the case of a music player, the click wheel is far superior. You can easily skip or change volume with one hand and no eyes. A touch device (as cool as they are... I LOVE my iPad) requires TWO hands and your eyes... you have to look at the screen in order to do anything.

Angry birds though, ANGRY BIRDS.
post #21 of 109
Yes, sightless operation really is a convenience, and Voice Command doesn't quite cut it yet. I should be able to "play [song] by [artist]" instead of "next-ing" through an entire album... Annoying.

-Clive
My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
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My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
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post #22 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It's not going anywhere.

I agree. They'll just give it a storage bump. It still sells to folks with a ton of files and a need for the small form factor. It would be foolish to discontinue the classic.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #23 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It's not going anywhere.

It will join the Sony Walkman in the design heap of technology.

Spinning mini hard drives are like the multi-generational offspring of spinning casstte tapes recording PCM.
post #24 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It all depends upon sales. If it's profitable, Apple would likely upgrade it. If it's reaching the point where sales are just too low to justify its continuance, I would expect them to drop it.

This is exactly the controlling factor on whether or not it will be discontinued!

Best
post #25 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

This is exactly the controlling factor on whether or not it will be discontinued!

Best

Well then I'm sure someone ,somewhere out there still wants to buy a fresh Betamax tape too.
post #26 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

Just because touch is cooler and more "gee whiz" doesn't make it better. In the case of a music player, the click wheel is far superior. You can easily skip or change volume with one hand and no eyes. A touch device (as cool as they are... I LOVE my iPad) requires TWO hands and your eyes... you have to look at the screen in order to do anything.

Not everything does. You have volume controls on the touch, you can shake to shuffle music, you have voice controls to select an artist, you have headset controls that will stop, play, skip songs and change the volume. The touch is not completely dependent on touch and sight. Plus, being able to shuffle a playlist is amazing and something I truly miss when I use my old iPod.
post #27 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

To the Smithsonian it goes....

I've held off on an iPad or a new iPod purchase until they come out with 128+GB of memory, so I can store my whole music collection in Lossless. (~90GB)

I wish Apple would support FLAC files. From what I've read, there's a hack/dual-boot OS that you can load on iPod Classics that will allow you to play FLAC files, though.

There are apps in the App Store that can play FLAC files.
post #28 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undo Redo View Post

The real scare from this story is that Apple might no longer make a click wheel iPod. That would be truly sad, since the click wheel is by far the best interface for a music player.

They could easily emulate that on a touchscreen display if they really wanted to.
post #29 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

Well then I'm sure someone ,somewhere out there still wants to buy a fresh Betamax tape too.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Betamax-L.../dp/B000928L7S

Someone must buy them.
post #30 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

Just because touch is cooler and more "gee whiz" doesn't make it better. In the case of a music player, the click wheel is far superior. You can easily skip or change volume with one hand and no eyes. A touch device (as cool as they are... I LOVE my iPad) requires TWO hands and your eyes... you have to look at the screen in order to do anything.

Wasn't that what those 3 button headphones were made for?
post #31 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tharsman View Post

My guess? This September they will announce a new iPod Touch with twice as much memory on all lines, making the largest a 128GB model, and at that point they will discontinue the Classic.

Fixed, but probably.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #32 of 109
220 - and beyond!!!
post #33 of 109
I guess having enough sales will guarantee anything continuing to be sold after all everything has a price. But my concern is that Apple (and I guess most companies) will quit not always sell something even if it is individually profitable if it does not sit into their vision of where they want their product line to be going.

For example, I have a 2 platter 160 gig iPod Classic that was purchased in 2007 -- It is quite unbelievable that the max capacity for an iPod Classic has not increased for over three years! Sure I know that the current 160 gig ipod is only one platter, and much thinner than my old beast, but if Apple had wanted to grow the 2 platter iPod Classic, it could be 400GB.

I think the real issue is that the RAM-based iPods have been chasing the hard drive based iPods for years, and Apple is getting tired of the iPod Classic 'raising the bar' all the time for the RAM-based iPods to match. While I would love to buy a larger iPod Classic* (and we have 2 Classics, 2 Shuffles, and 2 Touches in the house already) I do not think I will be given the opportunity to buy a larger one. I wonder if there are any third party upgrades?

*Why would I like a larger one? Well, I do have a ton of movies and videos on it. I have all my music library on the Classic. My Classic is rarely used with headphones attached to it, it is usually my media library device that is attached to a) a home stereo, b) a car stereo, or c) a TV. In one of my cars I need to plug the ipod in through the Aux plug, which means I am changing volume, scrolling through music, etc, using the control wheel. While I love the ipod Touch, I find the control wheel (especially when the iPod is in a case that puts a ridge around it) is easier to use without looking at it than the Touch interface.
post #34 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenclaw View Post

They could easily emulate that on a touchscreen display if they really wanted to.

Sorry, I don't understand how that would work.

I tried a touch screen iPod nano at the Apple Store one day and walked away laughing. Touch screens are fine for games, internet and such.
post #35 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

Well then I'm sure someone ,somewhere out there still wants to buy a fresh Betamax tape too.

Stop trolling please.
post #36 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undo Redo View Post

Sorry, I don't understand how that would work.

I tried a touch screen iPod nano at the Apple Store one day and walked away laughing. Touch screens are fine for games, internet and such.

I had an old one and I liked the click wheel, but with a large selection of music there is no way that the click wheel works better than the spotlight function. Looking for a certain song or artist or album has to be literally 5x faster with search.
post #37 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kropoktin View Post

I guess having enough sales will guarantee anything continuing to be sold after all everything has a price. But my concern is that Apple (and I guess most companies) will quit not always sell something even if it is individually profitable if it does not sit into their vision of where they want their product line to be going.

For example, I have a 2 platter 160 gig iPod Classic that was purchased in 2007 -- It is quite unbelievable that the max capacity for an iPod Classic has not increased for over three years! Sure I know that the current 160 gig ipod is only one platter, and much thinner than my old beast, but if Apple had wanted to grow the 2 platter iPod Classic, it could be 400GB.

I think the real issue is that the RAM-based iPods have been chasing the hard drive based iPods for years, and Apple is getting tired of the iPod Classic 'raising the bar' all the time for the RAM-based iPods to match. While I would love to buy a larger iPod Classic* (and we have 2 Classics, 2 Shuffles, and 2 Touches in the house already) I do not think I will be given the opportunity to buy a larger one. I wonder if there are any third party upgrades?

*Why would I like a larger one? Well, I do have a ton of movies and videos on it. I have all my music library on the Classic. My Classic is rarely used with headphones attached to it, it is usually my media library device that is attached to a) a home stereo, b) a car stereo, or c) a TV. In one of my cars I need to plug the ipod in through the Aux plug, which means I am changing volume, scrolling through music, etc, using the control wheel. While I love the ipod Touch, I find the control wheel (especially when the iPod is in a case that puts a ridge around it) is easier to use without looking at it than the Touch interface.

I believe a Toshiba 320GB drive is the biggest 1.8" drive available. So, 400GB isn't possible.
post #38 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcoz View Post

I had an old one and I liked the click wheel, but with a large selection of music there is no way that the click wheel works better than the spotlight function. Looking for a certain song or artist or album has to be literally 5x faster with search.

I don't doubt that. The main function controls I use on my iPod are skip, pause, play and volume. Nothing else much matters when I'm listening on shuffle-play (95% of the time). Those functions are more difficult with a touch than they are a click wheel. (You have to look at it first, can't do it with gloves on, etc.) In any case, I hope Apple rethinks the use of the click wheel and doesn't abandon it.
post #39 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

Just because touch is cooler and more "gee whiz" doesn't make it better. In the case of a music player, the click wheel is far superior. You can easily skip or change volume with one hand and no eyes. A touch device (as cool as they are... I LOVE my iPad) requires TWO hands and your eyes... you have to look at the screen in order to do anything.

Oh, you're one of THOSE types that holds their iPhone in one palm while gesturing with the other hand jk

Physical controls are good for reaching into your pocket without looking. But on the other hand, the iPod Touch/iPhone can:
-accept Voice Control commands
-accept headphone microphone clicks for pause, play, skip, fast-forward/rewind, and volume
-type on the on-screen keyboard (much better than scrolling through letters)

To each his own. \
post #40 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It's not going anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obi-Wan Kubrick View Post

The 10th anniversary iPod Classic in 2011 think about it. I strongly believe it will stick around one more year. There are plenty of audiophile's that I'm sure want to rip their music at full CD quality and store it on an iPod Classic.

There is certainly a market for SOME kind of pod with a capacity greater than 64 GB, especially in the age of huge vid files, etc.

However our social infatuation with thin pocket-size devices and the prices of solid state mem has led us backward on the curve of available memory to 8-16-32 and currently 64 in solid state, so that it's gonna be awhile before we get affordable 128, 256, etc.

To me that indicates the inflection point (assuming Classics are still selling profitably) at which the HDD line dies is likely the point at which falling flash prices enable Apple to make a 128 GB solid state Touch which can be sold somewhere in the price range of the current Classic.

Compacts the parts bins, simplifies/rationalizes the SKU's, brings full iOS functionality to the largest pod, etc.

One question though: a secondary but important use of classic ipods has been by photographers and others who enjoy having a media player they can also use as auxiliary storage in the field. Can the current Touches be used to store data files of all types as the classics always have been? My assumption has been this capability has been a casualty to the adoption of iOS, but I'd like to be proven wrong.

An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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