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Apple's iPod classic 5th most popular media player in 2010, unlikely to go away

post #1 of 55
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Apple's black 160GB iPod classic was the fifth best selling media player in the U.S. for all of 2010, suggesting that the hard drive-based device won't be exiting the company's product lineup in the near future.

The NPD Group this week revealed to AppleInsider overall portable media player sales rankings in the U.S. in 2010. The black iPod classic came in fifth place among all media player sales in the U.S., showing that Apple's only remaining hard-drive-based media player still has some life in it. The silver iPod classic was not among the top 10 devices.

It should be noted that sales tracked by the market research group are based on individual models and colors, so a product lineup with multiple colors -- like the iPod nano or iPod shuffle -- can be come diluted due to the number of options. Regardless, the performance of the iPod classic among all media player sales is impressive for a product some have thought to be near discontinuation for years.

NPD's retail tracking includes sales in retail stores, as well as via online outlets -- including Apple's own Web store.

The top-selling media player in the U.S. in 2010, as tracked by NPD, was the third-generation 8GB iPod touch. In just a few short months on the market at the end of 2010, the fourth-generation 8GB iPod touch managed to secure second place among all media player sales.

Apple's higher-capacity iPod touch models came in third and fourth place, with the fourth-generation 32GB model taking third, and third-generation 32GB product in fourth.

Just behind those products -- and ahead of all colors of the iPod nano and iPod shuffle -- was the black iPod classic. The strong performance of Apple's legacy iPod in 2010 could quiet some rumors that Apple plans to cancel the product, even as availability at some stores has dwindled.



Instead, new 1.8-inch hard drives from Toshiba, with capacities up to 220GB, could extend the life of the product line, if Apple were to use them in an updated model. Toshiba released the hard drives, which weigh just 48 grams and measure 5mm by 54mm by 71mm, in late January.

First launched in 2001, the iPod initially relied on HDDs for storage capacity, as flash memory had not yet become viable or cost effective for gigabytes of storage. When the first flash-based iPod shuffle debuted in January of 2005, it only carried 512MB or 1GB of storage. But over time, flash products have come to dominate Apple's iPod lineup, and have extended to other products like the iPhone, iPad and new MacBook Air.

Just behind the black iPod classic in 2010 sales rankings was the 2GB silver fourth-generation iPod shuffle. Three 8GB iPod nano models followed, with the black fifth-generation model taking seventh, and gray and blue sixth-generation models coming in eighth and ninth, respectively.

Unsurprisingly, Apple was the dominant media player maker in 2010, representing the top nine devices in the U.S. The only non-Apple product on the list came in at No. 10: the 4GB Sandisk Sansa Clip+.
post #2 of 55
A lot of people have insanely big music collections, I don't understand it myself. Also the click wheel is still a great UI.
post #3 of 55
Because they each come in multiple colors, the shuffle and the nano could be way down on the list, even if, overall, they're selling like hotcakes. This kind of tracking skews the rankings a bit, doesn't it?
post #4 of 55
If they throw a 320GB hard drive in there from Toshiba it will sell like hot cakes.
post #5 of 55
I hope it won't. And I hope it won't go the route of the Nano, mainly because you really can't use a touch device in the car without looking at the device to navigate. There is something to be said about buttons.

The Classic is probably the perfect MP3 Player. It's light, has a huge storage capacity, attractive and super-easy to use.

I have my entire media collection on mine and I use it every day, in the car, at home, at work. In fact, it's the only Media device apple sells that could holdn someone's entire collection. I never put any media on iPhone.
post #6 of 55
i think apple is keeping it because it sells, but deep down they want to ax it.

it will go away when they can price a 128/256GB iPod touch under $300. i don't see that happening this september...
post #7 of 55
I could see an upgrade with a larger hd, longer battery life and possibly larger screen and virtual click wheel. Didn't AI have a recent article on this?

Low inventory, new drives raise questions on future of Apple's iPod classic
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #8 of 55
The classic is also good if you want to carry a large Movie and TV Show collection with you and yeah the screen is a lot smaller than the iPod Touch, but it's still good.
post #9 of 55
Apple will keep the classic around. In addition to the iPod, it's the only portable hard drive in their product lineup.

On a side note, I still have the original video iPod, but it's due an upgrade. I think its going senile.
post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

A lot of people have insanely big music collections, I don't understand it myself. Also the click wheel is still a great UI.

Agreed, though I myself have an insanely big music collection. I'm sorry that is beyond your understanding (). The bigger the hard drive, the better. Also, with a big hard drive, some added functionality is in order. Not sure what that would be, but the Classic is for power users, so the functionality should be with them in mind.
post #11 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undo Redo View Post

Because they each come in multiple colors, the shuffle and the nano could be way down on the list, even if, overall, they're selling like hotcakes. This kind of tracking skews the rankings a bit, doesn't it?

I'll say!

Unless it's in the context of a discussion about colour trends in the market, do the car companies split up their sales this way? Of course not. It's meaningful to distinguish between, for instance, different storage capacities within a product line, since the price differences are significant.

But to list Blue and Grey variants of the 8GB iPod nano as separate devices? That's silliness, and unfortunately it's silliness of a kind that's become the staple of AI.
post #12 of 55
Quote:
Unsurprisingly, Apple was the dominant media player maker in 2010, representing the top nine devices in the U.S. The only non-Apple product on the list came in at No. 10: the 4GB Sandisk Sansa Clip+.

Where did the Zune place?
post #13 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Where did the Zune place?

Who cares? This is an Apple discussion board- only Apple praise or diss allowed. No wannabes discussed/ no trolling.
post #14 of 55
Next from apple, a steam-engine powered computer.
post #15 of 55
This October will mark the 10th anniversary of the iPod's introduction.
Perfect time to retire him.
The new king of the hill is the iPod Touch.
Long live the king!
post #16 of 55
The iPod mini was discontinued at the height of popularity. This could go in a number of ways:
1. It just goes away.
2. It gets a 128GB flash drive (with higher price and higher profit margin for Apple)
3. It hangs around for another year and we start the speculation all over again.
post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

This October will mark the 10th anniversary of the iPod's introduction.
Perfect time to retire him.
The new king of the hill is the iPod Touch.
Long live the king!

Forget it.
The Limited 10th Anniversary Edition with Steve Jobs' signature etching will be available come this September- accepting orders now.
post #18 of 55
insult removed
post #19 of 55
I wonder whether the people with the iPod classics simply have large collections, or whether they are also storing their music in lossless format? I can imagine people who listen to jazz and classical music wanting a media player that reproduces the music in the best possible form.

The only question remaining is whether the classic iPod reproduces the sound at an acceptable quality for audio-buffs?
post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

Forget it.
The Limited 10th Anniversary Edition with Steve Jobs' signature etching will be available come this September- accepting orders now.

A 10 Year anniversary Beatles iPod might be ok
post #21 of 55
I imagine as long as it keeps selling Apple will keep it. A product like this is basically free money as all the development costs are long recovered and the production lines are already set up for it.
post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undo Redo View Post

Because they each come in multiple colors, the shuffle and the nano could be way down on the list, even if, overall, they're selling like hotcakes. This kind of tracking skews the rankings a bit, doesn't it?

I'll say!

Unless it's in the context of a discussion about colour trends in the market, do the car companies split up their sales this way? Of course not. It's meaningful to distinguish between, for instance, different storage capacities within a product line, since the price differences are significant.

But to list Blue and Grey variants of the 8GB iPod nano as separate devices? That's silliness, and unfortunately it's silliness of a kind that's become the staple of AI.


This is a list of best selling devices based off individual SKU's which could differentiate each device by any feature, be it color or storage capacity. This is extremely important to know for manufacturing and stocking purposes.

Hardly silly.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

I'll say!

Unless it's in the context of a discussion about colour trends in the market, do the car companies split up their sales this way? Of course not. It's meaningful to distinguish between, for instance, different storage capacities within a product line, since the price differences are significant.

But to list Blue and Grey variants of the 8GB iPod nano as separate devices? That's silliness, and unfortunately it's silliness of a kind that's become the staple of AI.

Neil, before whacking away at the typing fingers of AI for this, did it not occur to you that the article was based on the report by the NPDGroup, who were responsible for doing the breakdown the way they did? Or have you had one too many Monsters and are irrationally knee-jerking to another AI article?

Interesting that they broke down the players they way they - perhaps to allow some elbow room for players like the Sansa clip to get on the list against the collective force of the various classes of iPods.
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

A lot of people have insanely big music collections, I don't understand it myself. Also the click wheel is still a great UI.

I have an insanely big music collection (partly because I import everything in Apple Lossless) which is too large (289.37 GB) to carry in its entirety on any portable device. Not that I would ever want or need to have my entire collection with me on the go, but having larger-capacity iPods and iPhones lets me carry more (meaning, more choice) of my extensive collection with me.

In practice however, I've found that smaller-capacity media players (e.g., 4 GB) can still hold, and play without interruption, more music than I can realistically listen to all day (and the ease of syncing new music with iTunes isn't much of a chore), but I like being able to sync all of a particular artist or genre (or several of them) and then shuffling without thinking about it.

I wish my old iPod 40 GB still worked



I don't remember which generation it is. I think it just needs a new battery, again. Its click wheel (without integrated buttons) is a great UI, but after scrolling through my music on iPhones for the past few years, I find the click wheel a little clunky.

"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

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"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

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post #25 of 55
I have an 80 GB Classic, an iPad and an iPhone. If I think about where I have actually listened to music in the past six months, it has been almost exclusively on the iPhone. I know people who listen on an iPad, but I do more movie watching on the iPad and use the iPhone to listen to music on.

Having said that, I have several times thought about getting rid of my Classic, but just can't bring myself to do it. It still is a very cool device and I love the option of being able to have my whole music collection and a number of movies with me. If I did more travel or spent more time in my car I could see the Classic getting more use.

On the issue of what Apple will do with the Classic, I hope that they will continue to produce it. However, as a business professor I can tell you that there is no way to guess what Apple will do on this. Because of Apple's dominant position and substantial profitability, they are not tied to doing anything because it happens to be making money. Certainly, when something isn't, they often decide to jettison it, but since they are so successful they can afford to make decisions that aren't tied to the fact that something is selling well. Their decisions are supremely strategic and that is one of the reasons that they often baffle people who are used to seeing primarily tactical and reactive decisions.

My guess, is that Apple will be looking forward, rather than backward on the Classic. They will be trying to decide what the future is for this class of device. I could easily see them cut it thinking that with streaming, increasing flash capacities, etc. there will be a way for people who want ubiquitous access to large music libraries to have it without having to physically carry it with them. On the other hand, I could see them keeping it another generation because that ability is not quite here yet.

But, as we have seen with Blu-ray, Apple is content to look pretty far down the road in terms of how they think things will be, and don't mind having the rest of us wait for their vision to materialize. So, if I were a betting man, I would probably say that it will be gone. But I also wouldn't be surprised to see one more round. But for sentimental reasons, I would like to see it make it to the next round.
post #26 of 55
I understand why the Touch is selling well, it's obviously the most useful iPod of the bunch and it seems to be reasonably priced now. The Classic though is basically just a music player which can be used to play video but is not desirable because the screen is too small. I understand that it has more capacity than any other player out there, but do we have millions of DJs that are constantly in need of a new iPod? My collection of 200+ CDs doesn't fill my 32 GB iPhone. Who are these people that have like 1000 CDs to fill this thing up?
post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjbjohnson View Post

I understand why the Touch is selling well, it's obviously the most useful iPod of the bunch and it seems to be reasonably priced now. The Classic though is basically just a music player which can be used to play video but is not desirable because the screen is too small. I understand that it has more capacity than any other player out there, but do we have millions of DJs that are constantly in need of a new iPod? My collection of 200+ CDs doesn't fill my 32 GB iPhone. Who are these people that have like 1000 CDs to fill this thing up?

Music collectors. DJ's. Audiophiles. People who collect CD's (and yes old school LPs) and rip their collections lossless and don't buy iTunes inferior crap.
post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

If they throw a 320GB hard drive in there from Toshiba it will sell like hot cakes.

It will never again sell like hot cakes, but it will be profitable and will likely be around for while yet. Cost-per-storage it still makes sense.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by macadam212 View Post

The classic is also good if you want to carry a large Movie and TV Show collection with you and yeah the screen is a lot smaller than the iPod Touch, but it's still good.

The iPad is barely large enough to watch movies on. A classic with a TV connection kit makes sense for doing that, perhaps.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

Next from apple, a steam-engine powered computer.

Now you are being silly.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

i think apple is keeping it because it sells, but deep down they want to ax it.

When they are ready to get rid of it, they will. Even if it is the 'fifth most popular'.

The main holdup is likely capacity. When they can affordably have some other iPod or phone with a starting capacity of 100gb then the classic will be on the way out. They will probably stop updating it, perhaps have only one color for one more year for the die hards, but probably not any more than that. Apple wants to get rid o actual spinning hard drives in their portables, especially the ipods
post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

i think apple is keeping it because it sells, but deep down they want to ax it.

it will go away when they can price a 128/256GB iPod touch under $300. i don't see that happening this september...

Yep. Really is as simple as that.
post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

This is a list of best selling devices based off individual SKU's which could differentiate each device by any feature, be it color or storage capacity. This is extremely important to know for manufacturing and stocking purposes.

Hardly silly.

Not silly in terms of where the numbers come from, but probably not a good way to compare overall sales of a given product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjbjohnson View Post

I understand why the Touch is selling well, it's obviously the most useful iPod of the bunch and it seems to be reasonably priced now. The Classic though is basically just a music player which can be used to play video but is not desirable because the screen is too small. I understand that it has more capacity than any other player out there, but do we have millions of DJs that are constantly in need of a new iPod? My collection of 200+ CDs doesn't fill my 32 GB iPhone. Who are these people that have like 1000 CDs to fill this thing up?

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of buyers have a lot of illegitimately obtained music. But there probably a lot of people that have amassed large legit collections over their lifetime. Buy a couple albums a month for a couple decades and you'll get a sizable collection. And if it's compressed lightly or losslessly, that will take a lot of space too.
post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjbjohnson View Post

I understand why the Touch is selling well, it's obviously the most useful iPod of the bunch and it seems to be reasonably priced now. The Classic though is basically just a music player which can be used to play video but is not desirable because the screen is too small. I understand that it has more capacity than any other player out there, but do we have millions of DJs that are constantly in need of a new iPod? My collection of 200+ CDs doesn't fill my 32 GB iPhone. Who are these people that have like 1000 CDs to fill this thing up?

One other thing people haven't mentioned is blind people. The iPod Classic is now the only device that blind people can use. They can count the clicks to know where they are in the menus and operate it. The nano, the touch, the iphone are useless to them because you have to see the screen to operate them.
post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post

One other thing people haven't mentioned is blind people. The iPod Classic is now the only device that blind people can use. They can count the clicks to know where they are in the menus and operate it. The nano, the touch, the iphone are useless to them because you have to see the screen to operate them.

Very good point!

"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

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"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

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post #36 of 55
I think it's interesting that the 64GB Touch isn't in the top ten, but one SKU of the 160GB Classic beat all individual SKUs of the Nano. I think a lot of iPod fans still want capacity, and aren't settling for an expensive flash RAM based player with less capacity. I think Apple should do us a favor and rev the Classic with a longer battery, bigger drive. Maybe make it a hair slimmer. I'd consider buying one.

"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 #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjbjohnson View Post

I understand why the Touch is selling well, it's obviously the most useful iPod of the bunch and it seems to be reasonably priced now. The Classic though is basically just a music player which can be used to play video but is not desirable because the screen is too small. I understand that it has more capacity than any other player out there, but do we have millions of DJs that are constantly in need of a new iPod? My collection of 200+ CDs doesn't fill my 32 GB iPhone. Who are these people that have like 1000 CDs to fill this thing up?

I don't have anywhere near 1000 CDs, but even 2 years ago when my 60GB 5th gen iPod was still alive and kicking, I easily filled it up with just music. I might have had a little over 300 CDs at that point.

If you can fit 200+ CDs onto a 32GB iPhone, (a) they must be ripped at a pretty low quality bit rate, and (b) you're not putting many apps and certainly not a lot of video content on the phone.

I really liked my 60GB iPod. I liked having physical controls because it was easy to control without having to look at like a touchscreen based iPod would require. I loved being able to have all (or at the end, at least most) of my music with me wherever I was. No, I couldn't listen to even a fraction of it during a normal day, but I loved not having to micro-manage what was and wasn't on the device. If a song popped into my head, I knew it was right there to listen to.

The iPod Touch might be the most "useful" iPod but a lot of that usefulness disappears without a wi-fi connection. In that respect, I find no use to an iPod Touch that wouldn't be better served by an iPhone. The only iPod I've bought and will probably ever buy is the Classic. I don't have much need for a portable video player so even as a single-purpose music player, it remains the only iPod that appeals to me.
post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Not silly in terms of where the numbers come from, but probably not a good way to compare overall sales of a given product.



I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of buyers have a lot of illegitimately obtained music. But there probably a lot of people that have amassed large legit collections over their lifetime. Buy a couple albums a month for a couple decades and you'll get a sizable collection. And if it's compressed lightly or losslessly, that will take a lot of space too.

Actually, someone I know uses the Classic exclusively because he has a large CD & Vinyl collection (some rare imports) and ripped it all at the highest quality setting (I think he is using PCM or 320kbit VBR). As a result, he needs a lot of storage for it, and has always used hard disk based iPods.

"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 #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaCameron View Post

I wish my old iPod 40 GB still worked


My 3G 40GB still works great. It's on its third battery (needs another) and gets about 4hrs per charge (about 50%).

I prefer the touch button over the click wheel because I scrolling is totally separated from menu/play/Fwd/bwd buttons and I don't accidentally activate them in a bumper car (while driving). It requires no looking to use (for basic navigation).

I heard that one can up the HDD to 60GB. If Apple releases a 220GB classic, I may upgrade just for the hell of it.
post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

I'll say!

Unless it's in the context of a discussion about colour trends in the market, do the car companies split up their sales this way? Of course not. It's meaningful to distinguish between, for instance, different storage capacities within a product line, since the price differences are significant.

But to list Blue and Grey variants of the 8GB iPod nano as separate devices? That's silliness, and unfortunately it's silliness of a kind that's become the staple of AI.

First of all, it's not AI that produced the numbers - they're quoting a report from a market analysis company.

Second, if they didn't separate into colors and models, the results would be:

1. iPod Touch
2. iPod Nano
3. iPod Shuffle
4. iPod Classic
5. Sansa Whatever

Is that better?
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