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Rumor: Apple may discontinue iPod shuffle, classic this year

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 
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.
post #2 of 82
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.
post #3 of 82
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.
post #4 of 82
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.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #5 of 82
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.
post #6 of 82
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.
post #7 of 82
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.
post #8 of 82
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.
post #9 of 82
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.
post #10 of 82
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?
post #11 of 82
Also we saw a prototype nano without a clip.
Perhaps they will start to embrace the nano as a watch concept.
post #12 of 82
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).
post #13 of 82
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.
post #14 of 82
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.

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 #15 of 82
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.
post #16 of 82
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. \
post #17 of 82
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!!!!
post #18 of 82
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.
post #19 of 82
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.
post #20 of 82
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.
post #21 of 82
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.
post #22 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Actually, an iPod touch with 64GB of NAND flash memory has been around for nearly a year. It's an old milestone.

Cost base analysis says, "OUCH!". 64GB for $400 or 160GB for $249? I use the iPod while wheelin in the Jeep, crusin the lake in the boat, tailgating before the game and outdoor type places that don't need all solid state. I realize I'm not the major market but aren't most us Apple types? I hope they don't retire the Classic.
post #23 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

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.

Then merge touch and classic.

Edit: and improve the DACs. The Wolfsons used are not my fav.
post #24 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Actually, an iPod touch with 64GB of NAND flash memory has been around for nearly a year. It's an old milestone.

No, individual chips, not an iPod touch with two 32GB chips in it.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #25 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

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.

I think that the majority of kids today have no concept of what good audio is supposed to sound like and most of them have probably never even heard good audio in their entire life. Somebody sticking cheap, small earbuds in their ears and listening to compressed audio does not qualify as quality audio.
post #26 of 82
I find it hard to believe that they are killing the Shuffle too. It only makes sense if they are replacing it with the Nanos, but seems like that won't happen anytime soon with the new Nanos getting cameras (or maybe that plan failed?). The Shuffle is hot during Christmas as a cheap (in terms of cost) and decent gift, and it doesn't make sense for Apple to leave that price segment empty.
post #27 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I think that the majority of kids today have no concept of what good audio is supposed to sound like and most of them have probably never even heard good audio in their entire life. Somebody sticking cheap, small earbuds in their ears and listening to compressed audio does not qualify as quality audio.

Those kids have deficient parents.

You can take your kid to a classical concert and hear superb audio. I went to these concerts as a kid, they still exist today.

If today's kids haven't heard good sound, that's entirely the parents' fault. Don't blame Apple or other MP3 player manufacturers.
post #28 of 82
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.

I didn't read anything about Apple confiscating your iPod Classic if they decide to discontinue it.
post #29 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I think that the majority of kids today have no concept of what good audio is supposed to sound like and most of them have probably never even heard good audio in their entire life. Somebody sticking cheap, small earbuds in their ears and listening to compressed audio does not qualify as quality audio.

I think the majority of people can't distinguish. The consumer believes CD is transparent to the source; that CD is the reference that can't be improved upon; that digital is pure.

Anyway, I can't blame Apple for making what the customer will buy. I'm thankful that their devices do lossless. They aren't forgetting about me.
post #30 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post

I didn't read anything about Apple confiscating your iPod Classic if they decide to discontinue it.

I think his point is he can move his library in and out of 160 GB with acceptable pain. Cut that to 1/3 or by more and it sucks. WHEN the iPod fails, what's the alternative? Rate limited, expensive streaming when the music is already on his NAS?
post #31 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

I think the majority of people can't distinguish. The consumer believes CD is transparent to the source; that CD is the reference that can't be improved upon; that digital is pure.

Anyway, I can't blame Apple for making what the customer will buy. I'm thankful that their devices do lossless. They aren't forgetting about me.

It's a shame the iDevices can't do 96kHz/24-bit audio playback though.

post #32 of 82
yeah but the younger market and alot of the older market wont pay 399 for 64GB iTouch,when the 160 gb is cheaper and has more space
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post #33 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

I think the majority of people can't distinguish. The consumer believes CD is transparent to the source; that CD is the reference that can't be improved upon; that digital is pure.

I'll put myself in that majority. I can distinguish to a point, but nobody would mistake me for an audiophile. I do refuse to use earbuds, though.
post #34 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekRod View Post

yeah but the younger market and alot of the older market wont pay 399 for 64GB iTouch,when the 160 gb is cheaper and has more space

While Apple does not break out sales figures of the various iPod models, it is commonly believed that the iPod touch is now the number-one selling iPod. If I recall correctly, an Apple executive revealed this detail although did not get into specifics.

The iPod classic is no longer a top seller which is why the rumor of the iPod classic's imminent demise has come up several times. Apple did not update this device last year.

The iPod classic has a tiny market. If Apple upgrades the iPod touch to 128GB, the iPod classic is gone.
post #35 of 82
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?

The iPod Shuffle is my favorite iPod and the only one I use.

Apple always does a "One more thing", but if they get rid of the shuffle and the classic, it's a little hard to do a "One more thing" with so many things.

First, the iPod Touch is only rumored to be getting a minor upgrade and possibly 3G.
Second, 128GB flash has been rumored but Apple has yet to do anything with it.
Third, they would have to introduce a 2GB nano in order to keep the shuffle fans from deflecting.

Can't wait to see what happens. This is make or break time, first release with Cook as CEO.
post #36 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post

I'll put myself in that majority. I can distinguish to a point, but nobody would mistake me for an audiophile. I do refuse to use earbuds, though.

And lots depends on gear. I'd never fault someone for putting food and family over reference audio gear and long as no one would fault me for starving my family (rest their souls) for upgrading my tubes.

Seriously though, I don't want 3 encodes for each tune and sync differently to each device or how would that work streaming to AppleTV?
post #37 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

I think his point is he can move his library in and out of 160 GB with acceptable pain. Cut that to 1/3 or by more and it sucks. WHEN the iPod fails, what's the alternative? Rate limited, expensive streaming when the music is already on his NAS?

I got the point. I was fighting drama with more drama.

I think the problem most people have is that our data seems to swell to fit the size of the container we have. I usually buy the higher-capacity gadgets, because I don't sync very often. I'm trying to break that habit, though.
post #38 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Those kids have deficient parents.

You can take your kid to a classical concert and hear superb audio. I went to these concerts as a kid, they still exist today.

If today's kids haven't heard good sound, that's entirely the parents' fault. Don't blame Apple or other MP3 player manufacturers.

I'm not blaming Apple or other MP3 devices.
post #39 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

It's a shame the iDevices can't do 96kHz/24-bit audio playback though.


I'd be happy with 44.1k and 24 bit on my iPad. I think that it only does 44.1k and 16 bit. I use some music creation apps on the iPad and 24 bit would make a big difference over 16 bit.
post #40 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

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.

At first blush I want to agree with this, but the more I think about it, the nano will be the shuffle+ screen. It mostly is now. Really the only issue is the price, and if they can get the screen/RAM price low enough they should be able to offer the nano for... maybe $89 by this time next year? Maybe offer a 4/8/16 line up for 89/119/149?

That has the potential to sell really well i would think. Maybe target the active market. Remove the FM radio and add GPS for run/bike/hike tracking. Can they fit a basic GPS in there? Is that too small?
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