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

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 108
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 108
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 108
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 108
    I have to agree, say, bye, bye.



    Best
  • Reply 5 of 108
    iliveriliver Posts: 299member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 108
    I miss the click wheel and wish it was on the back side of the iPhone.
  • Reply 7 of 108
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 108
    iPod classic? They were still making that? I'd forgotten all about it.
  • Reply 9 of 108
    *sniff*
  • Reply 10 of 108
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    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
  • Reply 11 of 108
    irelandireland Posts: 17,490member
    It's not going anywhere.
  • Reply 12 of 108
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 108
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 108
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 108
    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????"
  • Reply 16 of 108
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 108
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,255member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 108
    takeotakeo Posts: 415member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 108
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 108
    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
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