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Rumor: Apple to Discontinue iPod Classic and Shuffle

By - Source: TUAW | B 42 comments

Now that Amazon's mystery press conference is out of the way, we're eagerly awaiting Apple's October 4 iPhone 5 event. However, will Apple also be saying goodbye to a couple of devices this year?

Apple said on the invitations that next week's event is about the iPhone. Most have assumed that this means Apple will finally launch the iPhone 5 (and perhaps the iPhone 4S). However, the fall event is typically for iPods and iTunes, and Apple hasn't given any inclination that it will be devoting even a small portion of the press conference to music. Instead, it appears as though the end may be near for a couple of the iPod models.

The latest scuttlebutt is that Apple will be killing off some of the iPods we know so well. According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog, the iPod Classic and iPod Shuffle will both disappear this year. The site didn't name its source, but said that the reasons behind killing off these two versions were to do with numbers (iPod sales make up just 8 percent of Apple revenue) but also the fact that they're kind of out-dated and unnecessary; the Shuffle is basically a Nano without a screen, while the Classic is devoid of flash memory, instead relying on a platter-based HDD.

The news comes hot on the heels of a report from CNet that Apple might kill the entire iPod line. Don Bell writes that, while the it used to be a big money-maker for Apple, now is "really not a bad time for Apple to stick a fork in the iPod."

"For starters, this year (October 24) marks the 10-year anniversary of the iPod," he writes. "That's quite an achievement, but it's also a nice place to bookend things. I can imagine Apple saying, 'It had a great run, now go buy an iPhone.'"

Bell also refers back to Steve Jobs' 2006 advice to Nike CEO Mark Parker. Jobs told him to just "get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff." So has the iPod, when compared to the iPhone and the iPad, become 'crappy stuff'?

Do you think the iPod line is past its sell-by date, or do you think that Apple just needs to trim the fat and get rid of one or two models? Let us know in the comments below!

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Top Comments
  • 18 Hide
    gorehound , September 29, 2011 12:48 PM
    Try 160 GB Drive for my huge collection of music from a lifetime as I am now 55 and own tons of old rare vinyl,cassettes,CD's,etc

    They kill off that and I will find another product and not have to go near Apple again.
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2011 1:11 PM
    I still use my iPods regularly... I don't like to carry my darn phone with me while I work out at the gym because it's bigger, heavier, and I don't want it to get all sweaty and gross. I'd use the excuse that I need the larger capacity of an iPod Classic but I gave up on putting my entire collection on a single device long ago. I'm still hoping they open up their iPod nano to 3rd party apps at some point, that could be really cool!
Other Comments
  • 18 Hide
    gorehound , September 29, 2011 12:48 PM
    Try 160 GB Drive for my huge collection of music from a lifetime as I am now 55 and own tons of old rare vinyl,cassettes,CD's,etc

    They kill off that and I will find another product and not have to go near Apple again.
  • -6 Hide
    vaughn2k , September 29, 2011 12:58 PM
    Good riddance!
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2011 1:11 PM
    I still use my iPods regularly... I don't like to carry my darn phone with me while I work out at the gym because it's bigger, heavier, and I don't want it to get all sweaty and gross. I'd use the excuse that I need the larger capacity of an iPod Classic but I gave up on putting my entire collection on a single device long ago. I'm still hoping they open up their iPod nano to 3rd party apps at some point, that could be really cool!
  • -1 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 29, 2011 1:13 PM
    If Apple will cancel the iPod line, then it must mean they will be introducing a 128GB iPod touch to cover for the loss of its high-capacity player.

    Not that any true audiophiles use iPods for music anyway. We have Cowon.
  • 6 Hide
    southernshark , September 29, 2011 1:30 PM
    Its a bad idea to kill off any product that makes money. I especially think they would be foolish to kill off the shuffle since it fits into an entirely separate product niche and does not compete against its Not everyone wants to exercise with a large screened device. Of course I just buy Sansa Clip because I am cheap, but I would hate to see Apple get out of this type of product simply because it would mean less competition in the field.

    Now as for the classic IPOD with an HDD.... I suppose killing it off makes sense. But killing off the entire IPOD product line would be a terrible idea. Although I can understand why American MBAs would like it since they equate firing people and streamlining with profits....
  • -2 Hide
    dark_lord69 , September 29, 2011 1:31 PM
    I really don't see the need for a typical iPod unless it has MEGA storage. (Like the ones with hard drives.) It would have to be over 32GB cause that is what you can currently put into phones.

    I'll stick with my Blackberry.
    With the memory card I've got 8GB of storage and I can also use Pandora and iHeartRadio to listen to music...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2011 1:34 PM
    'It had a great run, now go buy an iPhone.'" no thanks when my old (2003) iPod dies I will be moving over to my android phone for my music, I have already done some experments with it to see if it is possable, it is. So instead of Apple getting another sale from me when the iPod dies (which we all know all hardware will die at some time) they will not get any money from me. The good news for ME is it will be cheaper, just buy a bigger mSD card (I have 40Gbytes of mp3s, and hopefully by the time my iPod dies, 64 mSD cards, hopefully, should be out)
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2011 1:36 PM
    The shuffle is the only iPod beside the classic that you can control without looking at the screen, making it great for exercise. My original shuffle even survived a washing machine. It's a shame to get rid of one of their most ergonomically usable products.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2011 1:41 PM
    I don't think that they should get rid of all iPods. I do think the shuffle and classic need to go. They will not cut the entire line because the iPhone isn't on every carrier and they sell a lot of iPod Touches. Many people buy iPods for there kids. That"s where most of the revenue in iPods comes from. Not everyone wants to pay $100 a month for their kids to have an iPhone...
  • -1 Hide
    house70 , September 29, 2011 1:43 PM
    The only iThing I have is an iPod classic that I made from parts bought off eBay (replaced the HDD with a CF-based solid state storage, as well, well worth it). That way Apple does not get a dime of my money and I get to actually build something that I can use. I looks great, in fact one can not tell it from an original iPod, except for the fact that it boots up and access music much faster, not to mention it can withstand shocks better.
    When that one dies, I will just move to a different platform entirely.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2011 1:44 PM
    Until the iPhone is available on all wireless networks, I doubt they'll kill of the iPod entirely. It just wouldn't make sense to cannabilize the iPod sales at this point in time.
  • 1 Hide
    custodian-1 , September 29, 2011 1:56 PM
    I have 2 iPod classics. A gen 2 which I took out the hard drive and installed 1.8" SSD at 180GB and a gen 5 they are great for music both with acc lossless. I understand why they will stop making these no HD TV. But I hope there will be a larger iPod touch.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2011 1:58 PM
    I need all my music on one device. Classic for me all the way. I hate the Touch interface to iTunes, and I'm not bringing my iPhone to the gym. I might just pick up another 160G to replace mine if it ever dies.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2011 1:58 PM
    I think they can kill the older models but not all. Hey im not buying my kid an iphone. Ipod touch yes, iphone no.... Keep the ipods remember its a broad market out there.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2011 1:59 PM
    iOS5 makes many references to the iPod touch, it will be sticking around for sure, but I would suspect most of the other models too. The iPod line doesn't really have much dead weight, all the models fill a specific niche. Maybe the classic is showing it's age a little, but people once said that about the 911, and it is the only one with massive, cheap storage.
  • 1 Hide
    chestercopperpot , September 29, 2011 2:05 PM
    I had an iphone sold it and would never own one again if you paid ME to. However I have a 160Gb ipod classic I use constantly, because I have a large music collection. If apple discontinues the HDD ipod they better follow it up with something larger in flash not less that. I use almost all of the 160Gb. I know everything is going to cloud and that includes music collections ie: Spotify. But I don't like being tethered to my phone for one. Secondly for those who travel it's not practical. As for the shuffle, my only hope would be that they make a leap forward with a similar sized device that has 10 X the storage room. Also, I don't think I would be super bummed if they just decided to get out of the music only devices - I would hope that would open opportunity for smaller companies to come up with some better. Apple kind of sucks ya'll.
  • -2 Hide
    chestercopperpot , September 29, 2011 2:06 PM
    I had an iphone sold it and would never own one again if you paid ME to. However I have a 160Gb ipod classic I use constantly, because I have a large music collection. If apple discontinues the HDD ipod they better follow it up with something larger in flash not less that. I use almost all of the 160Gb. I know everything is going to cloud and that includes music collections ie: Spotify. But I don't like being tethered to my phone for one. Secondly for those who travel it's not practical. As for the shuffle, my only hope would be that they make a leap forward with a similar sized device that has 10 X the storage room. Also, I don't think I would be super bummed if they just decided to get out of the music only devices - I would hope that would open opportunity for smaller companies to come up with some better. Apple kind of sucks ya'll.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2011 2:06 PM
    I hope they do not get rid of the iPod Classic until they are able to match memory size with the touch or iPhone. I travel extensively and the classic remains the best alternative for taking movies and all my music along with me. Simply, when I head out for a three week trip, I really don't know which music I will feel like listening to in 2 1/2 weeks. And the movies are great for those long transatlantic trips, although battery life is less than stellar when watching movies. When they upgrade touch to the over 100 GB range, then I would consider switching.
  • -2 Hide
    chestercopperpot , September 29, 2011 2:06 PM
    I had an iphone sold it and would never own one again if you paid ME to. However I have a 160Gb ipod classic I use constantly, because I have a large music collection. If apple discontinues the HDD ipod they better follow it up with something larger in flash not less that. I use almost all of the 160Gb. I know everything is going to cloud and that includes music collections ie: Spotify. But I don't like being tethered to my phone for one. Secondly for those who travel it's not practical. As for the shuffle, my only hope would be that they make a leap forward with a similar sized device that has 10 X the storage room. Also, I don't think I would be super bummed if they just decided to get out of the music only devices - I would hope that would open opportunity for smaller companies to come up with some better. Apple kind of sucks ya'll.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2011 2:09 PM
    Extremely bad news for all melomaniacs who collect music and need high capacity players. Switched from a creative MP3 to iPod because of capacity issues. Never used (and don't intend to use) iPhone because it simply does not have not enough storage space for my music collection. Does anyone know about a 160G or more MP3 player? Cowon?...
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