Rumor: Apple to Discontinue iPod Classic and Shuffle

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!

Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.