The case for axing the iPod Classic

Sun, Sep 6, 2009


With everyone focusing on potential upgrades to the iPod Touch and iPod Nano this Wednesday, the iPod Classic, like usual, isn’t really on anybody’s radar.

The iPod Classic is a vestige of what got Apple to where it is now, while the iPod Touch is indicative of where Apple is going in the future.  Apple doesn’t provide sales breakdowns particular to each iPod device, but simple deductions from Apple’s statements on how many iPhone and iPod Touch’s are in circulation makes it obvious that the Classic isn’t a top seller.

Despite a strange rumor that the iPod Classic might receive a camera, there is a case to be made for Apple axing the Classic completely.  While users with insanely large music libraries would obviously miss the Classic and its 120GB capacity, Dan Frommer raises some interesting reasons why Apple might cease iPod Classic production for strategic reasons.

Apple is in the beginning of a mobile platform war with RIM, Palm, Google, and others, and the iPod touch is a key part of it. Getting more people exposed to the App Store, which is only available on the OS X-powered touch iPod, will boost app sales, could boost iPhone sales, and should build platform loyalty and lock-in that is important, especially as Apple’s rivals improve their own app platforms. Plus, it makes the App Store user base look even bigger, which makes the platform look better to developers.

Frommer makes some good points, but I’d have to think that the Classic has a little bit more life to it.  At 120GB, Apple’s MP3 player workhorse is still an attractive purchase for anyone with a significant music library, and I’d like to think that Apple would keep those consumers hooked up for at least 1 more iPod cycle.



1 Comments For This Post

  1. sfmitch Says:

    I hope Apple keeps the Classic in the iPod lineup for at least another year. The Classic with its’ click wheel interface and large capacity rounds out the iPod lineup. I could definitely see the case for introducing new, hard drive based PMPs – it seems silly to kill it and leave that part of the market unserved.

    I don’t see why Apple won’t introduce iPod touch in multiple colors – I am quite surprised this hasn’t already happened.

    Apple going very aggressive on the iPod touch pricing would be very smart. There is a platform war and Apple should get iPod Touches and iPhones into as many hands as possible.

    I like the idea of repeating what Apple did with the iPhone 3G. Take existing iPod touch and price it low while introducing new models with enticing new features to give people a reason to spend more.

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