Earlier this week the Guardian published an iPod retrospective of sorts that breifly touched on the current state of the iPod Classic while insinuating that the iconic device may be on its way out. Indeed, the only iPod model that continues to exhibit growth from quarter to quarter is the iPod Touch.
At other tables, as in any of Apple’s 300-plus stores worldwide, tourists check their emails and update their Facebook pages. Like everything else Apple does, its store layouts are ruthlessly designed. Pricey laptops and desktops by the door to lure you in, then iPads, then iPhones, then iPod Touches. The only table not occupied by a small cluster of people prodding, touching and fondling the technology is right at the back, in the store’s depths. It’s the table with the iPods on it.
The iPod Classic, as the famous scroll-wheel design is now known, hasn’t been updated now since September 2009, with a modest capacity jump from 120GB to 160GB. On the Apple Online Store, shipping times have slipped from 24 hours to 1-3 days. Across the US, several major retailers have reported short supplies, leading to speculation the device may soon be discontinued. It didn’t even warrant a mention at Apple’s annual Developers Conference in 2010. “The iPod’s essentially finished, give or take,” says Dr Alice Enders, a former senior economist […] “Sales have been in decline for some time. The converged media device is the way forward.”
In light of that report, a MacRumors reader emailed Steve Jobs inquiring about Apple’s plans for its storage heavy iPod.
The email reads:
Hello, I’ve heard a LOT of speculation that Apple is looking to kill the iPod Classic because it wasn’t updated on Sept. 1st, and that a lot of people would rather Touch. The iPod Classic is probably the best iPod in the line. PLEASE DON’T KILL IT!!!
And Jobs’ typically short response,
We have no plans to.
Sent from my iPhone
Apple of course would be foolish to get rid of the iPod Classic. One of the reasons the iPod became so succesful is because its simplicity and utility appealed to the music lover in all of us. And anyone with an iTunes library with over 160GB of content is clearly a music lover that Apple should want to do business with.
Apple has to appeal to all kinds of music listeners and while the Shuffle may be great for those looking for access to a limited number of songs, Apple shouldn’t forget about the folks who enthusiastically want to carry their entire music library around with them. After all, that was the tagline of the original iPod upon launch, and though iPod Classics may not be flying off the shelves, the device should keep its spot in the iPod lineup until it becomes cost prohibitive to manufacture them and it becomes abundantly clear that most people would prefer a touch experience.