Future focus shifting away to iPod Touch
With all of the announcements yesterday of the new iPod models from Apple, one thing seemed to get lost in the shuffle: “What about the iPod Classic going forward?” While Apple did announce an all new iPod lineup, the iPod Classic has not had much in the way of design revisions, other than some hard drive upgrades, since about 2007.
The iPod Classic will apparently remain in Apple’s lineup in the short term in a 160GB version that will be sold for $249 USD. Clearly, however, Apple is clear about the fact that the future is turning toward the iOS-powered iPod Touch, which will at some point replace the iPod Classic (we would assume). Apple has not confirmed how much longer it expects to offer the iPod Classic, but we believe that at least in the short term and as long as it has a decent amount of demand, it will continue to be offered.
The one reason that the iPod Classic has remained in the lineup is that it is able to offer much more disk space at 160GB than is available in the current iPod Touch. Whispers that we have heard, however, suggest that with the cost of flash memory continuing to decrease, it will be likely that Apple will move to introduce a 128GB model of the iPod Touch; and when they do so, the iPod Classic will be toast at that point. The thing apparently stopping Apple from offering an iPod Touch with 128GB of flash storage is currently the cost, which would be about $499 to $549 if Apple were to offer one today.
Do look for some iPod retailers, however, to drop the iPod Classic in favor of the lower-cost iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano. The shift in focus is actually interesting, as the lower-priced models continue to move at an excellent rate; but devices like the iPhone and competing smart phone devices that offer music support are eating into the iPod market share. Apple will have to continue to innovate as they have done with the new Nano in order to maintain the interest of buyers.