Report: Could Apple be killing off classic iPods?

Consumer Reports News: September 29, 2011 10:42 AM

Most of the speculation about Apple's October 4 press conference has focused on the next iPhone. But could it also mark the beginning of the end of Apple's other iconic device, the iPod digital music player?

Several tech websites have pointed to a report on The Unofficial Apple Weblog that claims an unnamed source—"NOT an [outside market] analyst"—told it to expect an end to two classic iPod devices: The hard-drive-based iPod classic and the tiny iPod shuffle. That would leave just the iPhone-like iPod touch and the iPod nano as the company's only digital-media-specific players.

Tech site CNET notes that typically, Apple's fall announcements are tied to digital music products, and that the discontinuation of the older iPods would make sense—and would perhaps be appropriate give that this year marks the iPod's 10th anniversary. Despite its longevity, Apple's line of digital players has been declining. Said CNET:

In the fourth quarter of 2010, iPod sales made up just 8 percent of Apple's total revenue, and they have been in a steady decline ever since the iPhone's introduction.

Other sources, however, note that Apple isn't killing off the entire iPod line—yet. According to Apple fan site 9to5Mac, a peek at Apple's inventory system reveals a new product codenamed "N81A"—an indication of a minor revision to the iPod touch, previously identified as "N81."

Apple may discontinue the iPod shuffle and classic [The Unofficial Apple Weblog]
Apple may discontinue the iPod shuffle and classic [CNET]
New iPhone 4 and iPod touch appear in Apple’s inventory system [9to5Mac]

Paul Eng

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