Apple To Kill Off iPod Classic, Double Down On Touch, iPhone Developer Predicts

Apple’s annual iPod/iTunes product event will take place this Wednesday in San Francisco. In addition to announcing new iTunes features, Apple will almost certainly introduce an updated version of the iPod touch, and perhaps the iPod nano; rumours suggest they’ll both get cameras. (Video cameras, ideally.)

But what else will Apple do to the iPod lineup? Marco Arment, who created the excellent Instapaper, has some guesses. In a blog post (worth reading the whole thing), Arment predicts:

  • Apple will kill off the iPod classic.
  • Apple will cut the price on the iPod shuffle to $59.
  • Apple might stick a camera into the iPod nano, but will reduce the line to one model, 8 GB, for $99.
  • Apple will stick a camera into the iPod touch, double the storage capacities, and adjust pricing: 8 GB for $149, 16 GB for $199, 32 GB for $249, 64 GB for $349.

Certainly plausible. The main idea is to gradually spin down the legacy iPod line — which Apple has already told us is slowly headed toward zero — and get as many people using the iPod touch line instead.

Why? It’s a more exciting, sophisticated experience, for one.

But also, the App Store, of course. 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.

It’s also plausible that the more people who get to know and love the iPod touch, the more people who may want to check out Apple’s forthcoming tablet, which we think is going to to resemble a big iPod touch.

And the App Store isn’t Apple’s only revenue-generating store on the iPod touch: It also has an iTunes store there, which continues to get new features. Arment predicts iPhone and iPod touch owners might soon be able to download TV show rentals from their phones, too. Read Marco’s full post here >

SEE ALSO: 10 Great Back-To-School iPhone Apps For Students >

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