Apple’s website and store were down for most of the event, as they usually are, but once the store came up, eagle-eyed music lovers started noticing something was missing: the iPod Classic.
The iPod debuted in 2001, and promised “1,000 songs in your pocket.” Over the years, the iPod saw many iterations, including the Shuffle, Nano, and iPod Touch.
Check out the first commercial for the original iPod:
The Classic debuted a few months after the first iPhone in 2007, and was the only iPod to still use the “click wheel,” like the original had. The largest size, at 160 GB, could hold 40,000 songs.
Now when you go to apple.com/ipodclassic, it silently redirects you to the main iPod homepage.
Not A Big Surprise
It’s not that much of a surprise that the company killed the Classic. It’s been rumoured to be going away for at least a few years.
In January, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the “iPod is a declining business.” And with the new iPhones topping out at 128 GB, the dedicated music player was pretty much rendered irrelevant.
In fact, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that Apple quietly killed a device at all. When the iPhone 5S and 5C were announced, you could no longer buy the iPhone 5, not even at a reduced price. When the new MacBooks came out in 2011, Apple quietly got rid of the entry-level white MacBooks. When the iPod Nano was released in 2005, the iPod Mini (which also had a click wheel) was discontinued.
And just this week with the iPhone 6 launch, Apple got rid of the 64 GB iPhone 5S.
But people are taking the news of the iPod Classic’s death surprisingly hard.
WHAT?! iPod Classic is being discontinued?!
— Kevin Cabanayan (@NivekNayan) September 11, 2014
Apple has finally discontinued the iPod classic. I’m heartbroken — it has, and will continue to be, one of my favourite devices I own.
— Sophie Kruse (@kruseco) September 11, 2014
i want the iphone 6 plus but i feel like i want to spite apple for discontinuing the ipod classic
— you wont (@Sharpractice) September 11, 2014
Where Did They Go?
A reader told Business Insider that when he called a local store in Southern California, he was told that Apple “forced” stores to return unsold Classics.
So we called a few Apple stores in the San Francisco Bay Area to see if we could find a Classic before it was gone forever. A saleswoman at the downtown San Francisco store told us that she couldn’t check what the stock numbers were like, but that we could come check and see if there were any left.
A woman we spoke with at the Chestnut Street store told us that there weren’t any in stock, but didn’t have any further information on what happened to it.
A salesperson we spoke with at the Burlingame Avenue store said that the Classic has gone into “end-of-life production,” which means that it’s been discontinued, and there aren’t any left in stock because they have been “removed.” He also said that “Apple likes to keep the best and brightest products out there” and the company removes products that it discontinues from stores.
There’s Still Hope
But don’t fret. You can still stock up on Classics and click that “click wheel” for at least a limited time.
As of this writing, Amazon is still selling the iPod Classic. Even the way discontinued sixth-generation one, if you’re into really going retro.
If you don’t mind shelling out for a possibly used Classic, you could try eBay. You could even get a nonworking one and use it for parts, should your beloved iPod eventually die.
We tried searching on Target’s site. It’s not available anymore online, but it was available for in-store pickup at a couple stores in the Bay Area.
And it looks like Best Buy might still have a few left.
Apple still sells its other iPods. The largest capacity you can get is the $299 64GB iPod Touch. It’s not the same as the beloved iPod Classic, of course. But in an iPhone world, you have to take what you can get.