Next to the iPod touch, the iPod classic looks like a dinosaur. It’s thicker, but has a smaller screen, no touchscreen controls, doesn’t connect to the Internet, and doesn’t run apps from the App Store. Even the iPod nano has a video camera these days.
But the iPod classic has stuck around all these years because of its huge storage capacity: Because it’s the only iPod left that still runs on micro hard drives, it can offer 160 GB of storage for $250, almost three times the capacity as the top-line iPod touch, which has 64 GB for $399. This is useful for people who have big music libraries and want to have everything they own with them at once.
And while the iPod classic’s ever-increasing storage capacity mostly reflects the evolution of the hard drive business, it’s still super impressive. The original 5GB iPod promised “1,000 songs in your pocket.” The current iPod classic can hold 40,000 songs, according to Apple’s site.
You simply can’t do that with an iPod touch, iPod nano, or iPhone.
But that could change this year. Apple has been increasing the capacity on the iPod touch on a yearly basis, so it’s plausible that this year, Apple could offer a 128 GB iPod touch. (That would be especially helpful for storing HD video from the rumoured video camera. Say goodbye to your Flip Cam.)
If Apple does offer a 128 GB iPod touch, will Steve Jobs keep the iPod classic around with just 32 more GB of capacity? Or will he finally cut it out of the lineup?
Or, will he keep it around for one more year — adding even more capacity, like he did last September — so he can retire it on its 10th birthday?
The iPod classic still seems to be selling — it’s currently the no. 3 most popular iPod on Amazon, though that might be a fluke. (Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster estimates Apple will sell 2.5 million iPod classic units this year, versus almost 30 million iPod touches.)
But if Apple wants to push as many iPod touch sales as possible this year, and if there’s a 128 GB unit in store, it might finally be time to put the iPod classic to rest.
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