Quite a few people — including myself — thought when Steve Jobs walked off the stage saying not a thing about the now aging iPod classic that it was the end of the line for that model. That is not so: Apple PR has confirmed that the classic line will live on, keeping the same price and capacity structure as it has now, but with no yearly refresh like its counterparts.
Such a move is quite unusual for a company that typically lets none of its flagship products go more than a year without some type of redesign or rework. But it’s also telling — Apple likely thinks the days of the classic are numbered.
As it stands right now, Apple is unable to offer a high-capacity flash based iPod as flash memory prices are still too high. Remember that the iPod classic has a maximum storage capacity of 160GB at $249: the highest capacity iPod touch comes in at 64GB, but has a fairly prohibitive $399 price tag along with it.
Not a good deal for those of us with insanely big digital media collections.
It is quite possible that Apple is hedging its bets that flash will continue to drop in price allowing it to offer a comparatively sized iPod touch in the near future. Also, there is not much more that the Cupertino company could do to the design other than add multi-touch — but the touch line is the future of the iPod so why bother?
I don’t fancy myself a Apple prognosticator but I would venture an educated guess that the classic has only a few more months left. It just so happened that the market didn’t cooperate with Apple’s scheduling that it could have announced a phase out at its September music event. It is coming though, and likely very soon.