Earlier this week we read about the possibility of Apple killing off the iPod classic and the shuffle. Today, multiple reports say that Apple has removed iPod games that make use of the click wheel from the iTunes store. Looks like it may be on its way out, indeed.
Announcement Coming Next Week?
This, interestingly, is just ahead of the October 4th iPhone 5 event. While the highlight of the show is no doubt going to be the iPhone, it seems that Apple will have a few quick things to say about the iPod line. One may be a mention of the newer, white iPod touch, and another may be about the discontinuation of the iPod classic.
I have an iPod Classic am I screwed?
Doubtful. In the past, while Apple is known to completely phase out products, they tend to do it over time. For instance, when they introduced the Intel Macs, it was a good several years before they released an OS that didn’t work on the older PPC systems. When they switched to OS 9, they offered the Classic environment for years, and they slowly phased it out over time. It’s probably likely that Apple will do something similar. They will stop selling the iPod classic and iTunes will continue to support it for a period of time until they no longer see a reason to keep iTunes compatible with the older hardware. It may never actually get phased out, but we’ve honestly never had an iOS device long enough to see something like that. It’s probably common to switch it out every 3 years or so. You know, when your battery life tops out at 15 minutes and you have to always keep it plugged in?
How About the iPod shuffle?
It’s possible that Apple will kill the iPod shuffle this year as well. At least that’s what the rumor says. While we’re pretty sure that the iPod classic has a lot more to do with a yearly decline in sales, the shuffle may just not fit Apple’s vision of the future. They seem to be interested in making everything touch-based. It’s an interface that has won them a top spot on wish lists. While I’ve always liked the shuffle because it’s like the cheap alternative for when you just want to listen to music, it’s always taken a back seat on Apple’s roster. They just kinda have it there and let people notice it.
Will it Definitely Happen?
Your guess is as good as ours, but rumors have been flying a lot this week and they did remove those iPod classic games from the iTunes store. In truth, it makes sense. As mentioned above, and reported before, Apple does want to place focus on their multitouch interface-based devices. The iPod classic and the shuffle are the odd ones out. Furthermore, they have the huge success that is the App Store. Apple wants that to be a moneymaker for everyone. The iPod classic and the shuffle don’t offer support for such apps. Neither does the nano, of course, but at least it has a touchscreen and fits into Apple’s idea of ease of use based on multitouch.