Apple iPod Classic: Gone in a Flash (Maybe)

With iPod sales down for the last two years, predicting the death of iPod Classic is now an annual tradition.

Business Insider’s Dan Frommer is the latest journalist to question the iPod Classic’s future, ahead of Apple’s September 1 music event. The usual arguments apply — without Wi-Fi, apps or a touch screen, the classic iPod is looking pretty stale — but his prediction hinges on whether Apple will introduce a 128 GB iPod Touch this year. After all, the current iPod Classic’s hard drive holds 160 GB of media, and retiring it doesn’t make sense unless another device can take the high-capacity throne with flash storage.

I’m with Frommer’s logic all the way, but I doubt that 128 GB flash drives will even be ready in time for the next iPod Touch.

The 128 GB flash drive does exist. Toshiba, Apple’s frequent source for mobile device storage, created a 128 GB flash drive in June, with samples to be available in September. Full production begins later this fall, according to Electronista.

That timeline pretty much rules out 128 GB drives for the next-generation iPod Touch. Apple’s tendency with new iPods is to start selling them on the day of its press events. Given that Toshiba’s 128 GB drives won’t even be available for testing until some time next month, they simply won’t be ready for Apple’s products unless development sped up significantly since June.

Besides, the price for 128 GB at this point would be astronomical. At present, the 64 GB iPod Touch costs $399, compared to $250 for the iPod Classic. I’m guessing the price for 64 GB flash hasn’t dropped considerably since last year, because Apple doesn’t even offer that capacity in the iPhone 4. I just don’t see the iPod Touch making such a huge leap in storage.

If Apple proves me wrong, I’ll be shocked. Otherwise, anyone want to start making bets for next year?

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