Apple may discontinue production of the iPod shuffle and the iPod classic with the iPhone 5 on the horizon, the sun may soon set on two of Apple’s long-time staples, the iPod shuffle and iPod classic. The classic is a holdover from 10 years of iPod existence, bearing many similarities to the original iPod and the shuffle is basically the same form factor as the nano, minus a screen. The classic uses a platter-based hard drive, while Apple is largely transitioning to flash-based memory solutions and the rumor stemmed from early speculation by CNET, which reported that only 8% of Apple’s fourth quarter earnings in 2010 came from iPod sales………………….
Apple‘s iPod is being cited by some folks as a potential candidate for the chopping block and CNET senior editor Donald Bell discussed that possibility, saying that he’s a little worried for the iPod. He pointed out that the iPod has been surviving in the shadow of the iPhone and iPad andthe portable media players are becoming less important to Apple‘s bottom line. In July, Apple revealed in its fiscal third-quarter earnings that its iPod division made up less than 5 percent of the company’s total revenue of $28.6 billion and just three years ago, the iPod accounted for more than 22 percent of the firm’s fiscal third-quarter revenue of $7.5 billion. The revenue share of Apple’s iPhone and more recently, the iPad, have only gained. Given that decline, as well as the state of Apple‘s business right now, Bell opened the floor to CNET readers to discuss the possibility of the iPod‘s demise. In a CNET poll asking readers what they think might happen to Apple‘s iPod line, 42 percent of the nearly 3,300 respondents said that it’s quite likely that Apple will discontinue its Nano, Shuffle and Classic, but the company’s iPod Touch will hang on. Another 30 percent of voters had the exact opposite reaction, saying that they believe Apple will never discontinue iPods and will instead offer up some new versions this year. It appears time is running out on the chances of the iPod being refreshed anytime soon. As Bell points out, Apple’s product announcements are like clockwork and in the past, the company has unveiled new iPods in September. But with only a few days left in September, it appears increasingly likely that they won’t be making an appearance this month. In the end, it’s up to Apple to decide the fate of the iPod. And according to Apple blog TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog), citing an anonymous source, the company is planning to discontinue its iPod Shuffle and iPod Classic by the end of this year. However, as with any other Apple rumor, take that report with a grain of salt, since the iPhone maker has not made any indication that such a decision has been made.