Is Apple Killing iPod Classic & Shuffle? Some people think so. In addition to unveiling the iPhone 5 next week, the company plans to discontinue the more dated versions of its music player in favor of sleeker models like the iNano and Touch. That could spell the end of the original digital music player.
The product line came from Apple’s “digital hub” category, when the company began creating software for the growing market of personal digital devices.
Digital cameras, camcorders and organizers had well-established mainstream markets, but the company found existing digital music players “big and clunky or small and useless” with user interfaces that were “unbelievably awful,” so they decided to develop its own.
As ordered by CEO Steve Jobs, Apple’s hardware engineering chief Jon Rubinstein assembled a team of engineers to design the new iPod, including hardware engineers Tony Fadell and Michael Dhuey, and design engineer Jonathan Ive.
The product was developed in less than one year and unveiled on October 23, 2001. Jobs announced it as a Mac-compatible product with a 5 GB hard drive that put “1,000 songs in your pocket.”
Last year, Jobs called “the biggest change in the iPod lineup ever.” However, among the changes to the Touch, Nano and Shuffle, there was no mention at all of the classic model. This led people to speculate that the company may be discontinuing the portable device.