Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook has explained in a conference on Monday night that the iPod Classic, the much-loved music playing device that has been sold by the company for 13 years, was killed off due to a lack of parts and the difficulty in manufacturing. Speaking for the first time at the WSJ.D international technology conference, Cook went on to explain that the amount of engineering required for the device was simply too much for its relatively small demand.
At the same time as Apple Inc. released the new iPhone 6 and 6 plus, creating excitement on a global scale as millions of customers flocked to their closest Apple outlet to get their hands on the latest smartphone, the iPod Classic was removed from the online store. There was no official announcement to accompany the move.
The last Apple Inc. device to feature a spinning hard-drive system, the iPod Classic remained popular with music lovers thanks to its massive 160GB storage space, approximately 40,000 songs. With the removal of the Classic, the three remaining iPod devices available from Apple, the iPod Shuffle, Nano and Touch, all contain a maximum of only 64GB of storage. The maximum storage space of an iPhone is 128GB, although people who use their iPhone for music may have their storage space reduced due to the many programs and apps that are also installed on the device.
The original iPod, the predecessor to the iPod Classic, revolutionized the music industry with its release in 2001. With it came the introduction of iTunes, an equally revolutionary program that also helped Apple Inc. to gain the support of more PC users. With the release of the iTunes Store in 2003 and the increased ease of buying and downloading music, the iPod began to quickly outsell and outgrow other music storage devices.
Since then a number of similar iPod devices have been spawned including the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle, smaller and cheaper devices designed for more active users. But throughout Apple Inc.’s many years of growing success the iPod, later renamed the iPod Classic, remained one of its iconic products. Last updated in 2009, the device has essentially remained the same up until the present day, aside from a few small tweaks and modifications – until, thanks to a lack of parts and a receding demand, Apple Inc. removed the iPod Classic from its website and store during the release of the latest iPhone 6. Despite Cook’s explanation, during which he commented quite dramatically that the parts needed to maintain the product could not be found “anywhere on Earth,” die-hard fans of the iPod Classic have been left disappointed and upset by the sudden death of their beloved music storage device.
Though the iPod Classic is now removed, the Apple Inc. CEO did state that he felt there were “reasonable alternatives” to the device, though he did not go into further detail. However he later confirmed that these reasonable alternatives do not include the development of a replacement model, adding that the manufacturing effort required for a whole new product was not feasible when compared to the relatively small demand for the finished device.
By Mathew Channer