The iPod classic is still going to survive for awhile longer, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs is now known to have said in e-mail. A fan urged him not to kill off the hard drive MP3 player as it was the "the best iPod in the line" after worrying about the lack of updates at the September 1 event last year. "We have no plans to," the company co-founder wrote back to the MacRumors reader from his iPhone.
Ever since the introduction of the iPod classic in 2007, Apple has taken a conservative update to the design that many have taken as a sign it had fallen out of favor. Minor feature additions and fixes continue to roll out, but the design has remained the same. Most changes have related to price and size; the iPod had its 160GB capacity for two out of three years and has mostly brought that storage down in price and thickness.
Apple has centered almost all its attention on the smartphone-level iPod touch and the small, popular iPod nano. Many enthusiasts have nonetheless clung to the iPod classic, either to use it as a music hub for the car or stereo or else as a way of getting a collection of lossless music that might not otherwise fit on a 64GB player.
Jobs' statement isn't a guarantee of the iPod classic staying for next year, since a decision could have been made months later. Toshiba has raised hopes by unveiling a 220GB 1.8-inch drive that would fit into the dimensions of the current classic and would give it even more storage, but its use depends on whether Apple values the capacity or a lower price.