All I want for Christmas is… the return of the iPod Classic

Not all change is good when it comes to gadgets that are close to our hearts.
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

One piece of tech which sadly didn't make until to the end of this year was the iPod Classic, discontinued by Apple back in September.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said a month later the only reason Apple discontinued the iPod Classic was because "we could not source the parts anymore, not anywhere on Earth", a situation which created a severe design headache for the company. "The engineering work was massive, and the number of people who wanted it was very small. I felt there were reasonable alternatives," Cook said.

So the costs involved with producing the Classic no longer justified the time, money, and effort involved in selling it.

But just how much money are we talking? It's a good question but, since Apple doesn't give details of the profits it makes on any particular product, it's a hard one to answer.

What we can do at least is make an estimate of the value for money of the iPod Classic by comparing it with the other iPods it still sells. Below is a list of all the other top of the range iPods together with their top memory capacity and price.

1 iPod Touch, 64GB £249

2 iPod Nano, 16GB £129

3 iPod Shuffle, 2GB £40

If you look at those figures, there's a straightforward relationship between memory and price. As the price goes up, so does the storage, naturally.

Now look at the iPod Classic.

iPod Classic, 160 GB - price for a seventh generation model I snapped up on Amazon recently, £208.64.

Let's look at those numbers in a bit more detail - for the sake of the comparison I'm only looking at price versus storage.

With the Classic, you get 160GB of storage and a price of £248, which works out at £1.30 per GB.

Now look at the iPod Touch: at £249 for 64GB, that's £3.89 per GB - that's basically twice the price per GB as the Classic.

Go to the smallest iPod, the iPod Shuffle, and with 2GB costing £40 that works out at a very hefty £20 per GB.

There's no doubt about the best value for money - the iPod Classic wins hands down. If the Classic were priced on the same basis as, say, the Touch, it would cost £627 - three times its actual cost.

Many people know that of course, which is why there is a queue of people trying to buy Classics where they can.

Those people are willing to pay a premium because in whatever currency you like, the device is still a bargain. I've had a Classic for years and it has all my music on it - some 120GB - and yes, when I heard that Apple was getting rid of it I went straight to Amazon and bought another. As insurance policies go, it's cheap.

When you look at an iPod of any size, shape or configuration, really all you're buying is a disk drive that, instead of recording databases, records music. It's no more sophisticated than any other data storage device, except that it comes with nice packaging and, like any Apple product, is good at what it does.

Of course, the trend is away from local storage towards cloud storage. While that might suit some it doesn't suit everyone and it doesn't suit me.

Don't get me wrong. I have an iPod (four in fact of varying vintages), iPads (four of those too), and a lovely Mac that I would not part with. I have nothing against Apple - but please start selling the Classic again.

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