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The clickwheel is no more: Apple quietly kills the iPod Classic

With 128GB iPhones and music streaming, it seems there's no room left for the humble iPod Classic

Apple has officially retired the iPod Classic, the company’s longest-lasting MP3 player, in a sneaky move following yesterday’s launch of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch wearable.

As is customary for any Apple launch, the official Apple web store went offline in the run up to the event, but when it came back online after the launch had wrapped up the iPod Classic was gone.

The move was long overdue, as Apple hasn’t updated the Classic since 2009 and hard disk music players have rapidly fallen from grace as the price of flash memory has plummeted. The iPod Touch, the multimedia, touchscreen replacement for the iPod Classic, is only available with up to 64GB of storage, but because it has no moving parts you can use it while exercising, or drop it without damaging the internal storage. The delicate screen is another matter though.

The last time Apple updated the iPod Classic it upgraded the internal hard disk to 160GB, but now that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus come with 128GB storage options, it seems there’s no room left for mechanical hard disks in mobile devices at Apple.

The other reason large capacity MP3 players aren’t a major focus for Apple, or any hardware manufacturer, is music streaming. With Spotify and Apple’s own iTunes Match streaming service quickly replacing purchased and locally stored music, you can access all the tracks you own (plus thousands that you don’t) legally.

With Apple no longer selling the iPod Classic, anyone looking to pick one up will have to look to third party retailers and resellers before all remaining stock dries up – or bite the bullet on an iPod Touch instead.

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