Tim Cook Reveals Why Apple Killed the iPod Classic…


After Apple’s September keynote, the iPod Classic was quietly discontinued.  It’s probably no accident that iTunes is also seeing a decline in sales for the first time.So, what is Apple’s reasoning for killing the iPod?  Now we know.

During the Q&A portion at the recent WSJD conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked why Apple ended the iPod Classic. Cook said Apple couldn’t get the parts because they’re not made anymore.  He said they would have had to re-create the product and the demand for the iPod Classic wasn’t high enough to do this.

“We would have to make a whole new product… the engineering work to do that would be massive… the number of people who wanted it is very small.”


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

Photo by dyobmt from Flickr used with the Creative Commons license

18 Responses

  1. Remi Swierczek

    Tim Cook should realize that his inaction is KILLING iTunes and music as a merchandise.

    Apple is still politically strong enough to to change the whole industry. Apple in driving seat of new frontal change would end up with $20 to 30B iTunes as a hub of new $100B music industry.

    Radio and streaming converted to music stores can and will deliver $100B music business by 2020.

      • Versus

        Nothing is ever “buried” for good. Haven’t you watched any zombie movies?

      • Remi Swierczek

        Willis, sorry to say it but you are clueless just like all the big boys at labels and RIAA.
        Music is very easy to contain you just have to get your money at THE DISCOVERY MOMENT.

        …beyond that point there is NOTHING FOR ENYONE!!!!!

        • Remi Swierczek

          Excuse me, there is something, major cash for very few biggest noise makers operating as a “live MUSIC GLADIATORS” and because of that shitty playlist wherever you go or whatever you turn on.
          Even Spotify will poison your brain with gladiator juice.

    • Versus

      Agreed. Apple claimed to be the savior of the music industry. Good intentions (if even real) had disastrous unintended consequences. Many lives and livelihoods were lost, both scoundrels and good souls.

      So, Apple, you’ve made your billions betting on the prolonged sinking of this Titanic known as the music industry, which hit the icebergs known as file-stealing, I mean, sharing, and album de-bundling, among others; it’s time to give some back and help build a new ship: an icebreaker.

  2. Will

    Absolute rubbish. If Apple paid companies enough, they would happily continue to make products. Apple’s drive to increase profits and decrease costs is the cause of the downfall of the iPod Classic, NOT the fact that they ‘cannot get a hold of the parts’.

  3. why so complicated?

    Numerous piracy sites use the artwork images from the iTunes Store, hotlinking directly to Apple servers.

    Don’t tell me Apple doesn’t know about it.

    (a simple print of a log file is more than enough)

  4. Duke

    The reality is why would they make them if the demand is small compared to what else they are selling? I thought it was a very cool device because he really was meant for large libraries and Wav files but the reality is no matter what they say Apples expertise doesn’t lie in being a label for music. They get the music out there and after that you’re on your own. Love them or hate them they have created great products. The music business needs to be blown up and started all over again. That’s the only real solution

    • Willis

      Maybe they can bundle it with a laserdisc player for the ultimate in audio/visual.

  5. asdf

    They just increased the storage space for the iPhone to 128 GB (contrary to what naysayers predicted), so if that trend keeps going nobody will miss the iPod.

    The iPod had its time and it will always be iconic, but it barely has a place in today’s market.

  6. Anonymous

    I wonder if it was possibly an inability to obtain enough rare earth metals? Is China out there really bullying the marketplace again?

    Which would make sense as the States is really ramping up their efforts to get into the rare earth metals game and not be so heavily reliant on China for such things.

    Justin Mayer

    • Remi Swierczek

      Microsoft is already there, Apple just recently started to implement General Motors operating procedure.

  7. Versus

    Apple couldn’t get the parts anymore?
    That excuse does not convince.

    Sounds like the excuse given for the discontinuation of the beloved/behated Yahama NS-10s. Equally unbelievable.

    “Goodbye NS10: Yamaha discontinued the NS10 in 2001 on the grounds that they were unable to source the pulp for the bass/mid cone, but I don’t buy this. Firstly, they still seem able to manufacture replacement bass/mid drivers, and secondly, it was the cone shape and construction method that were the significant factors, not the specific paper pulp.”
    – “The Yamaha NS-10 Story”, Phil Ward, Sound on Sound, September 20008

  8. Anonymous

    Um, do we really think those parts would have gone out of production without Apple’s approval? This is an amusing answer from Cook.