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iPod Classic Supplies Tightening Ahead of Possible Update or Discontinuation


Late last month, we noted that Toshiba had introduced new 1.8-inch hard drives topping out at 220 GB and carrying the same form factor used in the existing iPod classic. With Apple's iPod classic currently coming in at 160 GB, the capacity bump would be a substantial one if Apple elected to adopt the new drives.

With that information floating around, observers have been keeping their eyes on stock levels for the iPod classic, hoping to see some indication of a change in availability. AppleBitch has found just that information, seeing shipping estimates from Apple and other vendors slipping in recent days, primarily for the silver model.

The Apple Store shows that the silver iPod Classic now ships in 1-3 days, down from 24 hours last week. In addition, Best Buy has updated their website to say that the device is backordered for 1-2 weeks (last week it was shipped in 1 day) and Target also has it backordered for 2-4 weeks. Currently the shortage only seems to be affecting the silver colored model, the dark colored version appears relatively unaffected.

Questions remain, of course, about what this information might mean. Apple's product availability does tend to ebb and flow as the company manages its finely-tuned inventory channels, although such delays are sometimes indicative of upcoming changes to Apple's product lines.

And even if the tightening supplies do indicate a forthcoming change, it is unknown whether that change might be refreshed models carrying the new larger-capacity drives or if Apple may simply finally be discontinuing the iPod classic. The iPod classic has not been updated in nearly 18 months, and Apple CEO Jobs notably reported at the company's September 2010 iPod-focused event that Apple was introducing an "all-new" iPod lineup. That statement came even as the iPod classic remained untouched, suggesting that Apple might simply be relegating the iPod classic to the back burner and potentially phasing it out.

Related roundup: iPod classic