iPod Classic's Future in Doubt Due to Shrinking Market for 1.8" Hard Drives?

iPodNN reports that Samsung and Toshiba, the only remaining manufacturers of 1.8-inch hard drives, are having difficulties finding substantial markets for their drives. The issues are casting doubt on the future of Apple's iPod classic, which utilizes 120-GB versions of the drives.

A new 250GB Samsung drive has failed to find significant sales, despite being deliberately marketed at builders of media players and netbooks.

The drive would not be as important if a 240GB Toshiba unit, released 10 months ago, was not also in a similar situation. Samsung and Toshiba are the only remaining makers of 1.8-inch hard drives, and if neither company is able to find establish a client base, it may imply by extension that Classics will no longer see any hard drive upgrades.

Apple last updated the iPod classic in September 2008, quietly consolidating the previous 80-GB and 160-GB models into a single 120-GB model. Apple's iPod touch currently tops out at 32 GB of storage, and while many expect that Apple will bump its capacity to 64 GB later this year, users focused on large capacities for on-the-go media storage may be disappointed if Apple is forced to discontinue the iPod classic.