Apple made billions giving people what they want, but the tech giant might want to rethink its decision to kill off the iPod Classic music player, now that it has become one of the hottest Christmas presents of the year.
People are clamoring for used models on eBay, according to the UK newspaper The Guardian. The 16-gigabyte digital music player, which a decade ago helped Apple revolutionize the music industry, can hold up to 40,000 songs, more than double the amount of any iPods currently being manufactured.
More than 3,000 have been sold on eBay since the Classic was retired in October, fetching prices as high as $400 in a boomlet foretold by Stuff magazine editor Will Dunn more than a year ago.
“There’s still a huge affection for the iPod Classic and it’s not hard to see why – Spotify might offer 20 million songs, but 120GB of music is more than most people need, and your iTunes library doesn’t carry data charges or a subscription fee. Also, I think the Classic is a more distraction-free listening experience – I’m more likely to get through a full album on one.”
The Classic’s demise was telegraphed well in advance, with Apple CEO Tim Cook saying it would be discontinued because the company no longer has access to the components and a redesign using other parts was impractical. Another reason the company lost interest in the device is that more people are using their smartphones to hold songs, even though phones can’t match the iPod Classic’s storage capacity.
The resurgence in popularity for the device certainly came as a surprise to some tech industry insiders. Back in September, Digital Trends published a piece called "RIP iPod Classic, we'll miss you and your iconic wheel."
"The iPod revolutionized the way we listened to music and changed the industry forever along with the iTunes digital music catalog," wrote Malarie Gokey in the piece. "We speculate the iPod finally met its demise because the iPhone 6 now comes with a 128GB option. Regardless, it's sad to see it go. The retirement of the iPod Classic is truly the end of an era."
Apparently, some never want that era to end.
Thousands of entries listing new and used iPod Classics are currently listed on the auction site. One entry offering the sixth generation iPod Classic had a “buy it now” price of $1,000, plus shipping.
“Store loads of your songs, photographs, and videos in the iPod classic 7th Generation,” the ad read. “This Apple iPod gives you 36 hours of music playback or 6 hours of video playback on a single charge.
The prices might be steep, but for some consumers, the iPod Classic is well worth the high cost.
"Some people don't blink at the prices," Djassem Haddad, founder of the site vintagemobile.fr, told The Guardian. "The high prices are due to the difficulty in finding models, which were limited editions in their time."