RIP: Classic White iPod Now Qualifies As Retro
By James Grahame
I've been gleefully awaiting the day that the ubiquitous iPod qualifies as a vintage device.
It happened yesterday, when Apple abruptly stopped selling the iconic white soap bar design. iPods now sport a rainbow of 'anything but white' cases. Even the hard drive based iPod Classic is offered only in silver or black. I guess one can honestly say that silver is the new white.
It's been a wild and totally rad ride for Apple. The iPod is just shy of
seven six years old, with over 110 million units sold. Along the way, the company has strengthened the Cult of Steve to the point that fans are addicted to a stream of engineering miracles every few months. "Smaller, sleeker and cheaper" has become Apple's mantra.
Still, I have my doubts that the day will come when vintage iPods are bought and sold as collectibles.
They're being marketed as high-end disposable devices, which doesn't bode well for the future. People treat them like mobile phones, expecting to replace them every year or two. As a result, the shiny cases are quickly scratched and marred, and the occasional drop onto concrete is commonplace. The non-removable batteries are sure to cause headaches because of their short lifespan. Let's hope they don't leak as they age.
A third strike against the collectiblility of the iPod is its utter reliance on a computer: I have my doubts that vintage iPods will be able to communicate with any of Apple's products in 2027, limiting it to the 'attractive but useless' category.