We’ve had a tip that the shipping times for the iPod Classic have slipped in the past week and that the device is backordered or out of stock in several retailers, suggesting that a new version of the popular media player may be on its way. 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.
The iPod Classic was last updated in September 2009(via MacRumors) and was expected to be refreshed at the September 2010 Apple event, but a new version did not appear. Many people have recently pointed to Toshiba’s new line of 1.8″ hard drives, released near the end of January, as being potential candidates for inclusion in the next version of the iPod Classic, allowing the capacity to be bumped from 160GB up to 220GB.
It is worth noting however, that in the past few years, Apple has concentrated on using flash memory for many of its mobile devices and, with the launch of the new MacBook Air, appears to be moving away from hard drives in its laptops. It is unclear if the iPod Classic even has a place in future Apple lineups which could explain why the device hasn’t been updated in almost a year and a half. The iPhone 5 is anticipated to have a bump in flash storage, potentially up to 64GB to match the current generation iPod Touch so Apple may even choose to discontinue the iPod Classic in favor of supporting the iPod Touch, the next generation of which will potentially be bumped to 128GB.
UPDATE: Amazon.com shipping times are 2-4 weeks, Apple Reseller J & R are completely out of stock.