Apple quietly removed its click wheel games category from the iTunes App Store this morning. Multiple sources have already said that Apple is getting ready to kill the iPod Classic and the iPod Shuffle, so this move doesn’t come as a surprise.
With the Classic on its deathbed, it’s obvious that the age of the click wheel is nearing an end. We’ll miss you, little click wheel.
“Users used to be able to access a link to “iPod Click Wheel Games” by clicking the drop-down menu on the App Store link in iTunes. But now, that option has disappeared from the menu.”
The iPod Click Wheel Games FAQ page has been marked as “archived” by Apple.
As I’ve said previously, Apple is all about iOS and the App Store. Apple’s 30% cut of all developer revenue in the App Store is the bread and butter of the company’s mobile platform. The click wheel iPod doesn’t fit into that business scheme anymore.
Third party development for the iPod Classic never took off, and Apple never made the SDK publicly available for everyone. Perhaps that was the biggest mistake.
If you look at Apple’s track record, the iPod touch is most likely going to get a refresh very soon. Nothing huge is expected besides a white color option and increased storage (128GB). The next iPhone is coincidentally rumored to have a 64GB storage option.
A 128Gb iPod touch on iOS 5 with all the bells and whistles would be the perfect modern replacement for the iPod Classic. An iPod that doesn’t run iOS won’t be sticking around for very long, especially as iCloud creates a more integrated experience between Apple products. The non-touch iPods don’t fit into the big picture.
That’s not to say that the iPod Nano won’t be around for a little while longer. People still want something cheap that they can listen to music on at the gym. Who knows, Bluetooth may make the Nano the greatest watch of all time. We’ll just have to wait and see.
You can pick up the iPod Classic starting at $249 in the Apple store.. for now.