iSuppli tears down iPod classic, labels it ‘stopgap’

Apple has taken a backwards-looking approach to functionality and technology with the iPod classic, according iSuppli Corp.‘s Teardown Analysis service. As the only remaining hard-disk based iPod, lacking advanced features such as Wi-Fi and a touch screen, the classic’s feature set suggests stopgap measures that iSuppli believes may limit the product’s longevity and success. “Apple’s continuation of the iPod model without adding new features suggests a stopgap measure necessitated by lack of time to develop an HDD-based touch iPod,” said Chris Crotty, senior analyst, consumer electronics, for iSuppli. “Apple may not have had time to develop an HDD-based touch-screen iPod before the 2007 holiday season.”

iSuppli’s teardown led to estimated materials costs of $127 for the 80GB classic model, and $190 for the 160GB version, with $78 and $140, respectively, going towards the hard drive. These estimates do not include added expenses such as research and development, software costs, manufacturing, and marketing; however, the 80GB model’s estimated cost is 11.2 percent lower than that of the previous 30GB model, despite the increase in storage. iSuppli has suggested that Apple is able to offer these higher capacities while increasing margins thanks to the classic’s interior design, which iSuppli claims is “essentially the same as the existing flagship iPod, with a few changes in parts and component suppliers.” The market analysis group suggests that Apple will ship 3.1 million classic units in 2007, and 3.5 million in 2008.

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