The iPod line is 10 years old this year, and the Classic is the last in the line of spinning hard-drive storage devices. As Apple has moved consistently forward with flash-based storage, hard-drives have become less and less popular in portable media devices, and only the larger storage option of 160GB has kept it alive this long. The shuffle too is inconsistent with Apple’s touch-screen line – I wouldn’t be surprised to see this go and be replaced by the touch-screen Nano.
The Apple 4th October event invite clearly states “Let’s talk iPhone” and makes no mention of any iPod devices, even though September/October is traditionally the time for the iPod refresh announcement. Perhaps Apple was sending a message by moving the usual June iPhone update through to October, replacing the iPod event?
I see Apple retaining the iPod Touch and Nano, but only if they can offer at a reasonable price higher storage capacities for the Touch, as there is still a meaningful section of people that like to carry lots of their music around with them and the current 64GB max. isn’t enough.