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Will September 1st be the Death of the click wheel?

by Travis Harvey | August 27, 2010August 27, 2010 3:00 pm PST

Apple sent out invites for their Fall press event that’ll likely be centered around new iPods, a new Apple TV, and some upgrades to the iTunes ecosystem.  Although the event has been confirmed, its still anyone’s guess as to what’ll make an appearance aside from a highly likely iPod Touch refresh that aligns itself nicely with the iPhone 4.

The iPod Touch might steal the show but there’ll likely be a refresh to the iPod Nano and Shuffle.  Shaw Wu of the Kaufman Bros says Apple may surprise with a drastic redesign on its iPod Nano that’d deviate itself with the models of years past.  Instead of continuing it’s iconic click wheel, Wu expects the Nano to follow the rest of Apple’s mobile lineup, adopting a touch interface instead.


Earlier this year, an Apple stamped 1.7″ touchscreen made it’s way out from cover, leading to speculation that the tiny display would make it into Apple’s next-gen iPod Shuffle.  There have since been no developments with the screen but yesterday, two different cases made their way cross the web; one for the iPod Touch and another, smaller square case that appears to match the size of the display shown off earlier.

If the iPod Nano drops its click wheel like Shaw Wu suggests and the iPod Shuffle grows a touchscreen of its own, there’s only one iPod left that’s keeping the click wheel alive: the iPod Classic.  How hard would the iPod Classic be to kill?  Not very. The current generation iPod Touch packs up to 64GB of storage while the Classic packs 160GB. Apple could double the storage in the new iPod Touches for 128GB while pulling a few more users into its App universe.  It’s possible, but how likely is the bigger question.

What do you think?  Will Apple keep the click wheel on the Classic, Nano, or Shuffle?  Should we add it to the endangered input list? Drop your guess below.