Rumors have been mounting over the past week about what Apple has planned for its upcoming event, but the most saddening of the rumblings are those that claim the iPod Classic and iPod Shuffle will soon be shown the door. While this decision wouldn’t be particularly surprising given Apple’s investment in touch-based devices like the iPhone, iPod Touch, and most lately the iPod Nano, this move would finally bring an end to the wheel-based interface to which Apple owes much of its modern success. Cnet and TUAW both fueled the fire of this rumor, with the latter citing an anonymous source that they suggest has direct knowledge of the matter (they specifically say “NOT an analyst”).
The only direct and confirmed news that corroborates this theory is a report that Apple has removed the “iPod Click Wheel Games” section from iTunes with no comment or announcement. These games have been available for download since the fifth-generation iPod Classic, which could be identified by the shiny plastic bezel and stainless steel backing. There would be no reason to remove these games unless a major change was being made to the iPod Classic, though this by no means confirms that the line will be discontinued outright.
We will continue to report on this story through Apple’s conference on October 4th.