We're coming to the end of an era. The days of the HDD-based media player have been over for a long time and now it looks like the last big hold-out, the iPod classic, is about to fold.
Ars Technica reports that Samsung has been unable to find any buyers for their new 1.8” HDD. No one in the netbook or personal media player market needs a 1.8” drive anymore, and that includes Apple. The HDD was once king, but flash memory and solid state drives are both much more effective ways to store media on a portable device. HDD's get old and wear out, SDDs are comparatively indestructible.
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Apple has been hesitant to invest any more money into HDDs for a while now. Back when Toshiba released the 240GB 1.8” last year, they still kept the iPod classic at 120. Apple knows a dying technology when they see one. The 1.8” HDD occupies an uncomfortable place between flash memory/SSDs and 2.5” HDDs, which are what most non-SSD netbooks use. There's no good reason to use a 1.8” drive anymore, so manufacturers aren't.
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There's no reason to use HDDs for personal media players anymore either. Flash memory offers plenty of storage space for an iPod, and Apple has never been one to cling to outdated technology. When it comes time to take the iPod classic out behind the barn with the old Colt, it's likely we'll all get to see a brand new iPod release. Maybe even a high capacity one with an SSD.