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iPod Hi-Fi flops its way off Apple's online store

Self-professed audiophile Steve Jobs, who last year said he replaced all of his expensive audio equipment and speakers with several of Apple's then fledgeling iPod Hi-Fi boombox systems, would now appear to have a house full of curios.

In an unpublicized move Wednesday, Apple quietly began pulling the $349 iPod Hi-Fi speaker system from online stores around the world, signaling that the product has likely been discontinued with no further revisions planned.

Introduced just 18 months ago, Apple billed the Hi-Fi as "an all-new high-fidelity speaker system that works seamlessly with the iPod to redefine the home stereo system," delivering "breathtaking acoustic performance and room-filling sound unlike any other speaker system designed for the iPod."

The last time anyone checked, the Hi-Fi showed few signs of fading, though it was garnering more dollar share of the iPod speaker market than market share.

NPD statistics published by the Apple 2.0 Blog about a year ago showed the Apple device to be the fourth most popular iPod speaker system at the time, with a 7.8 percent market share, behind systems from Bose, Logitech and i-Fusion.

When it came to revenue share, however, the Hi-Fi's steep price tag helped push it into second place behind Bose. Since then, sales of the device were rumored to have been stuck in the doldrums.

Rather than slash pricing and add more compelling features — such as Wi-Fi connectivity — Apple now appears to have scrapped the product altogether.