Will Mini iPods Delete Bigger iPods?

from the just-wondering dept

Well, as every other tech site in the world is now telling you, the not-so-secret rumors that Apple was coming out with a “mini iPod”, cleverly named “iPod mini” are completely true. The other big story people are focusing on are that Apple has gotten past their Henry Ford-style color options, and will offer the iPod mini in multiple colors. You can read all the details at other sites, but in looking over the stories about the device, I’m wondering if the iPod mini will replace the iPod itself as the popular music device of choice. Personally, I don’t own an iPod or any portable digital music player (I barely have any digital music – so buying such a device would only mean I need to rip all my CDs, which is a project I’m still not ready to bother with). Still, the iPod mini seems to make a lot more sense to me than many other portable music devices. The early MP3 players had way too little memory, but once you get up into the 4 gigabyte range, I wonder how much more some people need. Historically, of course, that’s a dangerous viewpoint to take – since we’ve always figured out ways to fill up empty storage space. With Apple even advertising games, calendars and other iPod apps – you can imagine that the memory will go. However, if I were in the market for such a device, I’d definitely go with the mini iPod version right now: it’s a better size for carrying around and it’s “good enough” in terms of storage space – not to mention that it’s cheaper. Thus, while I’m sure there are some people who simply need to have more storage space, I’m wondering if this mini iPod will steal marketshare away from its big brother.

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Comments on “Will Mini iPods Delete Bigger iPods?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

A good question Mike with No good answer unfortunately. I’m an ipod Owner, 10G model, and thought I’d never need anything bigger. However, it quickly filled up and I really want more room. My Neil Young and Bob Dylan collections alone take up virtually the entire device and I honestly don’t want to spend a lot of time downloading and arranging new play lists each time I take my music and go.

On the other hand, a smaller diskless version has a fair amount of appeal as i do more than a bit of running and other physical sports that aren’t conducive to a disk based MP3 player ….

So I may wind up with one of each. Ouch. Or stay where I am.

Mike, would really like to see you get your hands on an iPod and interact with the itunes store for a while … might provide you a different perspective on how good of an alternative this is to file sharing which I know you are highly in favor of.

carlo says:

No Subject Given

I’m curious to see how the pricing will impact the mini’s uptake. With the mini at $249 and the smallest “full” iPod at $299 for 15GB, that’s a tremendous storage difference for just $50. I think it could create the perception that the 15GB iPod is a relative bargain, or that the mini is overpriced (even though it’s the bargain compared to other flash players).

I realize the differences between the two models, particularly the flash/hard drive distinction, but I think that may be lost on most general consumers, who will likely look at price vs. storage capacity.

That is if they’re not entranced by the pretty colors…

Richard says:

They still use regular hard drives.

These mini iPods don’t use any special flash memory for their storage. Go to Apple’s own site and check out the Tech Specs. Under Capacity they say: “4GB, 15GB, 20GB or 40GB hard disk drive.” In terms of storage space, these mini’s are a ripoff in my opinion. I would definitely get the 15GB over the 4GB.
Besides, think about it. USB Flash drives cost around $70 for 256MB. By that standard 1GB of flash memory would cost about $280. Do you think Apple somehow found the magic flash drive and supplied 4GB’s for the cheap?

slugs says:

Re: They still use regular hard drives.

A 4GB would be a Microdrive, I guess. Creative Tech’s the first to put such a drive in its MuVo^2 (squared) player, and being a new technology, these drives don’t come cheap. Indeed here in SEA, the MuVo^2 costs more than a 10GB iPod!

The iPod mini will definitely see a price drop when more hard disk manufacturers barge into the market. For now only Hitachi Storage makes them (4GB), I think.

Jeff says:

The iPod mini is not a flash memory device

It is a micro harddrive and once again Steve Jobs doesn’t recognize the sweet spot in price. $249 is just too close to the $299 for the 15GB model. $149 – $199 would sell a ton more of these but Steve just doesn’t get it with his billions. By the way, I own a 30GB iPod so I don’t need another one, but I was interested in getting a cheaper model for my wife on her birthday, but $249 doesn’t qualify as a cheaper model in my opinion.

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