Apple announces their ‘iPod mini’ due to launch next month

Apple are currently in the market-leading position of portable audio players after shipping 730,000 iPod series players in the last quarter of 2003 and have sold over 2 million iPods since its initial release.  Apple has also sold 5 million iTunes tracks since its recent 25 million iTunes tracks sold announcement last month. 

 

Now Apple has announced on Tuesday that they will launch their ‘iPod mini’ from next month.  This player is smaller and cheaper than their current iPod series and aims to compete with the competitors flash based MP3 players.  The iPod mini will feature over 4GB of storage for around 1,000 MP3/AAC tracks and will be sold in five colours. 

Apple Computer Inc. on Tuesday said it would introduce a smaller and cheaper version of its popular iPod music player next month to challenge rivals in the market for flash-memory-based digital devices.

In a presentation at MacWorld in San Francisco, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said that Apple had shipped 730,000 iPod units in the most recent quarter, giving it the market-leading position among digital music players.

Apple said it had sold over 2 million iPod units since the launch of the popular digital music player, which has won a following for its huge storage capacity and sleek design.

The iPod has also received a boost from Apple’s online music store, iTunes, which the company said has sold more than 30 million songs — an increase of 5 million tracks from the sales numbers announced by the company less than a month ago.

“This thing is on fire,” Jobs said of the iPod.

The new “iPod mini” will be priced at $ 249 — $ 50 cheaper than the current entry-level iPod.

The device, smaller than most cell phones, will offer 4 gigabytes of storage — enough to hold about 1,000 songs — and will be sold in five colors, Jobs said.

Analysts had widely expected Apple to introduce a cheaper iPod to head off competition from cheaper, flash-memory based music players, especially for a younger consumers.

In his presentation, Jobs said that the company would phase out its entry-level 10-gigabyte iPod and offer a 15 gigabyte model instead for the same price of $ 299.

The prices on the 20-gigabyte iPod and the top-of-the-line 40-gigabyte model, which is able to hold about 10,000 songs, remained at $ 399 and $ 499 respectively.

 

It is not clear what other features the iPod mini has such as battery life, display features and so on.  It will be interesting to see if their new iPod mini model has a replaceable battery and longer battery life.  Poor battery performance and life has been the main complaint with the current iPod series.  Unlike many other MP3 player brands, it is unlikely that this player will feature a built-in radio. 

 

Product price is actually not the only thing that can make a consumer think twice before purchasing an iPod.  There may be
other reasons
why one would choose a competitors product.  Some may want a built-in radio or recording capabilities and others may want total portability such as without having to worry about recharging batteries or having their battery run flat far from a power outlet.  When I chose my MP3 player (Ministry Of Sound MOSMP010), I made sure it came with a built-in FM Radio, had an expandable memory slot and took regular everyday batteries.  While the iPod series do have ample storage capacity, they are missing the other features I was interested in.

 

Discuss and read more about the iPod and other portable audio players on our Audio Forum.

Source: Yahoo Technology News