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Old Feb 7, 2007, 03:24 PM   #1
davidjearly
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Apple to abandon next gen HDD based iPod...

http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=2476

According to this article, it has been reported that Apple is considering transitioning their entire iPod range to flash memory, possibly by the end of 2007. Given that the current maximum flash chip is 32GB, and that the current iPod with video comes in two capacities, 30GB & 80GB, is it possible that they could integrate two (or maybe more) flash chips into the one iPod to make a larger model like the 80GB version.

I'm sure the iPod software could be configured to make this not apparent to the end user and seamless, as per usual, in function.

I just can't see Apple changing their entire iPod range to flash memory if it meant abandoning the development of a larger ~60/80GB model.

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Old Feb 7, 2007, 03:26 PM   #2
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Makes sense. Flash memory will get cheaper, especially with Apple's bulk buying power they can drastically reduce prices.

Smaller iPods with 20+ hours of battery life and absolutely no skipping. What's not to love?

I predict Apple will discontinue the regular-sized iPod models in favour of nano and mini sized iPods.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 03:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spicyapple View Post
Makes sense. Flash memory will get cheaper, especially with Apple's bulk buying power they can drastically reduce prices.

Smaller iPods with 20+ hours of battery life and absolutely no skipping. What's not to love?

I predict Apple will discontinue the regular-sized iPod models in favour of nano and mini sized iPods.
Well unless they are considering using more than one flash chip in an iPod, i don't think it's the best decision until larger flash chips become available and aren't cost prohibitive.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 03:43 PM   #4
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This makes absolute sense, you could have 1 x 36gb flash drive with your most listened to tracks and another 20gb (16gb + 4gb) for other less listened to stuff?
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 03:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spicyapple View Post
I predict Apple will discontinue the regular-sized iPod models in favour of nano and mini sized iPods.
The market just starting to swing to portable video players from music only players. (I know they've been available for ages, but it's just been the last year or so when the quality of the LCDs, the size of storage available, the life of batteries, and most importantly the availability of content has improved to where it's become an "everyday" type product).

Apple is clearly pushing for more media to be sold through iTMS, and putting some significant resources towards that end. Considering that, there's no way they will drop the "full sized" iPod, as watching video on a nano sized device would suck. Plus, there's not a whole lot of room in a nano for a battery that can power a full video processing chip for long enough to be useful, I would bet.

They might go all flash, they've shown they can get the best deals on memory with their massive buying quantities (remember when the 4gb nano came out the retail price of 4gbs of flash ram was near the price of the whole unit). It'll be awhile, though. People like/want their 30gb/60gb/80gb/plus iPods for video and flash RAM just isn't going to be that cheap yet.

I'm expecting to see an iPod with a hybrid drive soon, though. I figure a 60gb HDD with another 8 or 16gb flash memory as well. iTunes will show the iPod as being 60gb and will dynamically/intelligently use the 16gbs of flash memory as a preloading area, sort of like it does with RAM cache now, but on a much larger scale, and also doing it at sync time (as well as on the fly).

For example, anything you sync this session will be stored in flash memory rather than the HDD as you are probably much more likely to access it before you next sync the iPod. The last few gigs of music/video you've played will also be stored in flash, and if there's room, so will frequently played and highly rated, but not necessarily recently played data. As the iPod sees changing needs (for example, you play a song off of an album or playlist that isn't in flash memory) it will move things in and out of flash RAM.

This is already being developed for laptop computers to improve battery life and boot times, so it's only natural to expect it in the iPod. A 30gb HDD/4gb flash and 60 or 80gb HDD/8gb flash seems like something that we could expect sometime soon. It's be cool if they also offered a "long battery life" mode where you could set the iPod to ONLY use the flash ram, so you would conceivably get 2 days or something out of a single charge.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 03:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spicyapple View Post
Makes sense. Flash memory will get cheaper, especially with Apple's bulk buying power they can drastically reduce prices.

Smaller iPods with 20+ hours of battery life and absolutely no skipping. What's not to love?

I predict Apple will discontinue the regular-sized iPod models in favour of nano and mini sized iPods.
What about video, will that be iPhone (with bigger memory) only?
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 03:54 PM   #7
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about time. personally i was always reluctant to buy an ipod till the flash-based nano came out.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 04:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by spicyapple View Post
I predict Apple will discontinue the regular-sized iPod models in favour of nano and mini sized iPods.
Hmm, I'm not so sure about that. The current size strikes me as being quite close to that ideal, comfortable, yet small size. It feels good holding it in your hand. It's not so small that it feels delicate or flimsy which, in my opinion, the Nano feels like at times. Sure, the next gen. could get smaller by a few mms here and there but not too much.

And iPhone technology will most likely extend to the iPods eventually, the Nano or even the mini's form factor would definitely be too small for this.

Bring on the higher capacity Flash storage.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 04:14 PM   #9
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Hmmm, this is interesting. On one hand, I think it's a great idea: better battery life, better form factor, less skipping. On the other hand, flash can't keep up with the storage capacity of a good old fashioned hard drive.

Perhaps we'll see iPods with interchangeable flash memory via SD cards?
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 04:32 PM   #10
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Great idea. Put 4 flash memory chips in the iPod.. the more storage the better. Even more interesting idea - 2 flash cards - one removable. Very flexible and should not effect the design of the iPod too much.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 04:33 PM   #11
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I think the article is nonsense. When the nano replaced the mini, those who wanted more storage could just get a regular iPod, so that comparison does not apply.

If they are hoping to sell more video content, iPods need the capacity to store it. Maybe one day they will all be flash, but not in the timescale suggested.

Bring on 120GB widescreen iPod !
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 04:48 PM   #12
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Great idea. Put 4 flash memory chips in the iPod.. the more storage the better. Even more interesting idea - 2 flash cards - one removable. Very flexible and should not effect the design of the iPod too much.
mmm...removable memory...mmm...I think it's very unlikely though, the whole 'no moving external parts' mantra.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 07:35 PM   #13
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Fine for the Nano but i want more space!

Can't see the iPod going Flash only, HDD are getting bigger and portable Video is becoming almost standard now.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 09:25 PM   #14
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I almost pulled the trigger on a refurbed 30g iPod with video now I am glad I did not.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 09:26 PM   #15
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Every year the price of flash drops.

16GB will cost around the same as 8GB did last year, so it makes sense to me.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 09:36 PM   #16
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Not happening anytime soon. I was just checking on the prices of solid state NAND drives, and unless you're doing something at 8GB or lower, the cost is off the charts.

Yes, I know it's just NAND chips they'd be after, but relatively it's incredibly high.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 09:41 PM   #17
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i was thinking before about how they could incorporate an iphone-like touch screen into the current ipod line with hd...i'm not sure if they could. With flash they could pull it off.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 09:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Loge View Post
I think the article is nonsense. When the nano replaced the mini, those who wanted more storage could just get a regular iPod, so that comparison does not apply.

If they are hoping to sell more video content, iPods need the capacity to store it. Maybe one day they will all be flash, but not in the timescale suggested.

Bring on 120GB widescreen iPod !
Agreed. I need over 20GB for my music alone, not to mention video! Flash is just not gonna cut it (yet).
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 09:44 PM   #19
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Silly idea. People who actually have a sizable music library are screwed if the biggest iPod is 30gb.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 09:46 PM   #20
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I've been waiting for a 100GB iPod for a while now. I'm probably in the minority, but I'd just like to have a regular music-only iPod with high capacity. Maybe in the form of the iPhone?
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 09:49 PM   #21
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That's not good.
I am looking for a widescreen video iPod with 120gig.
Move to small 32 gig NAND doesn't make sense for the larger iPods. Why?
Video files are larger and 32gig is not much.
I rather have the option to choose larger storage than compromise because battery life.
I hope this is bull!
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 09:49 PM   #22
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I would rather see a large 40-80 gig hardrive drastically cheaper than a flash based iPod
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 09:52 PM   #23
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You have to take this story in context.

Samsung has announced 16GB flash.

Seagate has announced 80, 120GB microdrives. Apple has stated interest in both.

The "next platform" is the device "style" and OS of the iPhone.

In other words the Apple Tablet Nano. What is next after nano in price point? Not Nano of course. Why not SLIGHTLY thicker for a device that has a CD, a micro HD, and (gag) a second micro HD for RAID/ZFS functionality in a HANDHELD, PORTABLE, NETWORK STORAGE, NETWORK CONTENT DELIVERY, device?



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Old Feb 7, 2007, 09:55 PM   #24
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I'd rather see a 160GB+ video iPod by the end of the year rather then a flash based video iPod. Maybe a hybrid drive would be nice for improved battery live, like another user suggested, but a pure flash drive is just to expensive for the kind of capacities video needs.

Edit:
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Originally Posted by DeSnousa View Post
I would rather see a large 40-80 gig hardrive drastically cheaper than a flash based iPod
Exactly.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 09:56 PM   #25
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I wouldn't buy one! It would be too much of a waste for me, I need somewhere in the range of 100GB for all my music and some videos on the side; though, I wouldn't keep the videos in the pod all the time.

HDD is the way to go when it's something of that size, imagine how much a 100GB FLASH iPod would cost. Maybe someday it will happen but I'm just not seeing at this period in history; especially when they can tap into perpendicular technology to increase drive capacity.

?
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