6th Generation iPod Tracking For Late 2007? Early 2008?

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Users hoping for a refreshed widescreen iPod (without cellular capabilities as in the iPhone) will get their wish as early as the third calendar quarter of this year if a report from AppleInsider holds true. However, the site does note that the timing is dependent on the iPhone rollout and could be put off until early next year.

    The site also mentions the possibility that lower NAND flash prices could pave way for Apple to deliver a 32 GB flash-based iPod with increased battery life and even sleeker design. The claim is similar to one in early February by analyst Jesse Tortora, who said that Apple would be moving to a totally flash-based lineup by the end of 2007.

    MacRumors Analysis: While the addition of a flash-based iPod is a very real possibility, we think it is very unlikely for Apple to decrease the storage capacity in their high-end iPods and thus cut out users that have larger music/movie libraries. A speculative solution would be to have one model be flash based and a higher-capacity model be HDD based.
  2. macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    $2,000 iPod???

    Total flash-based? I'm running out on my 60Gig - and really want a 120 Gig with lots of videos - how much is a flash-based 120 Gig model gonna cost???
  3. macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003
    Again, flash = cool. 32 Gb of HD space = I cry myself to sleep at night.

    Wake me up when they have at least 100.
  4. macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    Moorestown, NJ
    All flash iPods would be so nice for most consumers, but for people very large libraries, i think keeping around the Hard Drive (with very large capacities) will still be necessary for another few years.. The capacity just can't compete right now.
  5. macrumors member

    May 25, 2006
    Excuse my ignorance, but what are the advantages (and disadvantages) of flash-based drives?
  6. macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC

    i have a 60GB right now, and i won't go lower than that. i'm really hoping for the 6G iPod to be the iPhone minus networking capabilities, and with increased storage. this is probably too much to hope for, though. :(
  7. macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    No skipping, less mechanical failure prone, better battery life, smaller footprint.
  8. macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2006
    Was hoping for it to be sooner, my 8gb nano is becoming unless, i need more space, but really would like to wait for the 6th generation iPod.
  9. macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    as i know it:

    advantages: smaller form factor, increased battery life, faster, and you can run with 'em.

    disadvantages: it's a new technology right now, so getting flash-based drives with as much storage as a conventional hard drive is REALLY expensive.
  10. Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    For you (and those who have expressed similar sentiments), see the "MacRumors Analysis" addition to the story.
  11. Retired


    May 16, 2006
    Don't forget speed...although not really a problem on iPods...
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 26, 2006
    In the Great White North.
    I don't know a whole lot about NAND flash, but what is stopping Apple from putting in 2 32Gb modules into an iPod to give 64Gb of storage?
  13. macrumors member

    May 25, 2006
    Ahh, these flash-based drives sound good!

    Thanks for the info. folks.

    I was hoping I wouldn't have to wait as long for the 6th gen. also. I really want to wait (rather than buy a 5th gen. now), but how long can one cope with a Creative Zen?(!)
  14. macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2006
    Oxford, UK
    Price mainly... :mad:
  15. macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2001
    In designing a new iPod Apple has to consider both the device itself AND the iTunes service. Apple sells iPods AND media. These media files all take up space. The more storage capacity that you put in the customer's hands the more headroom they have to spend more money on your MEDIA! They may very weill introduce a 16 or 32GB flash based iPod but until flash is as cheap and has the same capacity of hard drives you will continue to see at least one hard drive model in their lineup. Also, if flash is getting so cheap, how long until we have a flash based laptop? I bet there will be an ultraportable Macbook Pro with a 32GB flash hard drive before we see that in an iPod.
  16. macrumors 68020

    Oct 7, 2003
    That's what i said about the iphone. Surly they can take that route and increase the capacity if cost and availablity are issues. That's what they did for higher capacity ipods to get increase storage.
  17. macrumors 603


    Jul 27, 2001
    Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
    Bummer, I Was Expecting It This Spring

    I thought 640 x 360 Wide Video iPod would preceede iPhone this Spring. This is bad news for owners of old Video iPods. I'm crushed. :( :eek: :(
  18. macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2005
    Though prices on flash memory are falling dramatically, they're still nowhere near where they'd need to be to make that practical. Even for 32GB, the price of that much memory would eat up most of the cost of a full-sized iPod. We'll see where things stand at the end of the year, but remember, doubling the memory doubles the cost of that memory.

    Ever since I saw that analyst report last month, I have been going with the speculation (apparently now shared by Macrumors) that the current 30gb iPod would be replaced by a 32GB flash model, while the 80GB would be bumped up to a 120GB internal hard drive. The 32GB would of course be thinner and lighter than the HDD-based model; and oddly enough, even though both models are currently HDD-based, the current 30GB is signifcantly thinner than the 80 (why is that??)
  19. macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2005
    I was hoping for this too, but it never seemed very likely if you think about it. Apple would not want to undercut the brouhaha over the iPhone release by putting out a very similar iPod at the same time; and Apple has, at least since 2004, tended to roll out the biggest changes to its iPod line in the fall, not the spring (around August-October).
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    I think all of you guys are missing the point here ... Apple spends a king's ransom every year swapping iPods with consumers because the hard drives fail so often. The repair/replace rate for flash-based iPods is significantly lower than hard drive based iPods ... so Apple is very eager to stop making hard drive based iPods as soon as its practical and may be willing to eat some short-term margin to gain the repair/replace savings.
  21. macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2006
    Oxford, UK
    The reason that it is thicker is that it is a double layered HDD for the 80gb but only a single layered HDD for the 30gb.
  22. Guest

  23. macrumors 65816


    Mar 5, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    New iPods? LAME, I'm voting negative! WTH people?
  24. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Q Division, Los Angeles
    From a technology standpoint, it doesn't make sense to sell/buy a product with features that are not needed. But from a consumer point of view, the iPhone and a touchscreen iPod may not need to be strongly differentiated. Depending on their prices, and the price of cell service for the iPhone, people might think of an iPhone as an iPod whose built-in communication features are "free". You pay for those features, if you choose to, by buying a cell/Internet service contract.

    That's the way you might think of a cable box's feature of letting you order pay-per-view movies. They don't sell two versions, one that supports pay-per-view and one (a little cheaper) that doesn't. My TV, answering machine, microwave, wristwatch, and even washer and dryer have features I never use too.

    Actually, I doubt that Apple would sell only an iPhone version of the video iPod, because the phone features aren't a trivial part of the cost, and because they like to have products at multiple price points, but if iPhones are just a "step up" from iPods, people buying an iPod may be tempted to pay a little more for "extra" capabilities, without knowing for certain that they will use them.
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 12, 2003
    nand memory is expected to drop in price by as much as 25% this quarter and more than 40% over the year.

    last year when introduced the 32 GB flash drive was estimated to cost around $900, the next generation model available now is $350. if you apply another 40% price drop to that you get $210.

    those are also of course retail prices not wholesale. as i recall in at least two instances (the original ipod and the ipod mini) apple was selling the ipod for less than the retail cost of the hard drives inside. especially with the mini, people were buying the ipods cannibalizing them and reselling the hard drives on ebay. so one would hope that apple's wholesale cost for the drive is an additional 30-60% less than the above numbers. maybe $90-$150 for a 32gig by the end of the year.

    also at CES this year 64GB and 128GB flash drives were announced. if you accept that nand memory is currently ~$11 a gigabyte (i.e. the 32GB model drive is $350) then the 64GB might cost apple as little as $170 and the 128GB model might come in as low as $330.

    now let's assume the ipod 6 is basically the iphone, but without the phone components and bluetooth. that would be a total of $140.

    32GB ipod6 = $230
    64GB ipod6 = $310
    128GB ipod6 = $470

    as a reference the iphone was estimated to cost $250 and $280 respectively.

    conclusion: unless there's a more than 50% drop in nand prices over the next 6 months and/or apple is able to negotiate an absolutely killer deal. i don't see an all flash line-up for another 18-24 months.

Share This Page