Low Cost 2GB and 4GB iPods - at MWSF 2004?

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001
    Appleinsider posts some more confirmation that low-cost iPods will be coming to market from Apple.

    According to the rumor site, the new models will come in in both 2GB and 4GB configurations and "carry a very modest price tag".

    Low-end iPod rumors began in late November, with a subsequent Page 2 rumor claiming that 2GB "mini" iPods were making the rounds amongst select insiders. These new low-end iPods were also expected to come in a variety of colors. AppleTurns also expects a new entry-level iPod to come at MacWorld San Francisco.
  2. macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2003
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    Re: Low Cost 2GB and 4GB iPods - at MWSF 2004?

    Oh well ... my 20 Gig is on it's way - "estimated date of arrival - December 24th by 12 am"

    2 gigs would of been great - i only have 700 MB of music

    oh well ... i wanna get the belkin card reader and use it when i switch over to full digital photography D100 here i come.. ya... :)
  3. macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2003
  4. macrumors 68000


    Sep 22, 2002
    New York
    Can't see how this is possible....

    The way I see it, there is no way Apple can make "mini" iPods at lower costs (unless they use flash memory, which Steve seems opposed to). 2GB and 4GB drives are just as pricey as the 10GB and 20GB varieties (or so I think). I don't see how it is possible to do have lower prices in a smaller form factor, regardless if capacities decrease.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2003
    This is a good thing, expanding market share is a positive. Better to grab that segment than abandon it to someone else.

    Now make an expensive, phone pod with that range storage (e.g. xD or MMC memory) and they'll have another hit.

    The only way this makes sense is with flash memory. It will result in longer battery times (or a smaller batter with the same time).
  6. macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2002
    I would buy one in a heart-beat if it cost less than $150. Even if it did come in different colors. I'm voting for black!
  7. macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2002
    I'm worried about the "variety of colours."

    I would never buy a pink iPod.
  8. macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    San Francisco
    it all depends on price... at $150, they would be awesome. At $250, a joke. At $200, which seems most likely, I think they'd be a pretty good deal.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2003
    Premptive WMA squashing.....do it dudes

    This is the way AOL users will embrace Ipod and Apple can kick Dells buttox.
  10. macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    I'll take a 4GB. 2GB is too small. 4GB is just a wee bit smaller than the original iPod and is where the low cost iPod needs to be.

    $149 and I'll buy one next summer.
  11. macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2002
    The other day I saw that Apple has old 10GB ones for $169. So they aren't affraid to sell them for cheap.

    Even though hard drives with smaller capacity cost about the same to make, maybe Apple got a sweet deal from Toshiba on all their old clearance drives or something.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2003
  13. macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2003
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    I wonder if they will be physically smaller .... i guess they wouldn't be if they use hard drives rather then flash..

    any thoughts?
  14. macrumors 68020

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Sweet idea. But I have to say, why are they doing this after christmas. sure, perhaps you pillage regular ipod sales, but can you imagine the number of these that would end up under trees at $149/199 each? $299/399/499 is getting up there for presents. Sure, some folks can easily afford that, but a lot of america isn't giving someone a $300 present, especially without really knowing the recipient's needs. At $149, though, you have the spur-of-the-moment, who cares, let them return it purchases.

    Great idea. Odd timing.
  15. macrumors 68020

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    How much smaller can you make it and retain a similar appearance? Sure, a bit thinner, and a bit more square (less below the buttons), but really you can't shrink it to the size of a wrist watch and retain both the LCD and decent sized buttons.
  16. macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2002
    Minneapolis, MN
    The only flaw I see in this prediction is the colors idea. Steve seems to be very over the idea of multiple fruity colors. Everything is very art deco right now. I just don't see it happening.
  17. dho
    macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2003
    Hmmm interesting

    if the use the recently rumored smaller hard drives, it will make for an interesting low end iPod.

    I dont think steve will like the idea of having the low end ones being smaller, hmmm

    im sure their is some sort of compromise.

    My growing 500 mb itms collection will fit nicely on a 2gb model
  18. macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2003
    New Zealand
    Jolly good stuff

    Seems that these new smaller ipods will use the new 1" drives that are being developed, thus the size of the device could be smaller....

    Also even if the price of the drives is the same as 10GB or 20GB Apple would be on selling truckloads of these devices and thus lower the price of the drives.. bulk buying always works!!

    Just think! Hot Pink iPods for the girls and any colour as long as its black for the guys... maybe a range for the 'tweens'...
  19. macrumors 68030

    Jul 25, 2002
    Generally speaking, hard drive cost is a factor of three things:

    1) Bulk production relative to facilities size. If more of a particular size/model are made, it will tend to be somewhat cheaper. This is most apparent at the very low ends of the spectrum: producing a handful of units can lead to an exhorbitant per-unit price tag. Of course, producing more than your facilities are capable of alwo drives up cost (you have to outsource it or just let market demand remain unfulfilled).

    2) Required production technology. This is actually related to the above, but bears pointing out separately. Some technologies will have more production facilities available in the short term than others.

    3) Number of platters/complexity of drive. This is why an 80GB drive is often cheaper (significantly) than a 160GB drive: the 160GB drive, if using the same underlying technology and process, requires twice as many disks as the 80GB drive.

    Looking at recent Toshiba announcements (http://www.digitalvideoediting.com/2003/11_nov/news/cw_tosh_drives.htm)
    the 20GB uses one platter and the 40GB uses two. I presume that the 10GB uses a single platter as well, which doesn't bode well for a smaller drive being significantly cheaper.

    Which brings the other issues up: is the density required for 2-4GB drives significantly cheaper to produce than the 10-GB densities? We know that the 5GB bare drive is no cheaper than the 10GB bare drive straight from Toshiba, but this might also be because of relative demand: no one is buying the 5GB drive in bulk, so the 5GB price is artificially high.
  20. macrumors 68030

    Jul 25, 2002
    Re: Re: Low Cost 2GB and 4GB iPods - at MWSF 2004?

    Why didn't you get the 10GB iPod, then? If you didn't care about the Dock, you could have gotten a 5GB iPod relatively cheap on ebay ...

    If 10->20GB was worth the extra $100, I would guess that 2GB->10GB would also have been worth $100 ...
  21. macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2003
    Calgary, AB
    For those who are asking how they could sell this mini iPod for less money: don't forget that there is likely a considerable margin on iPods. Apple could very well sell the mini iPods at low/no profit to 1) increase market share and b) introduce a clear upgrade path for kids who go on to pass down their 2/4 gig mini iPods and step up to a 20/40 gig iPod. It all makes perfect sense.

    Personally, I'd love an iPod but I think they're currently overpriced. I'd be happy with a 2/4 gig iPod that I could use at the gym or on the plane. I'm not scared to shuffle around playlists.

    Even better would be if they added extra shock/vibration resistance or even water-proofing to this new mini iPod. Another user on this forum was calling such an activity-focused iPod variant the "iPed." I think that'd be a perfect name for it.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 18, 2003
    PLEASE STEVE! No Lime!!

  23. bishopduke, Dec 22, 2003
    Last edited: May 18, 2011

    macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2003
  24. macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2003
    A bit late

    Too bad they didn't release these this month. I know of several friends who would have bought $150 ipods as gifts, but at $300 they are a bit too pricey for their function.
  25. macrumors 68030

    Jul 25, 2002
    I wonder which "features" will be taken away. The Dock connector? Software capabilities (slower procs, or even just a single proc inside)? Backlight?

    I think it's probably a given that the dock itself, and the remote control, are the most likely package ommissions ...

    Regarding price: right now at Best Buy, a fragile 256MB Flash-base and moderately expandable MP3 player will run you close to $200. "Fragile" is because the leading manufacturers of these devices have made some bone-headed design decisions like leaving an SD card slot completely exposed to the elements (and body sweat) and cheaping out on housing construction.




    I think a 2GB iPod, even with features chopped, so long as the design remains generally unchanged (clean, simple, sturdy), would clean up the sub-$200 category.

    Granted, the competitors offer AM/FM tuners too, but reading the reviews it sounds like those tuners will only work if you're standing within ten feet of your local radio station's broadcast tower anyway ...

    The ~$100 category is another story altogether. Players here have 1-2 hour play times, tops (64-128MB), are not upgradable, and are cheaply constructed. I can't comment on how well an iPod of any sort would do in this particular market segment because, frankly, I can't imagine wasting $100 on any of those products and so obviously have no insight whatsoever into the minds of those who do buy them.

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