A Flash Based 4GB iPod mini?

dekator

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 18, 2002
178
0
Krautistan
New iPod 4GB NAND (Flash) memory based ?

According to this article, Apple have bought 40% of Samsung's NAND memory output at a very competitive price. Looks like the iPod mini might be Flash memory based in the future.
 

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Apr 12, 2001
7,436
8,501


eeTimes reports that Apple Computer plans to buy as much as 40% of the NAND Flash Memory supply from Samsung Electronics in the second half of this year.

According to one analyst's sources:

Samsung has offered Apple “extremely low prices on its [Flash] parts” in order to convince Apple to switch from HDD storage to [Flash] memory for the 4-GByte-density iPod.

The report said iSuppli believes that Samsung has offered to match prices from the HDD suppliers, even though current microdrive prices are about half the cost of the equivalent flash density.
The reason for the price cut would be to lock up Apple as a customer to supply Flash memory for a Flash-based iPod mini which currently falls at the 4GB price point. Tom's Hardware provides more thoughts from iSuppli's analyst.

 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
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visiting from downstream
For the record, I'll buy a 2GB - 4GB flash-based iPod. The current 1GB is just too small for the amount of music I'd like to be able to carry around (I have a 60GB iPod Photo with ALL of my music on it).

EDIT: And yes, it needs an OLED screen and some method of controlling playback. Shuffle != OK with that much music.
 

KittenKrusher

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2005
144
0
Wouldn't this most likely be a 4GB Shuffle than a 4GB Mini Flash. Just keep all Mini's 6GB and throw in a 4GB Shuffle.
 

cleanup

macrumors 68030
Jun 26, 2005
2,643
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Toronto
Macmaniac said:
Getting 4gb minis has been very hard, I have talked to a few people and a lot of stores are running out of them and the distributors are not getting any more from Apple. Could be a good sign of minis at Apple Expo Paris:)
A four-gigabyte player with no screen?

The shuffle has no screen because it can't really hold enough music to truly warrant one. You can only hold at most a few hundred songs. Would you really want to be shuffling a thousand songs with no easy way to choose that new song you just got?

I would love a flash-based iPod mini. It'd mean enormous battery life and a thinner profile, and a much lower weight, but keep the screen and the Click Wheel. That would be bliss.
 

dansgil

macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2005
206
0
Vancouver, BC
Also, they could just offer a 4 gb Flash iPod mini, and a 6 gb Flash mini that contains multiple flash clips totaling 6 gb.
 

ham_man

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2005
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This would be a 4 gig flash Mini. A Shuffle with that much space to navigate? No way in hell...
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
6,350
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Florida Resident
A 4GB iPod mini with flash will have a screen. The shuffle with no screen at 512 Mb was fine. I bet this new iPod will be super thin even at the expense of 2 to 3 times longer battery.
 

ccool2ax

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2005
58
0
This is a great idea. If apple keeps the player the same size (Which is likely since 4GB CF cards exist), then it would get something like 25-30 hours (20-25 hours color) of battery. not to mention instant-access to files with no lag... The only barrier to flash memory overtaking HD entirely in portables is excessive price, but if they match the MD price, then everyone wins.
 

Village

macrumors member
Feb 3, 2003
49
0
Austin, Tejas
Macmaniac said:
Getting 4gb minis has been very hard, I have talked to a few people and a lot of stores are running out of them and the distributors are not getting any more from Apple. Could be a good sign of minis at Apple Expo Paris:)
If you remember, last year Apple restricted the Student Union (or whatever it was called) Mac + iPod deal to the 4g full size iPods. This year they've included the Minis - could it be to move out the last stock before a flash-based refresh? I'm now glad that I chose to hold out on a Powerbook purchase until after Paris and forego the free iPod Mini. Here's hoping for a nice Powerbook and a flash Mini!
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,273
4,636
Canada
Too much memory without a screen.

A 4gig, or 2gig Shuffle is useless for anything but random, if the interface to Shuffle remains unchanged - too longwinded to find the track you want.
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,388
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1123.6536.5321
Nothing but good can come of this. Suppliers are competing for Apple's attention, even apparently slashing prices to attract Apple's business, which is great. Flash in a 4 GB mini would conserve a lot of battery life, which could lead to extended life in general, or, how about channeling that extra power into running a color screen? Either way, the mini would be definitely improved. This would also address the complaints some people have about the shuffle, saying there isn't quite enough storage to meet their needs, yet they don't want a HDD-based player. Lastly, this would potentially address the supply issues Apple has supposedly been having as of late, with 4 GB minis being hard to find.

Sounds like something that might be announced at the Paris Expo! ;)
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,388
42
1123.6536.5321
Stella said:
Too much memory without a screen.

A 4gig, or 2gig Shuffle is useless for anything but random, if the interface to Shuffle remains unchanged - too longwinded to find the track you want.
Agreed - even if they make the 4 GB mini a flash-based player, they shouldn't turn it into a shuffle. As you say, for that amount of music, you need a screen to properly navigate and organize your music. Give the 4 GB iPod flash, but keep it as the mini, don't make it a shuffle. :cool:
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,553
2,886
oo it would be very light! and have very low power consumption i suppose.

i'd like to see this.
 

AoWolf

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2003
956
0
Daytona Beach
Well over all it would be a good thing I feel almost sad about this. I must be the only one who finds some sort of pleasure in having a HD. Oh well faster load times would be nice.
 

awesomebase

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2004
100
0
Maryland
New form-factor

I can't imagine that the iPod Mini would retain its same form using a 4GB flash memory part. More likely Apple will keep the iPod mini as a hard-drive based system and up it to 8GB and introduce a "iPod Shuffle" with 4GB but have a very small LCD screen on it. They may even take the iPod Mini and flatten it out. If they kept it the same size, they would have much more room to provide more battery life, but, what would be the point? Even with the same battery life, the iPod Mini running a 4GB flash card would last almost 5 times longer, I see no reason to do that. On the other hand, it may be that the iPod shuffle just stays put and the iPod mini just "evolves" into a smaller device and perhaps with only flash memory so that the original iPod is the only hard-drive based system. Apple likes to keep the lines "clean" within their product categories. Either way, it will be a great thing to offer, I hope it will come with a color screen as well.
 

nsjoker

macrumors regular
Apr 13, 2005
154
0
Miami, Fl
ccool2ax said:
This is a great idea. If apple keeps the player the same size (Which is likely since 4GB CF cards exist), then it would get something like 25-30 hours (20-25 hours color) of battery. not to mention instant-access to files with no lag... The only barrier to flash memory overtaking HD entirely in portables is excessive price, but if they match the MD price, then everyone wins.
naw that's not the only barrier keeping flash out of laptops/desktops. flash memory, both NOR and NAND have only a certain number of write/erase cycles before wear takes it's toll on the insulating oxide layer found in flash mem :rolleyes:
 

podfuture

macrumors member
Aug 19, 2005
72
0
Flash 4G Mini.
When do we see it ... early Sept is the rumor.

Thin, like a Shuffle.
Same display as the current Mini, but smaller overall (40mm x 80mm)?
White plastic top, stainless steel bottom, like the iPod.

Maybe this means the Mini is going to 8G with color screen (Mini Photo?).

This is one strategy to get the necessary price difference in the Mini product line.

Bottom line... this flash mini brings serious trouble to Creative, Sandisk, iRiver, Rio.

I own several iPods but I'll go for this one for sure. Light, rugged, and easy on the battery.
 

mlrproducts

macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2004
390
243
While I like the idea, isn't there going to be a point where the iPod market is saturated???

It seems like landfills will begin to look like blue, green, silver, and pink rainbows.