Apple to abandon next gen HDD based iPod...

Discussion in 'iPod' started by davidjearly, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland

    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.

  2. spicyapple macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2006
    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.
  3. davidjearly thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    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.
  4. shunpike macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2006
    Oxford, UK
    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?
  5. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    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.
  6. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    What about video, will that be iPhone (with bigger memory) only?
  7. biturbomunkie macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2006
    about time. personally i was always reluctant to buy an ipod till the flash-based nano came out.
  8. EGT macrumors 68000


    Sep 4, 2003
    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. :cool:
  9. Mavimao macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2005
    Lyon, France
    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?
  10. CEAbiscuit macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2006
    The Kitchen
    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.
  11. Loge macrumors 68030


    Jun 24, 2004
    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 !
  12. OwlsAndApples macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2006
    mmm...removable memory...mmm...I think it's very unlikely though, the whole 'no moving external parts' :apple: mantra. :(
  13. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    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.
  14. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2003
    I almost pulled the trigger on a refurbed 30g iPod with video now I am glad I did not.
  15. auxplage macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2004
    Virginia Beach
    Every year the price of flash drops.

    16GB will cost around the same as 8GB did last year, so it makes sense to me.
  16. iPodAddict macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2005
    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.
  17. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    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.
  18. tk421 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Agreed. I need over 20GB for my music alone, not to mention video! Flash is just not gonna cut it (yet).
  19. Tequila Grandma macrumors regular

    May 17, 2003
    Boston MA
    Silly idea. People who actually have a sizable music library are screwed if the biggest iPod is 30gb.
  20. narco macrumors 65816


    Dec 9, 2003
    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?
  21. gugy macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    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!:mad:
  22. DeSnousa macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    I would rather see a large 40-80 gig hardrive drastically cheaper than a flash based iPod :)
  23. Rocketman macrumors 603


    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?


    The future arrives 12 June 2007. Where are my damn flying cars?


    ATN/ATNN (sosumi)
  24. mahonmeister macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2006
    Redlands, CA
    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.

  25. joeboy_45101 macrumors 6502


    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. :eek: 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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