Price Reality Check

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
46,727
8,945
For those who are displeased at the pricing of Apple's new iPod product should check this:

SmartDisk FireFly - 5GB Firewire Drive. MRSP? $399.95. The reason for the cost is that it's small. It utilizes Toshiba's 1.8-inch 5gB PC Card Hard drive (retail price $399).

While not confimed to be the same mechanism as Toshiba's... few other drives would fit in that small enclosure. This puts Apple's iPod in a bit more perspective...

[Edited by Macrumors on 10-23-2001 at 09:32 PM]
 

ThomasB

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2001
41
0
Power Adapter?

It could easily be $50 less if they shipped without the power adapter. If its bus powered and charges in less than a hour, why have a $50+ adapter?

They should also have a couple different models with smaler hard drive for less money.

Just my thoughts...
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,499
1,783
looks like the 2gig Toshiba drive is $299 retail... so presumably, they could have made a $299 2gb iPod.

arn
 

MarkMc

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2001
23
0
Yeah, I think its pretty cool, but for $399 what would have really made it stand out would be incorporating something completely new, like ability to broadcast MP3's over FM so I could tune my car stereo to some station and jam to the tunes without any wires attached, or broadcast to a stereo on the other side of the house or outside... You get the picture. Still its a great device and the price isn't so outrageous but for now my RIO 600 gets me through my time at the gym!
 

bgreel

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2001
18
0
or would be more worth the price if they added functionality

I was thinking about the ipod and how it seems like with very little effort they could have increased the functionality. Most digital cameras you find these days have USB ports, not firewire. How much of a size problem is it to add a USB port so that then you have unlimited (basically) space for downloading photos from your camera to the ipod on the road. I know ibm makes some kind of microdrive for dig. cameras.

I certainly am not going to buy a $400 mp3 player. Perhaps some will, but I can't imagine this ever being a big seller, not with this limited of a scope.

Digital video cameras have firewire ports -- can the ipod be hooked up to these? I don't know as much about video needs, or how much space digital movie cameras have built in, but certainly 5GB is a respectable amount of storage for something like this.

Maybe this will all come in iPod v2 - even the name seems to suggest more than simply an mp3 player. Pods are sometimes micro-versions of the whole (lifepod).
 

Capt Crunch

macrumors 6502
Aug 26, 2001
484
11
Washington, D.C.
Re: or would be more worth the price if they added functionality

Originally posted by bgreel
I was thinking about the ipod and how it seems like with very little effort they could have increased the functionality. Most digital cameras you find these days have USB ports, not firewire. How much of a size problem is it to add a USB port so that then you have unlimited (basically) space for downloading photos from your camera to the ipod on the road. I know ibm makes some kind of microdrive for dig. cameras.

I certainly am not going to buy a $400 mp3 player. Perhaps some will, but I can't imagine this ever being a big seller, not with this limited of a scope.

Digital video cameras have firewire ports -- can the ipod be hooked up to these? I don't know as much about video needs, or how much space digital movie cameras have built in, but certainly 5GB is a respectable amount of storage for something like this.

Maybe this will all come in iPod v2 - even the name seems to suggest more than simply an mp3 player. Pods are sometimes micro-versions of the whole (lifepod).
Your right, this would be nice. I have a feeling that this is only limited by software, not hardware and that driver updates can make these thing possible. I hope so.
 

mymemory

macrumors 68020
May 9, 2001
2,495
0
Miami
Tooooo expensive piece of stuff.

iPod is the begining of the end if Apple plans to keep producing fancy, overpriced, brand named, non indespensable products.

The iPod should cost no more than $150. Still bigger than a Walk man, who know how fragile is the internal hard drive. If you drop it once there your $400 are in pieces. May be the Hard Drive would crash because of the movement like in the Powerbooks that for no reason the hard drives always die and that is because you can not move a Powerbook with the drive running.

Sorry Steve, quick smoking iPot in the presence of your counselors.
 

blakespot

Administrator
Jun 4, 2000
1,316
49
Alexandria, VA
MyMemory,

You forgot to read the post you're responding to. Toshiba's 5GB drive is $399. Given that Apple is using it or a drive quite similar, there's no way they could sell the device at $150.

Does that make sense?



blakespot
 

netserf

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2001
1
0
Cali
I don't agree about the need for a 2GB cheaper version, and USB would be too slow. I don't care about having a lot of bargain junk. I just want to own things that are absolutely the most outstanding of their kind. Thanks, Apple--this device is best of breed for an mp3 player and the fact that it will function as a 5GB pocket hard drive will be incredibly useful.

 

DaveGee

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2001
677
2
Originally posted by blakespot
MyMemory, You forgot to read the post you're responding to. Toshiba's 5GB drive is $399. Given that Apple is using it or a drive quite similar, there's no way they could sell the device at $150. Does that make sense? blakespot
Blake old boy don't you know that FACTS have no bearing on someones desire/ability/need to bi*ch moan and complain? ;)

I have to tell you that at first I too was a tad upset with the product... The again I never purchased an MP3 player before either... I have a feeling most of those who are put off by the price fit into one of two (okay a few) camps..

o Never researched/shopped for an MP3 player. (me)
o Had no *real* use for an MP3 player (also me)
o Wanted Apple to release ________ iPad iNewt iTIVO or i???? (also me)

Now after thinking about it for a little while... I have changed my ways just a tad... I support a bunch of Mac users (500+) and always wanted a portable HD to keep 'stuff I use' on when working on a machine. I also wanted it to shuttle files from my office T3 internet connection to my home ISDN internet connection. (ever try getting 40+Meg updates over ISDN? (not fun).

Now as you can see I am looking at the device with a new set of glasses... Yea it's cool that it does MP3 and I'm sure I'll have a bunch of my faves on it and with the free space I'll use it to shuttle 'stuff' from place to place and for support at work.

Now that $399 seems much easier to accept...

Hmmm I wonder if the new iTunes sync feature will be able to deal with non-mp3 files... Now that would be really kick-a$$... Different 'storage sets' for different things... 'office tools' as one set 'stuff to bring home' as another set etc etc etc....

The more I think about it the more anxious I am to get it... and yes since I'll use it mostly at work the job WILL pay for it.. =) =) =)

Dave

[Edited by DaveGee on 10-23-2001 at 11:32 PM]
 

gamgee5273

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2001
6
0
Too pricey...

...for what it is. The iPod (which is a lame name, too) is $399 for 5GB and FireWire. Let's look at a few other players/hard drives. I'm on thinkgeek.com and what do I see? The Nomad 6GB is $239. Granted, it's USB and bigger than the iPod - but it has an extra gig and is $160 less. Let's look at another: the Nomad 20GB is $369.99, and the Archos Jukebox Studio 20 (20GB) is $349.99. Now, I can understand the USB v. FireWire argument - but how can Apple justify the price of $399 when, even with a slower interface, you can quadruple your space for $50 less? Apple has to take a cue from Microsoft with the Xbox: if you're leaving you niche you will have to competitively market and price your item. The iPod is not going to make it to the end of 2002 if Apple doesn't bring that price down - even if they have to sell it at a loss. Why would I sell the iPod at a loss? Simple: I sell the iPod for $199, with cross-platform compatibility. Mac OS X gets a full suite of free MP3 playing/editing tools (iTunes Pro), while Windows and Mac OS 8.6 - Mac OS 9.2.1 get a scaled-back app (iTunes Free) allowing them to sync and that's it. By selling at a loss I can, perhaps, drive demand for OS X at least - if not bring more Windows users into the Mac camps...Sell it at a loss and strengthen your profit margins on other products. Sony makes a profit on games, not game systems. Nintendo makes a profit on games, not game systems. MS wants to make a profit on games, not game systems. Apple can utilize that same philosophy and make a profit on computers, not peripherals...
 

blakespot

Administrator
Jun 4, 2000
1,316
49
Alexandria, VA
gamgee,

The higher capacity Nomad is significantly larger than the iPod. So much so that they are not in the same class of product. You can throw the iPod in your pocket and just head on off. With the Nomad, it's a much bigger deal to carry it with you. The small size and high capacity of the iPod required the high cost (the drive inside that thing is not inexpensive).



blakespot
 

gamgee5273

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2001
6
0
Sure, blake, the Nomad is, but let's look at the Archos: 4.5" x 3.2" x 1.3". The iPod is 2.43" x 4.02" x 0.78". I'm not seeing a major amount of size difference here - a bit, but not much. The Archos is cross-platform (including Linux drivers), while iPod is not. And the reviews across the net are pretty favorable on the Archos. So, in the end, what is a user who isn't concerned about having "THE" thing going to buy? Don't get me wrong - I'm typing this from an iBook 500 (using Omniweb on OS X, no less) via an AirPort Base Station. I have an original Macintosh, a Mac II, a NeXTstation, a PowerBook Duo 2300, a PowerBook G3 and a Power Mac 6500 at home (no, no Intel boxen at all). I love and adore Apple's products. But this is one that I just can't grab on to - Apple really seems to have dropped the ball on this one, IMHO (of course).
 

Traveler

macrumors member
Oct 5, 2001
41
3
DC
Originally posted by gamgee5273
Sure, blake, the Nomad is, but let's look at the Archos: 4.5" x 3.2" x 1.3". The iPod is 2.43" x 4.02" x 0.78". I'm not seeing a major amount of size difference here.

Gamgee... multiply it out and compare volumes...
The ipod is 7.6 cubic inches
The Archos is 18.7 cubic inches

That means the Archos is over 2 times as big... you could more easily carry around two ipods than one archos. Blake is right... they aren't even in the same category. Sure you could walk around with a back pack filled with less expensive equipment just to do the same but people ARE willing to pay for size and convenience. Plus, the whole pc compatibility issue will be resolved soon enough and in the mean time it looks like people are already figuring out makeshift solutions. Price gripes are moot aswell... you simply can't get something that size for any cheaper. Plus, don't forget the convenience of firewire over USB. It litterally would take half an hour to fill your archos while it will take you only 12 seconds to fill your ipod.
 

gamgee5273

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2001
6
0
You know, Traveler, speed isn't everything. I'm not going to be syncing the iPod or the Archos as I walk out of the door - I'll be building the libraries as I acquire files. End all and be all an Archos will still fit in my jeans pocket just, too, and I'll get 15 GB more space, I can move from Mac to Wintel to Linux and back. I'll also be able to transfer MP3 files off the Archos (which you cannot do with the iPod). All that and I save $50. I can live with only USB and no FireWire (again, don't get me wrong - I like FireWire, especially considering the FW Zip 250 staring at me). And the argument that the Toshiba drive is $399 retail is a poor argument considering that Apple would: 1) get a discount for buying in bulk; 2) and the bulk discount would come off of wholesale prices, anyhow. I suspect that the price will come down over the next six months, especially after the Christmas rush is over. However, I still think that anything over $199 for the specs is too much. Again, that's IMHO.
 

akuma

macrumors regular
Sep 5, 2001
121
0
End all and be all an Archos will still fit in my jeans pocket just, too, and I'll get 15 GB more space, I can move from Mac to Wintel to Linux and back.

then why are you complaining about the iPod? you seem content with the Archos, so stick with it. Nobody is forcing you to get an iPod.

I'll also be able to transfer MP3 files off the Archos (which you cannot do with the iPod)

You know this for a fact? Unless you are some majorly connected beta tester for Apple, I don't see how anyone could say what the iPod can and can't do. At this moment in time all we have to go on is Apples marketing campaigns.
Once the middle of November rolls around and people actually have iPods in their hands, then, and only then, will we know what the iPod can and can't do.

 

ebeitzuri

macrumors newbie
Apr 13, 2001
4
0
iPod may be priced fairly considering the parts, but the fact of the matter that it's $400 still makes it priced $200 over what I would consider spending on an mp3 player. They could make the thing out of gold and it still wouldn't change the fact that I just don't have $400 to spend on an mp3 player.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,499
1,783
regarding copying MP3's off of iPod

The device does not use a digital-rights management scheme. When it auto-syncs to iTunes, the iPod can only connect to one copy of the software on one Mac. But a manual mode allows the device to share songs between any number of Macs. However, Jobs said Apple does not condone stealing music. In fact, he said, the company spent $50,000 on CDs to go along with review copies of the unit so that Apple would not be promoting piracy....The iPod does come wrapped in plastic with a warning in English, French, German and Japanese that states, "Don't steal music...'Piracy is not a technological issue. It's a behavior issue,' Jobs said, adding that all the encryption schemes that have been developed can also be broken

 

Gelfin

macrumors 68020
Sep 18, 2001
2,166
4
Denver, CO
Here's my dilemma: I want this device. Feature-wise, it's a hands-down winner. I never even considered the Nomad jukeboxes because they're huge, bulky and ugly. With the exception of a laptop, if I can't drop a device in my pocket, I don't buy it. I'll pay a premium for this because if I can't drop it in my pocket, it will ultimately just gather dust at home.

I also understand why this device must be as expensive as it is. It has a lot of expensive parts, and obviously a great effort went into building a best-of-breed product.

The issue I have is that Apple seems to keep making this mistake, the same one they made with the Cube. It's really simple economics. If the current state of the art is N, Apple manages to produce N+1. The problem is, the price of Apple's solution is not P+1 (where P is the price of N), but is something more like 2P.

This is a great formula for producing products that everyone wants but no one buys. The fact that Apple can justify the cost means nothing to the consumer, who must justify the expense. It may be mouth-watering, but is it "2P" worth of mouth-watering? Unfortunately, probably not. Consumers will sigh with regret when they buy the slightly inferior competition, but the competition still gets the money.

I may actually get one. I've been known to pay $400 for a digital music player in the past. I truly haven't decided. But in addition to the large cash outlay, I would feel a little bad about enabling this kind of self-destructive behavior at Apple.

Oh, also, Steve REALLY needs to learn to stop stealing his own thunder. The device is cool, but the expectations he built beforehand just set everyone up for disappointment. It's like Tim Burton's BATMAN: really a pretty good movie, not well-received because the pre-release hype led people to expect total jaw-dropping go-change-your-shorts sorts of amazingness.

You want to generate a buzz, but not so much hype that NOTHING could EVER live up to it.
 

suarkttam

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2001
7
0
The Gold Standard

Here is the bottom line regarding Apples pricing. Apple has chosen (for better or worse) over the years to position themselves as the Gold Standard in the computer industry. This philosophy has not only permiated itself in regards to design and quality, but price as well. As an avid Apple user, and I think most Apple users would aggree...we sort of relish in this fact. We laugh at PC users, with their "cheap" and inferior products. We are elitist. With the introduction of the iPod, Apple has once again said, 'We are giving you the top of the line _________ (insert product here)' 'Choose to buy it if you want the best' We can all sit around and bitch and moan about the business choices Apple is making, but ultimately we (real Apple users) must rely on the fact that Steve Jobs will always be striving to make the very best product...whether it be and MP3 player or some other device that we will all ohhhhh and ahhhhh over in the future. For certain I am excited about what is to come, and will expect, as we all have already aggreed to do as Apple users, to pay more for the best.
 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
Maybe the price will come down

In time, the price will come down for the rest of us, but $400.00 is not "way out" of range but it seems like many were expecting something a little bit more affordable

the size, however, is hard to beat and i can't wait to see one in person
 

akuma

macrumors regular
Sep 5, 2001
121
0
Oh, also, Steve REALLY needs to learn to stop stealing his own thunder. The device is cool, but the expectations he built beforehand just set everyone up for disappointment.
Steve wasn't the one who built the expectations up. It was analysts, reporters and forum readers/members who built the hype up. Apple released one invitation to its iPod unveiling. That is it. No press releases, no commercials, just an invitation to see a "groundbreaking, revolutionary digital device."

From this people drew their own conclusions:

"The second newton"
"The iWalk"

and on and on.

The "expectations" that you are refering to were not, in anyway, generated by SJ or Apple.
 

gamgee5273

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2001
6
0
In my opinion, we, as Apple users, have the responsibility to vote with our pocketbooks. If you like the iPod, then bully for you - go buy one. I personally think we're looking at a machine that is too expensive for what it is, just as the Cube was. And just as I did not buy a Cube, I will not be buying an iPod (at least not this version). I think the limitations outweigh - far outweigh - the ecstatic and pleasing portions of the iPod (again, this is in my opinion). And Apple did build up the expectations with the invitations they sent and the fact they called it "groundbreaking" and a "breakthrough" - which it just isn't. Oh, and I happened to really like Tim Burton's Batman...
 

Coryb23

macrumors newbie
Nov 8, 2000
2
0
Cry me a river

Why are a few of you complaining about the price. This is a brand new product that no one else has. Since when has any company not just Apple come out with something and the price be cheap. EX: Playstation 2 300 bucks. Whats the price now? Like 250. The price will eventually go down. The 400 buck is for those of us who can afford it and buy it and give it as gifts. Eventually the price will come down so you people who make 6 bucks an hour can afford it. Get over it!!