The iPod mini Reaction Roundup | iLounge Article

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The iPod mini Reaction Roundup

Recently, I emailed many of the companies and individuals that have played a role in bringing iPod related products to market. Below are their answers to several questions regarding the new, smaller iPod mini. In short, everybody likes the new mini and most all plan on introducing an iPod mini specific accessory.


Aneta Genova
Aneta Genova - President

The best feature in the new mini iPod is the color!

ANETAGENOVA cases always reflect the latest trends in color and design and I would always stand behind a colorful fashionable look. Being a fashion designer I feel that this is a natural progression in technology - “smart” and beautiful product.

The size is slightly smaller and the huge sacrifice in memory doesn’t justify it. A 1,000 songs for $249 is not that fashionable. Just for $50 dollars more you can get 15GB memory. Smaller is not really better in this particular case and probably a lot of other cases. And speaking of cases there will be no AG cases for the new mini yet.


Case Closed Bags, Inc.
April Lockhart President

What’s your reaction to the new iPod mini?


Reaction to the minis—very cute—-sooooo small—Apple is going after the teens market. Every kid I know in NYC got an iPod over the holidays.

Is the price too high?


Yes $249 is too much-$199 is the right price.

Is smaller better


Small is always better.

Is offering several colors a good thing?


I think that the colors speak to a new breed (youth) of customers for Apple.

How does this affect your iPod products?


We are excited about developing cases and accessories for the minis.

When can customers expect new or updated products?


We have our mini on order to start the R&D—our goal is to be shipping in March 2004.


Belkin
Melody Chalaban, Public Relations Manager

The new Mini iPod is an exciting addition to Apple’s product lineup. It’s a new look for the already successful iPod, so the end user experience just got better. We will offer accessories to support them in the near future.


Christopher Breen
Contributing Editor, Macworld magazine Author of “Secrets of the iPod,” Third Edition (Peachpit Press, 2003)

What’s your reaction to the new iPod mini?


Generally very positive. They’re nice compact units that maintain the elegance of the iPod design in a smaller form factor.

Is the price too high?


Yes, by $50.

Is smaller better


Smaller is different rather than better. I can see the smaller size being an advantage when you’re doing something athletic—riding a bike, jogging, or working out at the gym. The small size and lighter weight make it easier to tuck into an armband, fanny pack, or pocket without making its presence felt.

Is offering several colors a good thing?


It may help increase sales. In a couple of my iPod sessions at Macworld Expo I asked about colors and a few women said they’d buy an iPod mini simply because they could get it in pink.

How does this affect your iPod products?


If the final unit is the same one shown at Expo—meaning Apple doesn’t implement any new features in firmware for the final release—it will have some impact on the next edition of my book, Secrets of the iPod, but it’s not different enough to justify a “Secrets of the iPod mini.”

When can customers expect new or updated products?


In the not-too-distant future.


Covertec
Fabrice Minelian, Marketing & Development Manager

What’s your reaction to the new iPod mini?


Happy to see that it can be bought by many users because of lower price.

Is the price too high?


No

Is smaller better


Yes

Is offering several colors a good thing?


Yes, even if it may be difficult for Apple to handle separate stocks.

How does this affect your iPod products?


We will prepare new Covertec Luxury cases for iPod mini.

When can customers expect new or updated products?


March/April


Dension USA
Alfred Barabas

What’s your reaction to the new iPod mini?


Great unit works with our ICE-Link car integration kits :)

Is the price too high?


A bit high, but it will come down soon.

Is smaller better


Not always :)

Is offering several colors a good thing?


Not a bad idea, but it will make logistics harder for ipod resellers…

How does this affect your iPod products?


More people with iPods that can purchase our ICE-Link kits!

When can customers expect new or updated products?


It’s available from us already.


Digital Lifestyle Outfitters
Jeff Grady, President/CEO

What’s your reaction to the new iPod mini?


I want one right now!  Make mine silver. I also cannot wait to see the return of Mini Me in Apple’s upcoming iPod mini television ad campaign.  Also look to see Apple dropping VW as their automotive partner and replacing them with the cooler and smaller Cooper mini.  I can see it all coming together in a commercial during the upcoming Super Bowl.

On a more serious note, Apple has done a great job extending the iPod design to a smaller, lighter device.  The new scroll wheel is perfect and I would look to see this design utilized in a smaller, lighter 4G iPod.  But I do miss the “on the go” playlist on the new mini.  Let’s hope that they add this feature at product release.

Is the price too high?


Right now the price is too high.  Apple really needs to break the $200 price point to be extremely competitive with the smaller, flash-based players.  At $250, the iPod mini is .06/Mb while the 10Gb iPod is half the cost on a per megabyte level.  But then again, less is more sometimes.

Is smaller better


In this case, it is.  I would not look to see Apple make any future iPod products that are any smaller than the mini.  The size is perfect.

Is offering several colors a good thing?


No. Maintaining proper inventory levels and projecting sales on a color basis will cause Apple some headaches here.  Look to see a surplus of green players and long lines for silver players.  They should have stuck with white and should have included white in their lineup. Plus with all of the silicone skin products on the market (and we will be releasing a Jam Jacket for iPod mini very soon), you can basically pick any color you want and change it whatever your iMood.

How does this affect your iPod products?


We will be launching a whole new line of products just for iPod mini, and we will be working closely with Apple on a couple of projects that will utilize some special features found only on iPod mini.

When can customers expect new or updated products?


Absolutely.  Keep an eye on everythingiPod.com for all the latest iPod mini products.


Engineered Audio, LLC.
Marshall Strouse

What’s your reaction to the new iPod mini?


Looks to be another good product from Apple.  And while some question its initial price, the mini is probably priced right.  Certainly it will allow Apple to (perhaps) slowly lower the price over the course of 2004.  Perhaps even add additional features or capacities.

Is the price too high?


Priced about right.  Actually if you analyze it carefully, it was very shrewed pricing.

Is smaller better


Perhaps.  Certainly for those that are really ‘on-the-go’ ... ie Hiking, Biking, Running, etc.

Is offering several colors a good thing?


No real feeling one way or the other on this item.  It’s sort of been there done that, what with the iMacs and such.

How does this affect your iPod products?


Shouldn’t affect our products.

When can customers expect new or updated products?


Our current remote will work the mini today.  We are in the process of doing a complete re-design (guts and new cases) that should be available in the next few months.


Jim Heid
Author/Host, “The Macintosh iLife” book and instructional DVD

What’s your reaction to the new iPod mini?


It’s beautiful! I’ve had a chance to use one, and found the “Click Wheel” works very well. It’s a very efficient, elegant design. The display is beautiful, too—very bright and crisp.

Is the price too high?


Alas, yes, especially since it does not include a dock and doesn’t work with the Belkin Media Reader or Voice Recorder.

It’s a gorgeous little device, but I can’t help but think that the buzz around it would be a lot louder if it cost $199. Whether that price would be economically viable for Apple is a question I can’t answer. But I just don’t think $50 is a large enough price gap between the mini and the full-sized iPod, especially given the capacity and capability differences.

Is smaller better


Yes.

Is offering several colors a good thing?


Absolutely. But please—no Blue Dalmatian or Flower Power.

How does this affect your iPod products?


The next edition of my iLife book (which covers the iPod) will be out before Spring. I’m typing as fast as I can!

When can customers expect new or updated products?


See above.


iSkin Inc.
Andrew Ackloo, President

What’s your reaction to the new iPod mini?


Overall, I think they’re great. The smaller profile, lighter weight and redesigned navigation/scroll wheel is “simply” the best design yet. The flat top and bottom does seem a little harsh and pulls away from the smooth curves of previous iPod designs but I can get used to it. Surprising was the available colors. I expected Apple to stick with one color and I would have guessed Aluminum or plain white. Although, it’s nice to see color back in Apple products. Close examination of the surface shows that these new mini iPod are going to get scuffed. The screen is beautiful, clear and sharp and the bluish backlight adds that oh so modern look. We’re looking forward to skinning it ;-)

Is the price too high?


Yes I believe it’s priced about $50 too high. I know that Apple is trying not to kill the sales of its regular iPods and this pricing decision was necessary. That being said, I think that being priced at $199 with 4GB of storage space would kill off a lot of flash memory based MP3 players out there.

Is smaller better


Absolutely when it comes to a personal, portable music device. The only thing that this rule does not apply to is internal storage memory. Bigger is indeed better.

Is offering several colors a good thing?


Yes and no. I think Apple’s simplicity approach to product design is great, especially with the use of white and metallic silver and grays. Offering colors do give the consumer choice and personal expression and we know all about this; however, consumers will always want new colors and Apple will have no choice to introduce new one to refresh the line (much like we saw with the original iPods). Again, this is something we at iSkin know all too well.

How does this affect your iPod products?


It definitely allows us to add a new iSkin to the family and we’re very excited about our design. We think the simplicity of the new mini iPods gives us an opportunity to be creative and design a sleek looking iSkin that give mini iPod owners choice of new colors and stylish surface protection.

When can customers expect new or updated products?


We expect to have the new iSkin for the mini iPods shipping shortly after Apple starts shipping. We estimate late February to early March.


MacMice Workspace Products Co.
Jack Campbell, President

Love the new Mini, and think the price is right in line for the new, smaller size. The armband capability and smaller size are the gee-whiz features here, along with the colors, as I doubt many retail customers are going to care anything about capacity beyond the clearly messaged “1000 songs.” It’s the size and spiffy look that makes this a winner. The colors are trendy, and add to the new Mini’s “fashion statement” appeal. Good job here by Apple.

Our existing iPod stands will not work with the Mini. We are deciding whether a new desk stand for the Mini is a good investment for us, as it is a product even more specifically pitched to a more mobile, more active buyer. If we do a new stand, it will appear quickly, within 30-days.


Marware
B. Thomas Romeo, Sales & Marketing Rep

What’s your reaction to the new iPod mini?


Very excited, I like to run with an iPod and my original is just too heavy!

Is the price too high?


Yes, I hope to see it eventually get below $200

Is smaller better


Absolutely, smaller is always better with technology.

Is offering several colors a good thing?


It’s a cute thing.

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Comments

1

Griffin iTrip, please! The old one works, but it looks awkward.

Ideally, make it blend into the body shape like a fitted white cap, same width and thickness as the mini. I guess it would have to be taller than the regular iTrip, since it couldn’t be as wide. (An overhanging T effect wouldn’t look too good.)

Posted by Nagromme on January 20, 2004 at 12:11 PM (CST)

2

^^^
But then they would probably have to produce multiple colors as well, which could lead to peoplenot purchasing a certain color; and them loosing money.

Posted by Mike on January 22, 2004 at 3:51 PM (CST)

3

^^^
But then they would probably have to produce multiple colors as well, which could lead to people not purchasing a certain color; and them losing money.

Posted by Mike on January 22, 2004 at 3:52 PM (CST)

4

It’s a fabulous-looking gadget! AND it comes in pink! I must say I would have bought one as the mini size seems more convenient for gym use, rather than the 4th gen iPod. My 20GB one is a bit too heavy and bulky to for that intended purpose. However, for only a 4GB capacity. . . $249 is a bit steep. I want to get one, specifically for gym use but it has to be priced less than $200. I guess that’s just about the right price to trigger purchase intent, for most people, into actual purchase. I would think there would be a considerable number of existing iPod owners who would be interested in buying a mini, in addition to their big iPods. . . but that would really depend on the final selling price.

Posted by chubbs in Philippines on January 22, 2004 at 7:09 PM (CST)

5

it’s nice n’ cool.. but i agree w/ most of these guys.. the price is a lil high for a 4 giger.. :x

Posted by Sky on February 1, 2004 at 3:16 AM (CST)

6

I will definitely be getting the iPod mini (hopefully)...I only have about 1 Gig of music, so I wouldn’t need 15 GB…and I guess I could use the rest for storing homework..lol

I also hope that it will go down in price…by 50 by April. If possible…

Posted by rohit45 on February 1, 2004 at 7:36 PM (CST)

7

Apple is going to strike a home run with this product.  I am buying a silver mini as soon as it comes out.  I only have a couple gigs of music I realy care to silten to plus with usb2 it is not a huge hassle to swap.  I am surprised that apple hasn’t advertised it more as a great audiobook player.  I know it is not the main reason people buy ipods but with audible and itunes audiobook support this is the perfect audiobook player.  Get 50 bucks off the ipod/mini if you sign up with audible for 15 bucks a month.  I certainly am.

Posted by Nate on February 9, 2004 at 7:34 PM (CST)

8

i like the fact that it’s small.  i just don’t like the price and the fact that for $50 more i could get 11 more Gigs.  for me it’s more logical to get the 15G iPod.  after there’s a price drop getting one is a good idea.

Posted by brian c on February 10, 2004 at 2:35 PM (CST)

9

while i agree to some extent about the pricepoint, i dont think its for lack of apple wanting to knock it down. the hitachi drive being used is 1st generation. MSRP on the microdrive by itself is expected to be $499 when it ships. in that light, i think $250 for it plus a world-class music player is admirable.

the debate then becomes ‘did apple pick the wrong technology to make a competitive player?’

( i dont think so—i’ve already got my order in for a pink one for my fiance

Posted by cudaboy_71 on February 10, 2004 at 7:23 PM (CST)

10

Speck Products seemed to have to most to say :p I love those great informative answers, i sure hope that guy or girl aint a company spokesperson…

Posted by stunted on February 15, 2004 at 12:22 PM (CST)

11

The more I think about it, the more I think that the price isn’t too high. It’s highly competitive with high-end RAM-based players; the only players that cost less have much more limited storage.

That being said, I think that Apple’s still leaving the very low end open—I’d love to see a low-end RAM-based MP3 player that can play Protected AAC’s. Sure, for $75 you don’t get a huge display, wonderful controls, etc., but it’d still be a user building an AAC (i.e. non-WMA) music library, purchasing from iTMS, etc. Since such a stripped down player wouldn’t “be an iPod” perhaps Apple could address it by licensing the ability to play Protected AAC’s to low-end MP3 manufacturers so that they can address the niche that Apple can’t?

Posted by Laird Popkin on February 18, 2004 at 7:41 AM (CST)

12

Creative 4GB. $180 from Dell.

At this low price, even $50 makes a huge difference to market penetration.

I predict the iPod Mini will be sub $200 after the initial sales surge.

Posted by creative on February 18, 2004 at 9:14 AM (CST)

13

Archos Gmini 20GB is $200 at Circuit City and $180 at Buy.com.

Of course, Archos 20GB Recorder is $130 at Amazon. But it is a brick.

You can always find much better GB/$ deals than Apple’s but that’s not the point.

Posted by Gigs Per Dollar on February 18, 2004 at 9:44 AM (CST)

14

cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool
ipod MINI HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by sammy on February 19, 2004 at 9:06 AM (CST)

15

maybe xtrememac will announce another accessorie THAT WILL NEVER SHIP AFTER U PAY FOR IT..

Posted by bublenot on March 6, 2004 at 10:30 PM (CST)

16

Well, here it is September, and its still $249, sans the occasional 5% off deal at Amazon.

C’mon Apple, get real, OWN the market. iPod mini NEEDS to be $199 to do that. =(

Posted by Lee on September 12, 2004 at 9:14 PM (CDT)

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