Understanding the iPod family: new iPod minis and photos | iLounge Article


Understanding the iPod family: new iPod minis and photos

In response to news articles that have appeared since Apple announced the “new” iPod mini and iPod photo hardware yesterday, iLounge has produced a summary of new iPod facts that may be of use to our readers and journalists alike.

Broadly, How Did the iPod Family Change Yesterday?

picNew iPods: Apple introduced the largest capacity iPod mini ever made - 6-Gigabytes (1,500 songs) instead of 4-Gigabytes (1,000 songs) - and unveiled the smallest capacity iPod photo ever made - 30-Gigabytes (7,500 songs), down from 40-Gigabytes (10,000 songs).

Lower Prices: The company also made bold pricing moves with both its mid-range iPod mini and high-end iPod photo lines, slashing the price of the 4-GB iPod mini to $199 from $249, and even more aggressively cutting the prices of its premium, color-screened iPod photos, which used to sell for $499-599. The new models sell for $349-449, a $150 price difference. Apple’s drop of the 4GB iPod mini’s price to $199 expands its availabilty to an even larger audience, and consequently, there are now iPods at every $50 price point from $99 to $349, increasing steadily in capacity and features.

Discontinued iPods: Apple simultaneously discontinued two 40-Gigabyte iPods, a black-and-white model ($399) and a color iPod photo ($499), as well as an unpopular gold-colored iPod mini, leaving only four color options for that device.

picWhat Do the Changes Really Mean? The black-and-white full-sized iPod is fading away, as are options in the upper middle range. More powerful iPod photo hardware is now priced to entice a much larger audience, and for the first time in years, the most expensive iPod now sells for under $499. That iPod, the 60GB iPod photo ($449), has twice the storage capacity of the 30GB model that sells for $100 less.

But black-and-white iPods are still selling well, most likely because of their lower prices. Consequently, Apple did not discontinue its black-and-white screened 20GB iPod, or its 4GB iPod mini, the company’s most popular iPod-badged products in 2004. The price of the 20GB iPod ($299) remained the same, and still represents a sizeable capacity jump from the 6GB iPod mini priced at $249.

What About Smaller, Fine Print Changes?

The Positives and Neutrals: As a clear benefit, Apple increased the iPod mini’s estimated battery life from 8 to 18 hours. Neutrally, it modestly strengthened the blue, green, and pink shades used in iPod mini casings, and changed the color of the iPod mini’s Click Wheel print to match its respective casing. At this link, Apple describes the new iPod mini as a “second-generation” iPod mini, and discusses the few cosmetic and other differences we have noted and photographed.

The Consequences: Unfortunately, the company stopped including FireWire cables and FireWire wall chargers with both the iPod mini and the iPod photo; the iPod mini now is charged primarily with an included USB 2.0 cable through a computer’s powered USB 2.0 port, and you can buy a wall charger ($29) separately. The iPod photo includes both a USB wall charger and cable, but no longer includes TV photo playback cables, a Dock, a carrying case, or a FireWire cable.

picWas Anything Else Introduced?

Accessories: Responding to consumer demands, Apple also announced the late March release of a digital Camera Connector ($29), which allows iPod photo users to transfer digital photos directly to the color-screened iPod from a camera, and then view the pictures on the screen without using a computer. The Camera Connector is believed to be a substantial improvement on Belkin’s Digital Camera Link accessory, released last year, which can slowly transfer photographs to any iPod but not display them on the iPod photo’s screen. Additionally, Apple introduced a plastic and fabric Pod mini lanyard ($19) that attaches to the mini’s bottom and suspends it upside down as a necklace, and five new colors of its iPod mini armband ($29).

Software: Apple introduced a broad-ranging software updater for older iPods that added Shuffle Songs and Music options to their main menus, bringing them into near-parity with modern black-and-white screened fourth-generation iPods. An increased number of iPods can also create and store multiple on-the-go playlists, as well. The updater also gives iPod shuffles the ability to use Apple’s optional add-on Battery Pack accessory, which as of press time has not appeared in stores.

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It seems that Apple is really on the ball this year. With the Mac Mini drawing in PC converts, the introduction of the Ipod Shuffle, and now the “2G” mini and a lower priced Ipod Photo. If apple keeps this up, Microsoft won’t be the king of the world anymore. And I, for one, welcome this change with open arms.

BTW, are there any other third party docks for the photo out there? (read: cheaper)

Posted by Seto Kaiba in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 11:09 AM (CST)


Everything keeps changing; here-today-gone-tomorrow models; shifting price spectrums; must get new version iPod with iMovie capabilities; have you seen new solar-powered 21 gig mini in the new clear case; feel like head going to explode; must hold on and hope the Obsolesence Wars taper off before I switch back to my Sony Walkman tapedeck.

Posted by Pragmatist in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 1:33 PM (CST)


Anyone noticed that Apple doesn’t mention skip protection with their iPod photo anymore? Not in the specs, nowhere. That’s weird, no?

Posted by NX2000 in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 2:46 PM (CST)


Apple should really slow down, and go back to their old system of making a new ipod every few quarters or so. This idea of making new ipods every few months is not only annoying, but stupid. I can see why they would release a better mini, but they should of kept their photo thing deals the same, or lower them slower. People who bought the photo when they came out are probably pissed that they didn’t know about this sooner.

Posted by M Bargo in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 2:46 PM (CST)


m bargo, they are moving a lot of stock. From what it seems, before and now they’re just making new ipods when they run out.

on another note, won’t it be more expensive to get all the bundled stuff for the ipod photos and the ipod photos now?

Posted by tumblingwall in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 2:53 PM (CST)


I’m getting worried with where Apple’s headed. The most obvious indication is the introduction of iPod socks, which is a horribly non-Apple idea. The language in their product descriptions is getting much more “annoying,” and they seem to care about the iPod much more than the Macs I love. Even within the iPods, they’re getting cheaper: the packaging is done with less care, cables are being dropped that people will want to have, and they dropped all but one normal-iPod capacity. Also, they seem to have taken the first step toward killing off FireWire. I like FireWire! Apple is the company that made the port common, and I don’t want them to kill it until there’s a great improvement, not just for another standard that’s more Windows-friendly.

I’m just worried.

Posted by Sidney in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 3:35 PM (CST)


I agree.  I think with all this change people are going to wait 8 weeks for the next iPod to come out and then buy the discounted ones when the new ones come out.  Apple will lose a lot of money when people are trained to wait until what they wants goes by the wayside for a new model.  Look at the clothing industry.  Who pays full retail prices any more.  At the begining everyone wanted an iPod and was willing to pay full price to get one.  Now….who knows.

Posted by schaaking in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 3:55 PM (CST)


OMG, everyone wants a new ipod with new features and so they release them and theres complaining. Instead of having to wait sooo long for the ipods to get better, you can by them now. WHy does anyone domplain that they realeased NEW stuff? Or lowered the prices? If you want all the cables, buy them. it’ll still cost the same as before the price change, so whats the problem?

Posted by tymeflame in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 4:59 PM (CST)


The new prices are good. I have to wonder how under-performing were the sales of the higher-priced photo models that Apple had to slash so much so quickly?

Posted by Demosthenes in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 5:11 PM (CST)


In response to Sidney:  They are responding to what the market wants.  People are buying alot of iPods, they are the really hot product.  Also, the market Apple is competeing in (hard disk mp3 players) is rather new and highly competitive and rapidly fluctuating.  I mean think about it, the Apple computers very much fill a certain niche.  Not everyone is going to go out and buy a Mac, BUT everyone can go out and buy an iPod.  it makes sense for them to be constantly assaulting the market with new products to out-do their competitors (i.e. Creative)

Posted by reallygoodcake in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 5:27 PM (CST)


i think that apple has really screwed over the 60GB .. don’t get me wrong, lower prices are great ... but it used to be their behemoth top-of-the-line flagship iPod ; it was a supreme luxury it came with more-than-you-needed high-quality cables not to mention a dock, it was the biggest and the baddest
i think they really should have maybe made it for the 499 pricemark so that they didn’t lose their “super-luxury” type of appeal and made it the only iPod which came with cables and a dock.

not that i could afford it , but i think that apple should make a defineably luxury iPod .. as iPods are losing something they used to have that whole customer experience, in that the box was neatly packaged and all the cables were excellent and stuff like that i think make a difference in a certain market, the 60gb iPod photo would have been perfect as their one super-luxury iPod

although i think the introduction of the 30GB is definitely a great thing, its incredibly affordable /etc

personally i would have liked them to keep the firewire cable, its really just principle because there are a lot of mac users without usb 1.1 and either way i’d prefer firewire because it is faster [with sustained transfers]

Posted by sinclair in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 5:28 PM (CST)


nx2000, I think stating that iPods have skip protection is completely useless and might serve to confuse some customers. It is curious though how the iPod photo and iPod mini now have such great battery lifes. Perhaps they increased the ram (read: skip protection).

Posted by minty in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 5:33 PM (CST)


my understanding is that the mini got a new physical battery.  They possibly also increased the RAM or improved the way the hard disk reads (similar the the way it changed between 3rd and 4th gen of the regular iPod).

Posted by purplestallion in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 6:11 PM (CST)


I was a bit mad that I just bought a 4G 40GB and now its discontinued and I could’ve bought a Photo for only $50 more then I payed for this…but I guess its no big deal.

Posted by Link00seven in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 6:12 PM (CST)


I am sooooooo annoyed with Apple!
Less than a month ago I bought a $249 4GB iPod mini—a newer version of which is now listed at $199.
For the same price I paid three weeks ago, I could now buy a 6GB mini.

Posted by rolfrykken in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 6:16 PM (CST)


I feel the same way about my ipod, because now i want to get a newer one. But if you do in fact buy one the first day that it comes out, you don’t feel as bad about your decision because newer ones won’t come out for a while. *Except for the ipod photo*

Posted by M Bargo in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 6:57 PM (CST)


Is there any word on how the 18hr battery clocks up yet?

Posted by M Bargo in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 7:23 PM (CST)


think Apple is heading down the tubes. I’m sorry, Mac heads, I am one too yet I think that this will be the last successful generation for the iPod. They screwed this one up-big time. No AC brick? What were they thinking? No iPod with inclusive dock? When did Apple become this stingy? That they can’t even throw in a FIREWIRE Cable? I was waiting for G5 to come out before I make my iPod purchase, but maybe I’ll just get a DISCONTINUED 40 gig. At least it comes with a FIREWIRE… not to mention a dock. Eather G5 will be something amazing with crazy bells and whisles, or iPod is done. My friends and I have discussed this new “release” and it seems that Apple was just not thinking this one through. I’m sorry if I offended, but just my 2 cents.

Posted by DJ FIZIX in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 7:25 PM (CST)


wow, I am totally pissed off, I bought a 40 gb Ipod Photo around January and now this, I could’ve bought a 60 gb for 50$ less now, oh well, at least mine came with the case and cables, but that still pisses me off hardcore.

Posted by auburnguy in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 8:40 PM (CST)


DJ FIZIX, you prove an interesting point. Although that the new minis don’t include an AC adapter, apple is making a smart move by doing that, so they can lower the price, and make it more available to more potential buyers. Even if someone finds out that it doesn’t include an AC adpater, the minis are still an awesome deal, and they wouldn’t mind paying that little extra. Now like you, I do mind that, but i am generalizing over the public.

Posted by M Bargo in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 24, 2005 at 8:44 PM (CST)

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