While at Macworld, I was fortunate enough to witness the birth of a new iPod mini case by Marware. Soon after the Keynote speech by Steve Jobs, Ed Martin, CEO of Marware was talking to his manufacturer in Taiwan. Three days later, Ed showed me a finished prototype of the iPod mini SportSuit Sleeve, a smaller version of the iPod 3G SportSuit Sleeve. “We are working hard on the SportSuit Sleeve and it should be available when the iPod mini is out.” The case is identical in material and features as the SportSuit Sleeve for 3G iPods - a pouch-style neoprene case with vulcanized rubber side grips, access to the ‘Hold’ switch, dock and headphone ports. No pricing or color information has been determined at this time.
“Speck Products announces a newly designed rubberized skin for the recently announced and much anticipated Mini iPod. Apple introduced the new smaller form factor iPod at last week’s MacWorld and has stated a mid-February ship date. The Speck Mini iPod Skin cases will be available at the same time.
The new Mini iPod Skins will provide protection for the new Mini iPod against dust, knocks, and scratches,while minimizing the bulk that most cases add. This skin-tight design is even more valuable for the new slimmed down iPod form factor. The case features a special shock-absorbing Dynaflex rubberized plastic construction, cutouts for the headphone, firewire port, and hold switch, and will be introduced in translucent colors inspired from the 5 new Mini iPod. The Mini iPod Skins will be sold in 3-Packs for $29.95 and individually for $19.95.”
MacMinute is reporting that “several MacMinute readers informed us that Amazon.com offers some insight into which colors of the iPod mini are popular among its shoppers. As of 12:00 a.m. ET, the silver iPod mini was the top seller with a sales rank of 305, followed by pink (672), blue (864), green (3,050) and gold (6,342). The iPod mini carries a retail price of US$249, which has been a hot topic since the device’s introduction a week ago.”
“‘I think $249 is smart. You can always drop the price. It’s much harder to raise it,’ said Michael Gartenberg, a personal technology analyst with Jupiter Research. ‘I think we could see a $199 iPod in the next 12 months.’
Gartenberg said the iPod mini should help Apple win some of the lower-end sales now going to Sony, Creative Labs and Rio Audio, manufacturers who’ve built a market for sub-$300 digital music players.”
“Secrets of the iPod” author and Macworld columnist Christopher Breen has managed to work out how to access various diagnostic modes for the iPod mini after getting his hands on one at MWSF.
” Savvy iPodusers know that you can perform such tasks as resetting the device, throwing it into disk mode, and invoking the hidden diagnostic screen by pressing a combination of the iPod’s buttons.
The iPod mini sports different controls—ones where the Menu, Play, Back, and Forward buttons are on the scroll wheel (the Select button remains in the middle of the wheel). Pressing the wheel in the the four compass directions invokes the command associated with them—Up for Menu, Right for Forward, Down for Play/Pause, and Left for Back. Given that you can’t press multiple buttons at a time, how would one reset the iPod mini or produce the Diagnostic screen?
I decided to find out by visiting the Apple booth and, in the guise of an interested user, pressing every button combination I could. Here’s what I discovered:”
The iPod mini does not use the same software as the iPod itself. iPod mini uses iPod mini Software 1.0. iPod Software 1.3 cannot be installed on iPod mini. iPod software 2.0 CAN be installed on an iPod mini, but when you turn the iPod mini on, you will receive a screen with a folder and exclamation mark. This can be fixed by using the iPod mini Software 1.0 installer to reinstall the iPod mini Software.
“The actual price is $250. That’s only $50 less than the 15-megabyte, full-size iPod, which holds nearly four times as many songs.
Apple argues that that’s the wrong comparison. It points out that the Mini is only $50 more than a 256-megabyte, flash-memory-based player like the Rio Cali. Such players hold only about 60 songs (and, of course, lack the elegance of Apple’s hardware and software).
In any case, early adopters and gadget fetishists may well snap up all the iPod Minis that Apple can make, even at this price; Apple can always lower the price later.”
“Apple Computer is set to review the UK pricing of its iPod mini music player, launched on Tuesday, after complaints about a substantial mark-up for non-US buyers of the device. The iPod mini will go on sale next month in the US for $249 - which would translate to a UK price of
“The 4GB drive, which measures 1 inch across, marks Hitachi’s second major contract in the music player field. Last October, Dell came out with a music player that contained a 1.8-inch Hitachi drive.
Apple did not state which company is manufacturing the drive for the new iPods, but sources close to Hitachi confirmed it is the Japanese computing giant.
The process of elimination is also fairly straightforward on this issue, because there are only three companies with product plans in this area.Cornice, a start-up that makes a 2GB minidrive that can be found in music players from Digital Networks North America (makers of the Rio line), said it wasn’t involved, and Toshiba, which manufacturers 1.8-inch drives for Apple’s other iPods, won’t come out with a drive in the 1-inch range until late this year.”
In the final part of his Keynote speech today at MWSF Steve Jobs related how the Apple had sold 730,000 iPods and had propelled Apple to over 2 million iPods sold in total. In Oct/Nov Apple had taken 31% of the entire market share of MP3 players, 55% share of revenue and it was now Number 1 in units and revenue.
He announced that the 10GB iPod would be replaced by a 15GB model selling at the same price of $299.
Also Apple has released a pair of In-ear headphones selling at $39 and they are available from today. (These look very similar to the Sony EX71SL’s)
Today Apple launch the second member of the iPod family - the iPod mini. This will have a
4GB HD storage capacity
Hold 1000 songs
0.5 inches thick
Size of a business card
It will use the same award winning interface as its big brother but will feature a new solid state “clickwheel” with function buttons moved under the wheel. The iPod mini Click Wheel gives you the enhanced durability and sensitivity of the iPod Touch Wheel. The Click Wheel takes best advantage of miniscule space and lets you scroll single handedly though your songs. Like its (slightly) bigger brother, iPod mini gives you over 25 minutes of skip protection and lasts up to 8 hours on a single battery charge.
It will use the familiar top controls of the 3G iPod and the Apple docking port on the base. It will come complete with a Firewire and USB cable, belt clip, Dock and armband.
The finish is anodised aluminum and a range of colours will be available -
These new iPods will start to ship in the US in February and Worldwide in April.
MacMinute reports - “Cornice, a company specializing in compact, high capacity storage, today introduced (PDF) the 2GB Cornice Storage Element, a tiny hard drive for use in consumer electronics, portable devices, and possibly the rumored Mini iPods. The company previously offered a 1.5GB drive. ‘The 2GB Storage Element will allow electronics device manufacturers to build new pocket-able products that store more music, video, and pictures, as well as more office productivity files such as presentations and word processing documents.’ The 2GB Storage Element is available to manufacturers for US$70 per unit in quantities of 100,000 per year.”
Several mini iPod concept designs have popped up on the web. Here is a list of links to several.
This is not the new mini iPod
First Look at the new mini iPod
Mini iPod Mockup
Mini iPods (Version 5)
SirGiggle Would Buy This Mini-iPod
Simple idea for miniPod
New iPod Remote with SD Flash Card Sticking Out