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iPod mini features 4GB Hitachi drive

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2004
News Categories: iPod mini

“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.”

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Comments

1

The 4 gb hitachi drives sell for a retail price of 499US pr drive, so 249 for the iPod mini seems like a gret deal.

Posted by sparks9 on January 7, 2004 at 9:24 AM (PDT)

2

I’n not sure it makes the mini a great deal, but certainly explains the pricing of the unit.  my guess is that Apple buys these for about 1/3 of retail so that with other costs, they are probably making the mini for around $175-200…so the profit is not huge at $249.  time will tell as to whether the consumers will bite for a smaller form factor at this price.

i think the $150 rumors came from the assumption that they would use the 2 gb Cornice drive which presumably, in bulk would cost even less than $70 for each drive.

my question is: is this microdrive technology less skip resistant than the 1.8” hard drives used in the standard ipod?

Posted by Derek on January 7, 2004 at 9:53 AM (PDT)

3

I don’t think that that drive itself provides the skip resistance. I’m sure there is come sort of buffer on the unit itself that is facilitating the skip protection.

Posted by derby on January 7, 2004 at 1:20 PM (PDT)

4

actually, the rumors (which were sub 100, not 150) started before the cornice drives were announced… someone just pulled it out of their bum and people jumped on, I’d guess.

And no, the drives don’t have much buffer, only 2 megs IIRC; the ipod itself has… I don’t recall if it was 32 megs or 64 megs, but it’s teh same for either model, so it only spins to load the buffer and won’t skip while it’s playing from the buffer.

Posted by JC on January 7, 2004 at 2:05 PM (PDT)

5

Does anyone know of any higher capacity 1 inch hard drives by Hitachi or anyone other company?  I’m curious because I’d like to know if it is likely or even possible for Apple, in the near future, to release a higher capacity iPod mini.

Posted by SNYder in PA, USA on January 7, 2004 at 8:41 PM (PDT)

6

No, 4GB is the highest capacity microdrive.

But people are working on drives in this area alot… so expect them to grow to 5-8 GB in the next year or longer.

Also, slightly larger and smaller drives will come out as well….

Posted by DonGalt on January 8, 2004 at 12:42 AM (PDT)

7

With the armband, does the mini skip during exercises? Weight lifting and running included?

Posted by Fernando on February 28, 2004 at 9:37 AM (PDT)

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