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MacBlog: The New iPod mini - is Smaller Better?

“But if you ignore the price issue, there is another question that could make or break the iPod mini: its size. Is smaller better? Are people willing to plunk down $249 (plus tax) for a device that’s small enough to be easily lost or forgotten? A friend recently told me that when shopping for a new cell phone she wanted the largest one she could find, because phones are all so small that they’re easy to misplace.”

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Comments

21

can anyone here actually address the issue?

sucker or no sucker, the iPod mini address the crowd that think the existing iPod is too big, and specifically don’t need to have extra firewire storage. They look at the iPod and the flash players, and think, well I don’t have that many songs, why buy something so big even if it’s “bigger”, and why pay so much? My 500 songs can be managed, so I don’t need iTunes, etc…

This is the target audience: iPod mini is priced to include not just identical functionality, but also identical experience, and in a considerably smaller package. If you’re in the gym jogging, rowing, etc. why bother having 5 Gb of extra capacity that’s not being used? Instead, get something that only holds your music. Jobs was right, in this case. It’s the bifurcation of the iPod: music only, or music + storage.

sucker or no sucker, this is the reason they are paying $249, or $229 for students!!, and you get what you pay for, simple as that.

Put it this way: how much would you pay for a device the size of your pen, but with 2Gb of storage, or 500 songs?

It’s pretty simple, people. What’s all the fuss?

Posted by Michael on January 9, 2004 at 3:04 PM (CST)

22

michael, just want to point out iPod mini can be used as a storage solution same as it’s bigger brothers (via Firewire or USB 2), I think you got mixed up with recording and that photo-d/l accessory-thingy-bob.

Posted by voodoo on January 9, 2004 at 3:27 PM (CST)

23

voodoo is right. there are so many ‘lipstick’ sized players out there which costs much less than this ipod mini. i am amazed that apple thinks that “try as they might, the competition can’t touch this”. i think what apple really means is the competition won’t touch the idea with a barge pole.

the ipod comes in 5 flavors! that’s good if the fascia is actually interchangeable. which company in their right mind would want to put 5 different version of the exact same thing on the market? the only product that has successfully achieve this is the watch company swatch, but there is a big difference between a throw-away watch and an over prized music player (mustn’t forget with solitaire in apple’s favor).

the (big brother) ipod’s success was mainly due to the british product designer, who decided he should make consumers with the slightest taste in design WANT this product as a usable fashion accessory. it looks really good and size is perfect for holding in your palm. the fact that you can put all your family plus your distant relative’s music collection in one handy unit is secondary, and doesn’t have much value as a selling point if you’re not a techno junkie. is there really a need to access all those songs that you’re bored with at a touch of a button?

this mini ipod’s selling points, according to apple are; the 5 flavors (which, personally, i think is a total mistake), the small size (a lot of players are much smaller at a lower cost. and because of the new size it doesn’t have the same perfect-in-the-palm feel that the bigger brother has), the scratch resistant ‘anodized aluminum’ (which anodization process can make aluminum resistant to scratches by keys and coins? is there a lifetime scratch free guarantee that comes with this product) and solitare. i can really see a lot of people wanting this mini ipod.

Posted by kades on January 9, 2004 at 3:34 PM (CST)

24

Five flavors? The original iMac was introduced in 1998 with multiple non-interchangeable colors and sold 6 million units. Not bad.

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on January 9, 2004 at 3:44 PM (CST)

25

I just don’t get it. 

$249 for a gizmo with 4 gigs of storage.

$299 gets me a unit a bit larger, but nearly FOUR TIMES more storage.

The iPod Mini seems to be great for people who are lousy at math.

If you have to have colors. get an Exo skin!

Posted by john on January 9, 2004 at 3:56 PM (CST)

26

you’re right, but can you honestly compare a computer -well designed, fashionable, that can perform a multitude of tasks from the office to the home, to a medium capacity harddrive that can play mp3 files?

Posted by kades on January 9, 2004 at 4:00 PM (CST)

27

John: Or you could spend just $100 more than that ($399) and play your music on a 120GB device - a Dell Dimension desktop. Oh, is that too big for your taste? So, the form factor might have something to do with it, eh?

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on January 9, 2004 at 4:00 PM (CST)

28

kades: Yes, I can. And the sales figures will prove it, too. From what I understand, Apple is literally swamped with orders for the iPod mini - far beyond what they had anticipated.

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on January 9, 2004 at 4:01 PM (CST)

29

john - people are paying for size. 


The more i see photos of the mini, the more I think I’ll get one.  Of course, you can never really tell if you’ll like it until you get it in your hands, but I have a feeling these will be huge. 

I like that they offer them in multiple colors, mainly because apple was almost getting too white crazy. 

I run with my ipod on an armband and while it doesn’t really bother me all that much, you do start to feel its presence after a good 20-30 minutes into the jog.  It would be nice to have something just for running that acutally has a good amount of space on it and I think apple has done a good job making the player people like me will want.

249 for 4 gigs is not expensive at all when you look at the flash based players (let alone a just a flash card!).  I also expect that the price will drop fast a little while after they hit market.  I think Job’s knows that the tech-junkies will be lining up to pay 249, and after sales slow a little, the price will drop to around 199.

Posted by dave on January 9, 2004 at 4:10 PM (CST)

30

Size does matter—clearly that’s the key selling point of this new product. And a teeny 4GB MP3 player is undoubtedly extremely cool.

IMHO The KEY question for mini is the price. Did Apple botch the price point by making it too high? Or is there a fashionista market of well-heeled music lovers? One key market—teens—will steer clear because of the high price.

This is a product for adult music lovers. Apple will grow its market share when it makes a mini at the $100 price point. How about a 500 MB mini iPod for $99? They’d sell zillions of those, and even more people would use iTunes.

Posted by richard on January 9, 2004 at 5:36 PM (CST)

31

Nothing wrong with the form factor…....I think its cool…....But for that price??  You peeps got ripped off!!!!  I don’t care how you justify it…..size…..colors…....cool factor…..IT IS OVERPRICED (period)!!!  Remember what happened to Nokia Engage?

Posted by Shakespear on January 9, 2004 at 7:15 PM (CST)

32

Wow. Shakespear doesn’t seem to like this product (even without having actually seen one in the flesh). It’s a good think Apple isn’t cramming it down his throat.

So, Shakespear, if you feel so strongly about disliking the pricing of the iPod mini, then your best way to express that to Apple is to not buy one.

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on January 9, 2004 at 7:29 PM (CST)

33

This product will sell very well. My girlfriend always loved my 20gig 3g ipod, but once the mini rumors started she was sold. The colors are a winner too, Head over to the forums at vogue.com.au and see the huge stir they are causing. Not every body is a geek so the the idea of 20gig on the move is no more apealing than four. This device is not aimed at the people with huge music collection or that of people who feel the need to carry every thing they own with them.

This product will be compared to the flash players currently on the market not the current ipods.

Posted by Flick on January 10, 2004 at 2:20 AM (CST)

34

Shakespear - here in the UK you can get an N-Gage for free with any mobile phone contract or phone upgrade. They still don’t shift. It’s because they’re crap that noone wants one. A phone that is moderate at games and terrible at phone calls.

Posted by jackson on January 10, 2004 at 4:58 AM (CST)

35

Hey Shakespear, just because it’s overpriced doesn’t mean people don’t want it.  Look at the sales of the iPod so far. 

Also, do you own a Kia or Hyundai?  Or do you own a Toyota, Honda, Acura, BMW, Mercedes, or Porche?  Believe it or not, as little as companies sell $200,000 cars, they still make and good profit.  And people like them and want them.

Posted by Cabbit on January 10, 2004 at 7:47 AM (CST)

36

Forgot to add…

How do people justify buying a $30,000 Camry or Accord when they can buy TRHEE (3) Hyundai’s? 

You want to look good and you get what you pay for.

Posted by Cabbit on January 10, 2004 at 7:49 AM (CST)

37

Really, and why buy a Mac when a PC can be gotten for less money and for faster processor and perhaps more storage? There are other factors beyond the math.

For left brainers, clearly 1+1=2. That why they keep comparing the storage and price.

For others who see beyond that, math isn’t the only part of life. 1+1 can be more than 2. Price/Gb ratio is still not the all important answer.

Posted by Starboard on January 11, 2004 at 5:03 PM (CST)

38

Personally, I think the iPod Mini *is* a tad overpriced, but never mind that.  I’ll be getting one over a regular-sized iPod anyway.  Why?  Because the only other decent MP3 players in that size are flash-based, and I need a decent amount of space without paying through the nose for a big expansion card.  Currently I carry an MP3/CD player around campus, and the size is an extreme pain.  An iPod would be better, but not by much.  I need something that can comfortably fit in a pants pocket, and it looks like the Mini will fit the bill perfectly.

Posted by TxdoHawk on January 11, 2004 at 8:44 PM (CST)

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