Merrill Lynch: Look for flash iPod at Macworld Expo | iLounge News


Merrill Lynch: Look for flash iPod at Macworld Expo

Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Milunovich expects Apple to introduce a flash memory-based iPod in early 2005, possibly in January at Macworld Expo. In a research note obtained by iLounge, Milunovich said that he is looking for the new flash iPods to be priced in the $149 to $199 range. He notes that the flash MP3 market is five times the size of the hard drive player market in units and about two times its size in revenue. “This is a market Apple should want to participate in because it will pull new customers into the iPod/iTunes ecosystem,” Milunovich said. “We believe consumers will hesitate to switch once they become accustomed to the iPod’s scrollwheel or have purchased a number of iTunes (which only work on iPods). The land grab is on.”

The analyst also increased his iPod sales estimates from 3.5 million to 4 million units in the current quarter, and from 10.7 million to 12.9 million units in fiscal 2005. “We are raising our iPod estimates since we look for the product line to expand and demand continues to be strong,” Milunovich said. “iPods are being adopted faster than Sony Walkmans were back in the early 1980s. We believe customer response will be heightened by the introduction of a flash memory iPod.”

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Thats cool

Posted by M Bargo on November 29, 2004 at 3:34 PM (CST)


The big question is: “Will the flash-based iPod still have a wheel?  I’m guessing not.  Instead, it will have a “nubbin”, which moves up and down, and pushes in to select.

Posted by Galley on November 30, 2004 at 12:25 AM (CST)


i think theres a very good chance it could actually have a wheel. The ‘nubbin’ is being used everyweher, apple wouldnt do something so silly as to use that.if they do..well, they’re silly.

Posted by Spooky2k on November 30, 2004 at 6:01 AM (CST)


It would be a very good thing to have a wheel.  Thats the thng that most people love about the ipod, and it is patented technology so others can’t copy it.  But, it may be too ungainly for the size of device they want to produce - I’m just guessing 1/2 the size of the mini.

Question is, how will this thing operate with iTunes?  You can’t even come close to getting your whole library on there if it’s a $150 player.  I might design it to only play 1 playlist which is dynamically updated everytime it is docked. 

It will become iTunes bait to draw people into the iTunes experience, but I’d bet 80% of everyone who buys one of these will eventually end up with a 20Gb (or larger iPod) because of the everything/everywhere feature.

The problem with flash based players is you are constantly getting bored with the limited song selection, and Jobs himself has said that when most people buy these they get tired of them and throw them away. 

In reality, few people take the time to manually manage the songs on a flash player.  iTunes can automate that a great deal with smart playlists that rotates your music automatically at every dock.

But if you only have 1 (or few) playlists, do you need a wheel?....


Posted by Flypod on November 30, 2004 at 8:59 AM (CST)


Jobs himself has said that when most people buy these they get tired of them and throw them away.

Oh well if Steve says it then it must be true!

Seriously though, now that Flash memory cards are so cheap, I exp3ect that by next Spring you will be able to get 1GB SD cards for around $50 no rebates, and pay maybe $75 for 2GB after rebate.

So people won’t be stuck with tiny on-board memory capacities. That’s a whole new ball game.

Of course, next year we will begin to see more and more phones taking atfer the Samsung SPH-V5400, offering mp3 playback, wireless headsets, and either flash ram slots of 1-5GB mini drives.

The new multi-function mobiles are the real threat (and opportunity) for Apple. How many times have you had to juggle between your iPod earbuds and your phone to take a call? With an all-in-one device operaqted by a wireless ear clip, people can listen to music as they wish then click on and off to take a call.

I think Apple is probably going to announce something with Motorola regarding an iPod/phone hybrid sometime next year, but Apple’s record of development collaboration with external companies to date does not inspire huge confidence…

Posted by Demosthenes on November 30, 2004 at 12:17 PM (CST)


Greaaat.  So we’ll get 2Gb?  Wowee.  I know that’ll hold my WHOLE library.  You are going to have to deal with just exactly WHAT you want on this flash player - and how you are going to manage it.  iPod makes it simple - I never have to think.  Even with 2Gb (and anything Apple introduces will NOT have that much flash) it’s still a problem.

Might as well just go with 512Mb, keep it cheap.  When people figure out they HATE constantly shifting songs back and forth off the damn thing to keep from getting bored, they’ll get an iPod.

We know that whole phone thing is coming, but let’s face it - it’s going to be more than a year from now before anything like 4Gb of flash is anywhere near affordable….

Posted by Flypod on November 30, 2004 at 10:35 PM (CST)


The good thing about Apple doing a flashplayer is for those people who can’t afford an HD-based iPod but still want the benefits of iTunes.

Granted, I love the fact that I had all my music with me on my iPod, I know lots of people who would go in on the flash since its a bit cheaper. Though if the high end is $200, and you are a student, its only 20 bucks more you can get a Mini…at least here you can.

Posted by spookit on December 10, 2004 at 10:58 AM (CST)

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