The Mac Night Owl asks, “Does a Cheap iPod Make Sense?”

“But the pricing calculations appear to be skewed. Today’s cheapest iPod sells for $299 and carries a 10GB hard drive. Can you really believe that a 4GB version would sell for a third of that price? And if it did, how many folks would still plunk down a lot more cash for the bigger models, unless, of course, Apple added some extra features, such as video display and a color LCD.

Regardless of what Steve Jobs pulls out of his top hat, I am skeptical of a version with flash memory for one simple reason: It’s too expensive. Take a look at the price of, say, a 256MB flash card for your digital camera. I’ve seen retail prices in the $40 range, after rebate, but that’s the low-end. Double that capacity and scale it upward appropriately. So how much do you really expect a full-fledged music player with flash memory of reasonable capacity to cost, especially one as carefully crafted as an iPod?”

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