Apple has slightly reconfigured its iPod family - you may or may not have heard it already. Being the proud owner of my second (or is it the third?) regular iPod and - only recently - of an iPod shuffle, I will admit of some concern, and that is as an Apple shareholder.
The shuffle is the only iPod I ever use nowadays - random rules! It's tiny, light, practical, and the 12+ hours of music & power the 1GB contains is more than enough to get me halfway around the globe - and then I never travel without the Powerbook anyways, so if I get bored, off goes the pod into the USB port to get its dual filling (fresh music & power). I don't really care about the regular's display or additional capacity because both aspects are better taken care of in the PB. And crucially, there's one less cable. You know my gut dislike towards cables.

So, where's the concern you may wonder? Well - the shuffle is considerably cheaper, even compared to the mini. So, unless it sells in disproportionately higher numbers, it will eat into the revenue from its heavier siblings. But then, maybe there's enough non-Mac owner buyers out there to make up for the relative loss?


Joel said...

I'm not sure. If someone wants a small MP3 player, they've probably already got one as that product's been around for a few years. If they want a large capacity MP3 player, they've probably already got an iPod or (dare I say it) an iRiver.

I think there is sufficient product difference between the daddy iPod - all your music - and baby iPod - little! random! - that the two are not competing against each other.

With iPods well beyond early adopter territory, Apple needs to think about how to get the suckers to keep spending money with them, hence mini-Mac. And the iShuffle, which is going to sell well with who already have a regular iPod. Look at you, for example (oh, and probably me when I get to the States...)

Chris said...

Daddy & baby iPod? The marketing people over in Cupertino will love you!

You are certainly right to use my example. What I was trying to say however is that it wouldn't cut the other way round, i.e. given the choice of the two models today, I would definitely go for the shuffle and leave daddy alone.

Talking of daddies, babies and such: What does that make the mini?? I can just feel a Joy of Tech cartoon coming up ...

Joel said...

I have a little hangover so wasn't thinking clearly! I think what I meant was that the two players have significantly different features and benefits. Daddy=comprehensive, baby=compact.

We'll have to see what the market decides... it was at least a wise idea to wait a couple of years before launching the shuffle.

OT, you'll be pleased to hear that a good friend of mine is thinking of buying a mini-Mac as his first Apple computer. He already has an iPod. The strategy's working.

Chris said...

Alright, I still haven't made myself entirely clear - despite of what you say about sufficient product differentiation (which is certainly true on the surface), I think that the shuffle in combination with a Mac laptop makes the other more expensive members of the family obsolete, because that apparent differentiation doesn't really count.

What's OT - other topic? At any rate, I am definitely pleased to hear that! Unfortunately, a good friend of mine has (temporarily ?) decided against the mini in favour of an extensive travel budget ... ;-)

Vivifier said...

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