Apple to unveil low-cost iPod?

By on December 29, 2003, 1:46 AM
When Apple Computer Inc. chief executive Steve Jobs takes the stage at MacWorld next month, analysts expect him to unveil smaller, cheaper iPods and hope he will detail the company's strategy to move into the digital living room.

The lower-end iPods, which are expected to carry a price tag of about $100 and will hold 400 to 800 songs, are a necessary answer to the bevy of MP3 digital music players now on the market that cost $100 or less, analysts said. Current iPods prices range from $299 to $499 and store 2,500 ton 10,000 songs.

Read more: [URL=http://msnbc.msn.com/Default.aspx?id=3802749&p1=0]MSNBC[/URL].




User Comments: 38

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Masque said:
And as long as there's competition out there, the prices will keep dropping. I wouldn't be surprised to start seeing them for <$50 within the year. :grinthumb
StormBringer said:
Since cost has been the big factor that has kept many people from buying an iPod, this is likely to be a very good move.With the already huge success of iTunes, cheaper iPods will likely make the service even more successful.
Didou said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by StormBringer [/i]Since cost has been the big factor that has kept many people from buying an iPod, this is likely to be a very good move.With the already huge success of iTunes, cheaper iPods will likely make the service even more successful. [/quote]Wouldn't it be the other way around though ? Since it seems they're not really making a big profit of iTunes.This version of the iPod is probably just the same as before with a much smaller HDD ( probably around 5GB or so ) which is I believe what was be the most expensive part in the player.
StormBringer said:
Well, my point wasn't about the profit of iTunes but its popularity. I don't think iTunes is designed to make much profit anyway, from everything I've read about it anyway. Though the new cheaper player will likely boost sales of songs even more and make the service even more popular than it already is. I'm sure some will still be reluctant because of the DRM or just because they despise Apple, but thats just the nature of things.
poertner_1274 said:
I think this is a great idea for Apple. I mean honestly, when are you going to need to listen to all 2500 or 10000 songs at a time? I mean seriously, that is just insane.I'm sure by selling this cheaper less capacity iPod they will still make a killing, as the iPod is a very recognizable thing in the portable music industry, and if they can get down to a decent cost and average size I'm sure it will be a HUGE hit.And if they make the price less, I think they will make less money on each individual iPod sold, but I'm sure they will sell a helluva lot more of them.
Masque said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by StormBringer [/i]Though the new cheaper player will likely boost sales of songs even more and make the service even more popular than it already is. [/quote] Once again....supply and demand. If they can get the fan base, they MAY be able to renegotiate with the Recording Industry (yecch!) and start pulling a little better profit. They as well as their competition still need to prove viability of the product.
Federelli said:
I think that the mp3 ammount--price relation is fair enough, don't you?
Masque said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by Federelli [/i]I think that the mp3 ammount--price relation is fair enough, don't you? [/quote] I think it's fair from our end, but we don't know the contracted prices between the vendor and suppliers. There is always room for negotiation there. It's kinda like a rookie quarterback renegotiating his contract after a banner year.
ak_in_charge said:
I think the price range complies well with the number of songs you can put on the new ipod. Apple had to do something to keep there name in the market when it comes to mp3's..I think this is a smart move for them...Only time will tell.
StormBringer said:
If they would now address the battery issue(since the life of the player is limitted to that of the battery which cannot be replaced) then it would look even better to those who are reluctant to buy one. I think the battery issue may be an even bigger concern for many than that of the cost of the larger capacity unit.
---agissi--- said:
I recon that was a really good move. My friend instead of getting an iPod, he got a Creative 20GB Zen for $200. The iPod was/is like twice that. I recon that will without a doubt increase sales.[quote]If they would now address the battery issue(since the life of the player is limitted to that of the battery which cannot be replaced) then it would look even better to those who are reluctant to buy one. I think the battery issue may be an even bigger concern for many than that of the cost of the larger capacity unit[/quote]They'll fix an issue like this probably in "iPod 2", which will run for $400, while this first iPod will be a lot less.
MaskedBurrito said:
Damn, finally. Talk about overpriced. I'll buy one for 100$ though. It better look just as nice though.....
tripleione said:
I was thinking about getting the iPod but at the current price for the cheapest one ($299) I decided against it. However, if Apple decides to unveil a iPod with a price tag of $100 or less, I will definately be snatching one up. Hopefully the only change lowering the cost will be the capacity, not functionality.
Vehementi said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by poertner_1274 [/i]I think this is a great idea for Apple. I mean honestly, when are you going to need to listen to all 2500 or 10000 songs at a time? I mean seriously, that is just insane.I'm sure by selling this cheaper less capacity iPod they will still make a killing, as the iPod is a very recognizable thing in the portable music industry, and if they can get down to a decent cost and average size I'm sure it will be a HUGE hit.And if they make the price less, I think they will make less money on each individual iPod sold, but I'm sure they will sell a helluva lot more of them. [/quote] I completely agree. 500 songs on my Winamp playlist seems like alot, I could listen to all of it straight for more than a day, not even repeating any of the songs. But five times that many? There are audiophiles who do listen to that many songs and love them all, and the original iPod was designed for them, not the average end user (such as me, who has 500 songs he listens to on a daily basis). Apple should have come out with the $100 iPod a long time ago, probably since they first came out. For people like me, not mass produce a product designed for the enthusiast.
tripleione said:
Heh. I guess Apple concluded that most users don't have a collection of 2500 MP3s. :D Like I said before, I've been wanting to get one but the price just keeps me away. If Apple really does begin marketing $100 versions of these iPods, I think their iPod sales will begin dramatically increasing.
p05ta1 said:
I guess the main reason that would keep people from buying it is lack of space. I have a dlink 32meg mp3 player but it is pointless. One album on a player with no way to change to another unless you are at a pc. They only way to sell these is lower the currant ipods to the 100$ price not make a useless product.
chuonthis said:
I don't think the iPod battery life is that big of a problem. It's rated at 10 hours. I'm sure replaceable rechargeable AA batteries might be more attractive but the battery life probably wouldn't be as high.Also, another less subtle way for Apple to make money is by selling iPod accessories. The current iPods come with USB 2.0 support but you only get a firewire cable with the iPod so you gotta go out and buy a $30 USB cable if your computer doesn't have firewire support. That's already +30% to the cost of the cheaper iPods. Then people are gonna want a carrying case to protect their investment...and the cheaper iPods don't have a dock or an inline remote control and those are about $30 each.
StormBringer said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by chuonthis [/i]I don't think the iPod battery life is that big of a problem. It's rated at 10 hours. I'm sure replaceable rechargeable AA batteries might be more attractive but the battery life probably wouldn't be as high.[/quote] I was actuaslly refering to the fact that once the battery wears out and will no longer hold a charge(this eventually happens to all batteries regardless of the type) then your unit is useless. With a replacable battery, it would make the unit last much longer. Some people may not mind replacing things every couple of years, but some of us like to use things well beyond the life one component that could have been easily made replacable.
tripleione said:
StormBringer, I don't quite understand what you are saying about the batteries...Are you saying that the batteries that come with the iPod are the only ones that you can use with it, and that once they die, they can't be replaced? How does one use the iPod after the batteries in it die?
StormBringer said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by tripleione [/i]StormBringer, I don't quite understand what you are saying about the batteries...Are you saying that the batteries that come with the iPod are the only ones that you can use with it, and that once they die, they can't be replaced? How does one use the iPod after the batteries in it die? [/quote] The battery cannot be replaced, it is "built in" so to speak, once the battery will no longer hold a charge, the device is useless.
BrownPaper said:
supposedly, the cost to have Apple replace the battery is really expensive so people decide to go and buy the next iPod. i am guessing that the battery is too sexy to be readily replaced by the consumer just like how the "sexy" iPod is so expensive.
poertner_1274 said:
I just heard somehwere yesterday that you can get it replaced for $90USD, and have it professionally done, or $80USD and do it yourself.Oh yeah it was on TechTV, but I am still a little skeptical. The whole battery issue is VERY important, because who wants to buy something that can't be replaced?
tripleione said:
No kidding! I wasn't aware the battery wasn't even able to be replaced by the user.Man... I was really wanting to get one of these, but if I can't replace the battery when it runs out of charge, I think I'll keep holding off.
Masque said:
I know we've become a disposable society, but give me a break! That is WAYYY to much money to hand to the junk collector. Sheesh!
shnig said:
I got me a zen 60GB. its savage I wouldnt touch an ipod. 8 hours battery life (zen has 14) pah my zen laughs at it with its suppiorior audio fidelity.
SNGX1275 said:
Man, seems like I'm late to the show here :)Yeh, its definately a good idea to drop the cost and storage of the iPod, my sister just got one and I'm debating telling my parents (who bought it for her as a 'Santa' present) about this new one. Probably shouldn't tell them :)I have a 64 meg mp3 player that runs on flash memory and 2 triple As, I can buy an expansion card to bump that up, which I probably will do once I start running or biking more, and that will do me just fine for the capacity - I don't need thousands of songs to listen to at once, fire me up about 3 cds or so and I'm happy.
shnig said:
I love flash based mp3 players my old one was a brillent intel pocket concert but it only held like 128megs :(
Vehementi said:
Well it would take a long time for the iPod battery to not hold a charge anymore. We're not talking you have it for a month then it doesn't work anymore. I don't know alot about batteries, but of course the stock one would last a few years.
SNGX1275 said:
18 months according to the link in the thread in meeting spot.What is the battery type? I know NiCads aren't going to last real long if you continually charge them when they still have a charge. Basically you want to run them dead - then fully charge them.
JawaSnack said:
I have also heard that the batteries crap out in the ipod and can't be replaced by the end user!! I also heard that Apple has now decided that they will replace the battery for around $100.00 if your battery does die on you! (that's still way too much for a battery)As for the cost of MP3's on i-tunes, $1.00 a song is WAAAYYYYYY too much money. I look at it like this: the average cd you might buy at a retail store holds 15+ songs and costs around $12.99-$13.99, if wanted to get the whole album off i-tunes then it's MORE expensive from the start!!This needs to be a cheaper (MUCH cheaper) alternative to buying the cd from a retail store. It needs to be $0.25 per song before I'm going to jump on the i-tunes bandwagon. some people may think that's not enough, but if an artist has a hit song and say just 1 million people buy it for .25 cents = $250,000.00 Thats a lot of money! plus, most artist have more than just one hit song per album.i'm done ranting for now...........
chuonthis said:
Actually, some of the albums on iTunes cost $9.99 if you buy the whole album at once. And also, if it cost 25 cents a song, Apple would probably be losing a lot of money because of the royalties it has to pay to the RIAA and the processing fees from the credit card companies. Then they actually wouldn't be able to charge your card until you bought 2 songs cuz most of the time, the minimum you have to spend to use your card is 50 cents.
Vehementi said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by JawaSnack [/i]This needs to be a cheaper (MUCH cheaper) alternative to buying the cd from a retail store. It needs to be $0.25 per song before I'm going to jump on the i-tunes bandwagon. some people may think that's not enough, but if an artist has a hit song and say just 1 million people buy it for .25 cents = $250,000.00 Thats a lot of money! plus, most artist have more than just one hit song per album.i'm done ranting for now........... [/quote] Granted that is a lot of money, but it's not enough for 90% of the artists out there today who want to produce the least amount and quality of music for the most amount of money.
xtrmn8r said:
the batteries used in the i-pod are lithium-ion batteries, nothing like nicad batteries. the best way to ensure the longetivity of them is to try to keep them as fully charged as possible, rather than running them down.i always thought what sngx1275 said was true, you need to run them down and fully charge them, but this is only true with nicad batteries. i regularly use a nimh battery pack without discharging it, and it has lasted for well over a year without building up a noticeable memory. at the end of the day it all comes down to how the person uses it, if its kept as full of charge as possible the battery will last for a long time, but if it is run out regularly then the life of the battery will be shorter.
somekid007 said:
id be the first in line at futureshop to buy one if they ever come out.
Vehementi said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by somekid007 [/i]id be the first in line at futureshop to buy one if they ever come out. [/quote] I would buy a $100 iPod as well, but not now as I have a perfectly functional MP3 CD player.
Godataloss said:
If they come out with a 5 gig player for anywhere near $100 it will be a huge hit. I will buy 4- one for the car, my computer, my stereo and my girlfriend. There is no player on the market at that price with even 512mb of memory that I am aware of.
xtrmn8r said:
considering 10gb is still about triple that then i doubt they will be able to produce a 5gb one for around $100. i was wondering wether it was going to be another hdd or flash memory, as the cheaper ones are usually flash memory.i think for $100 512mb would be very reasonable, 256 built in and another 256 on a card, or some other form of removable media.anyway i dont think its possible for them to screw it up, its stil got the i-pod name so people will still buy it!
SNGX1275 said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by xtrmn8r [/i]i always thought what sngx1275 said was true, you need to run them down and fully charge them, but this is only true with nicad batteries. i regularly use a nimh battery pack without discharging it, and it has lasted for well over a year without building up a noticeable memory. [/quote] Good to know - I didn't mean to imply (if I did) that thats how the Ipod batteries worked - I was just stating thats how it works for NiCads and was wondering about other types.
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