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Overall iPod sales surge, iPod photo demand mediocre

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Sales of Apple's flagship iPods are booming in recent weeks, though sources claim the company's recently introduced iPod photo is not such a hot ticket.

According to a recent analysis of shipping data conducted by sources close to AppleInsider, Apple Computer's 20GB and 40GB iPod digital music players have been met with increasing demand in recent weeks.

Of the two offerings, the 20GB player appears to be the most sought after model, with backorders to the company's reseller and distribution channels listing wait times of up to 3 weeks.

On the other hand, the recently introduced 40GB and 60GB iPod photo models appear to be in ample supply, indicating a lesser demand for the higher priced players. Both models are available to ship to all channels within a 24-hour time period.

Data also reveals that iPod mini players are on the verge of scarcity, though Apple appears to have anticipated heightened demand for the blue-colored players. Shipping data indicates slightly better availability of the blue model when compared to the other minis, specifically when customers place orders directly from the company.

Other Apple products in strong demand this holiday buying season include the iMac G5, specifically the 17-inch 1.8GHz model, which is carrying a minimum 1-3 day waiting period, even on direct orders.

An article published in today's edition of The Wall Street Journal also notes that iPods are becoming scarce at retailers around the country. The report says that Amazon.com, Buy.com, and other online retailers are now out of stock and "Apple is contending with what appears to be an immense demand for the gadget."

According to AppleInsider sources, Apple is on pace to sell around 4 million iPods during its holiday fiscal quarter.
post #2 of 62
There is a strong relationship between price and demand - that's going to slow down the iPod Photo for a while. The good news is that it also indicates that an iPod Flash is going to blow out the door big time - even by iPod standards.
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post #3 of 62
People spend $300+ on XD memory for digital cameras.

If Apple were to do the thing that I suggested (and was jeered by the fanboys for *cough*) and put in/make a card reader for the iPod photo that automatically downloads to a library and erases the card, I'm sure they'd sell a lot more.

Think about it: you buy a 128mb XD chip for your camera, and for the price of two 512mb chips you can get 60GB of storage with a preview screen and mp3 player built in!

maybe a zoom/delete feature..

if I were a photographer, I'd get one in a second
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post #4 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
People spend $300+ on XD memory for digital cameras.

If Apple were to do the thing that I suggested (and was jeered by the fanboys for *cough*) and put in/make a card reader for the iPod photo that automatically downloads to a library and erases the card, I'm sure they'd sell a lot more.

Think about it: you buy a 128mb XD chip for your camera, and for the price of two 512mb chips you can get 60GB of storage with a preview screen and mp3 player built in!

maybe a zoom/delete feature..

if I were a photographer, I'd get one in a second

That's a good idea.
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post #5 of 62
That's a good idea, and one I hope you've requested at apple.com/feedback.

But that's not the purpose of the iPod Photo. It's a good idea for a NEW purpose. The iPod Photo is for displaying your library--the modern equivalent of the shoebox or album, which has broad consumer appeal. It's not a photographer's companion or a camera accessory, which would have narrower appeal. But you're right, it COULD be, and it could be done better than Belkin's device does it. It would then serve a new market, which clearly exists.

(Happily, I'm in the Photo's intended market, and bought it for displaying photos. Getting photos off my camera has never been an issue for me--my flash card 200+ photos, far more than I need for the time I spend away from my computer.)

As for the iPod Photo being "not such a hot item"... talk about the glass half empty

So now, when Apple CAN meet demand, we call that a sign of an unsuccessful product? Because being able to meet demand is all the bad news you'll find in this article.
post #6 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
People spend $300+ on XD memory for digital cameras.

If Apple were to do the thing that I suggested (and was jeered by the fanboys for *cough*) and put in/make a card reader for the iPod photo that automatically downloads to a library and erases the card, I'm sure they'd sell a lot more.

Think about it: you buy a 128mb XD chip for your camera, and for the price of two 512mb chips you can get 60GB of storage with a preview screen and mp3 player built in!

maybe a zoom/delete feature..

if I were a photographer, I'd get one in a second

not even.

they need to figure out how to add drivers to the iPod. It should be as simple as plugging the USB cable from your camera to your iPod.
post #7 of 62
Perhaps the 'fanboys' understand the practical and strategic reasons why this isn't going to happen.
post #8 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead

Think about it: you buy a 128mb XD chip for your camera, and for the price of two 512mb chips you can get 60GB of storage with a preview screen and mp3 player built in!

if I were a photographer, I'd get one in a second

My camera runs on CF cards which is good because they seem to be the cheapest compact RAM around. As far as 128MB goes, my Canon can only fit about 60 pics on a 512MB CF card at highest quality (6.3MP RAW) so 128MB would be pretty useless to me (15 pics).

I agree with you Slughead, if the iPod photo was able to pull the pics off my camera and allow me to view the embedded .jpg files buried in the RAW data I'd definitely get one. I hate either being limited to 60 pics or using lower quality settings.

Adding CF import to the iPod Photo would be a big reason to upgrade from my 2G 20GB iPod. Until Apple offers something beyond "It's got a larger HD than last year" I'll be sticking with my 20GB iPod.
post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
That's a good idea, and one I hope you've requested at apple.com/feedback.

But that's not the purpose of the iPod Photo. It's a good idea for a NEW purpose....

Some people always fail to realize that the customer is ultimately the one who decides the purpose, not the manufacturer. If my problem is to transfer pictures from my digital camera and I think, with millions of other customers, that the iPod photo is the answer to that problem, then Apple better get on the bandwagon and deliver the solution I want...
post #10 of 62
The biggest mistake Apple would make with Flash-based iPod would be a to have a built-in memory card without option to upgrade. I hope Apple will not make this mistake. I will buy flash-based iPod if it has the ability to exchange memory cards, pretty much like all digital cameras nowadays (standard chips of course) This way I would be able to buy 2 or more flash chips with 1GB or 2GB of memory and carry them with iPod.

J-23
post #11 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by J-23
The biggest mistake Apple would make with Flash-based iPod would be a to have a built-in memory card without option to upgrade. I hope Apple will not make this mistake. I will buy flash-based iPod if it has the ability to exchange memory cards, pretty much like all digital cameras nowadays (standard chips of course) This way I would be able to buy 2 or more flash chips with 1GB or 2GB of memory and carry them with iPod.

J-23

This usage scenario seems to be outside of Apple's target market. Let's dissect this:

1. Removability is likely add cost and complexity to iPod micro (assuming that it is even real)

2. While the ability to have multiple playlists on different CF cards (that you can also use for other purposes...like the camera) adds complexity to the usage...now you have to plug-in/unplug these cards and synch with iTunes (for each card).

3. Doing what've you've suggested seems to obviate the need for the iPod micro...couldn't you use any digital music player capable of accepting these CF cards (I suppose the Fairplay software MIGHT be on the iPod itself).

4. #3 leads to a question of what Apple can sell you now. Hmmm...this is all getting somewhat complex and unwieldy for what Apple might want.

5. If you want multiple playlists...greater capacity...why not buy a iPod mini?

So compare this to:

iPod micro: Plug In. Sync. Go. You're favorite (200 song) playlist on the go...only $99 (or $149).
post #12 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by vinney57
Perhaps the 'fanboys' understand the practical and strategic reasons why this isn't going to happen.

Yeah, I hear it's always a good strategy to have mediocre sales.
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post #13 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
That's a good idea, and one I hope you've requested at apple.com/feedback.

Of course not, if they fixed it then I'd have nothing to complain about! Sheesh.

OK I'll go there now.

edit: OK I sent it to them. Perhaps it's a product they will offer in january, and just released the iPod photo to satiate people now.

After all, it could be that they were selling so many iPods that they didn't want to have to meet demand for the iPod photo.
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post #14 of 62
Hmmmm, if iPod photos are in such great supply they should send some over here to New Zealand. I told the local Apple store I'd buy one when they came in. Still waiting and being told to expect 3-4 week delays.

Edit: Might be worth mentioning it's only the 60GB models I speak of. I could have had a 40GB one two weeks back if I'd wanted.
post #15 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
Yeah, I hear it's always a good strategy to have mediocre sales.

You are assuming that the "mediocrity" of the sales (and this might be a relative term) of the iPod photo has to do with the missing feature you've talked about. Is this really true? Of course none of us know for sure. Maybe. Perhaps it's that the price is too high. Perhaps its that many people don't really see the use of it at all. Could be that the suggested featuer wouldn't affect sales at all.
post #16 of 62
Yeah, what killed the iPod Photo was the requirement of the computer being the middleman.
post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
Yeah, what killed the iPod Photo was the requirement of the computer being the middleman.

Is it dead? Holy cow! That was fast. Apple only introduced the product 51 days ago...asles are noted as "mediocre". Now it is dead. Whew.
post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
Yeah, what killed the iPod Photo was the requirement of the computer being the middleman.

But isn't that the problem with the iPod too? For that matter, isn't that the problem with Apple's digital hub strategy -- that the computer is the middleman?

Concerning the iPod photo -- it's my understanding that iTunes/iPhoto duplicates your photo library and creates lower resolution files to be displayed on t.v.'s and quickly scrolled through on screen. Until that hurdle is overcome by the processor in an iPod, than the computer will always be the middleman. But, perhaps this brings up another question: what is wrong with Apple's strategy with the computer being the middleman? They are a computer company afterall.
post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
You are assuming that the "mediocrity" of the sales (and this might be a relative term) of the iPod photo has to do with the missing feature you've talked about. Is this really true? Of course none of us know for sure. Maybe. Perhaps it's that the price is too high. Perhaps its that many people don't really see the use of it at all. Could be that the suggested featuer wouldn't affect sales at all.

True. Sorry about that previous remark, it dawns on me that it was unfair.

The demand exists, and I don't know of anything like that which exists already.

Sure, it's a niche market, but if you think about it, the entire ipod photo shtick is niche. I mean, $100 more for the ability to look at photos you've seen before, but on this tiny screen? What functional purpose does that serve that necessitates a 25% higher price??

Yes, sales could be mediocre regardless, but at least with this new feature, people don't need to like music to buy an ipod.
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post #20 of 62
I'm sure they didn't expect to sell 1M iPod Photo's either. I mean, what important features does it have that the regular iPod lacks? None, as far as I can see. It has some cool ones, but nothing that would justify the 25% or whatever it is, price difference.

I think that Apple relased this to create a variety of iPod as to have all the based covered. They did not, and will not as far as I can tell, get a huge demand for this. Its just not that revolutionary to justify its price. Cool, you can look at some pictures and all, but they're not of the highest quality and lets not start on the size.

iPod is meant to be a music player. That's why I bought it, that's why a lot of people (if not all) did. Eventually it may have FM tuners and other goodies, but that does not change its main and prinicipal purpose; music.

I think its cool to have an iPod photo because that shows and gives consumers choice when it comes to iPods. Many will not want that particular product, but thats not because of its fault(s), but because of their specific desires and needs. Others will. That's how a company works; offer as many choices as possible, even if it means that some will not sell as good as others. But they will serve a purpose; marketing. Having a lot of choices and products is what makes a company versatile and rich in innovation and offerings.
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post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
I mean, $100 more for the ability to look at photos you've seen before, but on this tiny screen? What functional purpose does that serve that necessitates a 25% higher price??

I'm not going to be an apologist for iPod photo (though I think its a decent product)...but you can also view pictures/slideshows on a bigger screen too. Minor but, perhaps, important fact.
post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by Gene Clean
Cool, you can look at some pictures and all, but they're not of the highest quality

Not sure what you mean by this. The quality ought to be the same as whatever you've shot. As I understand it, you can have the full quality images on the iPod photo.
post #23 of 62
The actual quality of photos, in terms of resolution and compression may be the same, but the viewing is not of a high quality. I played with them at a local Apple store and from what I saw, the thumbnails are so small that even a person with very good eyes may have difficulty finding the right one.

In light, just like laptop screens, pictures cannot be viewed at all. This is what I've meant.
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post #24 of 62
What did you guys expect with a 2 inch screen. It is small. Showing pics is a nice addition but is it really necessary to carry around 25,000 photos with you? (or 25,000 songs for that matter?).
As indicated in the Appleinsider report, the low capacity iPods are selling just fine, thank you. I don't really think Apple believed the iPod photo would be a runaway best-seller anyway. Because early reports say it is not selling as well as the rest of the iPod line doesn't mean it won't sell eventually, although at the current price it isn't a great buy.
One analyst, and this was widely reported all over the Apple "net", said the iMac G5 wasn't selling a month after it was released. She hasn't been heard from since. I believe it is too early to draw any conclusions as to the final success or lack of success for the iPod photo.

Prediction: 4.95 million iPods will be sold.

Season Greetings everyone. Oops, I'm being politically incorrect - Merry Christmas.
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post #25 of 62
The iPod photo is a solution looking for a problem. I'm not surprised no one is buying the damn thing. $100 for postage stamp pictures???? I want to meet the guy who thought this was a good idea.

With capacities of small HD's being what they are these days, the only thing that will justify purchasing a large capacity iPod of the future is photo/video built-in, and this means making a hybrid mp3 player/camera, and Apple so far has not gone for this. How many people need 80, 100, or more GB's for mp3s? There is a diminishing market above, say, 40 GB HD's in mp3 players, and Apple ought to find a new market to sell into.
post #26 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by Lunchable Food Product
The iPod photo is a solution looking for a problem. I'm not surprised no one is buying the damn thing. $100 for postage stamp pictures???? I want to meet the guy who thought this was a good idea.

Okay...so first...it's not that "no one is buying the damn thing"...it is that sales are "mediocre"...we (none of us) have ANY idea exactly what that means. Could mean they expected to sell 300,000 and they are only selling 200,000. Sheesh.

And second...let's get this straight...you can plug the thing into a TV and show a slide show. So enough already with the "postage stamp pictures" baloney. BTW...when you view the pictures full screen on the iPod, they are about the size of your average wallet-sized snapshot. Goodness already.

Okay...so some (many?) don't think its worth the extra $100. Fine. Don't buy it. But there are some for which it is a suitable product. I'm not sure I agree with the poster that said it is "a solution looking for a problem."


P.S. I wonder how many that are complaining about "postage stamp pictures" are ones begging for an iPod video?
post #27 of 62
I feel until the iPod photo can pull pictures from my CF card it is indeed either a solution looking for a problem, or it's a beta test of the iPod to TV connection.
post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by Lunchable Food Product
The iPod photo is a solution looking for a problem. I'm not surprised no one is buying the damn thing. $100 for postage stamp pictures???? I want to meet the guy who thought this was a good idea.

I doubt I'd buy it for the pictures. But since it's the only was to get the 60GB model, I'll be sorely tempted when I upgrade in a few months. (Yeah, I have a slight music addictions problem. 60 will fit most, not all, of it.)
post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by PBG4 Dude
I feel until the iPod photo can pull pictures from my CF card it is indeed either a solution looking for a problem, or it's a beta test of the iPod to TV connection.


As much as the idea for the iPod becoming a docking station for digital cameras makes sense, I wonder if this feature would really have that much demand. Kind of like radio on the iPod, great for a few, but a bit of a yawn for must-IMHO. I have a 5 megepixel camera, quite typical for consumers Ii believe. I bought a highspeed 1GB CF card for about $70. That card holds enough pictures for most short duration trips. If I'm out longer (e.g. a multiweek vacation), I bring my powerbook to download and play with the pictures in the evenings. If my iPod could hhold pictures, i probably wouldn't use it anyway.
post #30 of 62
I have been thinking a little about the idea of directly connecting the digital camera to the iPod photo for photo downloading.

One of the things that occurs to me is whether or not there are some possibly tricky usability and even technical issues that could affect usability that might need to be resolved for this.

Some observations:

1. When you plug-in the iPod to your computer, it is in state where it must be "ejected" in order to be safely disconnected. How does this operation work with the camera. Will just plugging/unplugging be okay? Are there any potential problems with this? What are they?

2. When I plug my camera into my Mac, and iPhoto takes over, I have at least one option, which is to decide to delete all images from the camera after download. This is merely a convenience...and only an option...the default would be not to do so. How (if at all) would this need to be handled with the direct camera/iPod interface?

I suspect that there are other issues. Perhaps the Belkin device handles all of this kind of stuff. I guess the reason I bring it up, is that there are some folks that are doing the "they should just" thing...and, after thinking about it (admittedly, only a small amount) I can't help but wonder about whether there are some real issues that have prevented Apple from doing this (at least right now).

I develop software for a living, and we run into these kinds of things all the time. The user/customer wants some feature/function...but adding that has ramifications well beyond what they can conceive. It is always asked as "can't you just..." and sometimes the answer is "it's not quite so simple."

Just food for thought.
post #31 of 62
I would want a CF card slot/dongle, not connectivity with my camera. I don't want my camera's batteries to run down while xferring pics to an iPod. As for popularity, there are standalone battery operated HDs that act as 'photo wallets'. Adding this functionality could make the iPod attractive to an even wider audience than it currently commands.

This takes care of ejection issues since you only have to communicate with the RAM card, and you only have to write one driver for each kind of RAM that you make compatible with it (CF, SD, XD, memory stick) as opposed to writing drivers for each family of digital cameras.
post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by PBG4 Dude
I would want a CF card slot/dongle, not connectivity with my camera. I don't want my camera's batteries to run down while xferring pics to an iPod. As for popularity, there are standalone battery operated HDs that act as 'photo wallets'. Adding this functionality could make the iPod attractive to an even wider audience than it currently commands.

that is the wrong way to go about it. stop worrying about your camera battery. having a card slot on the iPod is impractical and opens up too many problems with design and size.
post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by PBG4 Dude
I would want a CF card slot/dongle, not connectivity with my camera. I don't want my camera's batteries to run down while xferring pics to an iPod.

Well, you still have power issues while iPod is transferring from the CF card. This isn't free (power-wise).

Quote:
As for popularity, there are standalone battery operated HDs that act as 'photo wallets'. Adding this functionality could make the iPod attractive to an even wider audience than it currently commands.

It might. It might not.

Second...isn't iPod photo a "photo wallet" already?

And...finally, as applenut said...size...cost...complexity.

iPod is about simplicity.

I don't think we'll ever see an iPod with this feature. I think that is a different product...maybe from Apple, maybe not.
post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Well, you still have power issues while iPod is transferring from the CF card. This isn't free (power-wise).

Correct, but I'd rather run down an accessory's battery than my camera battery.



Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
It might. It might not.

Second...isn't iPod photo a "photo wallet" already?

And...finally, as applenut said...size...cost...complexity.

iPod is about simplicity.

I don't think we'll ever see an iPod with this feature. I think that is a different product...maybe from Apple, maybe not.

The iPod photo is a photo wallet in that it holds videos, but it isn't a photo wallet as other 'photo wallets' on the market. These wallet devices are meant to pull the pics from memory cards so the cards can be emptied and re-used.

Belkin provides a dongle to read from camera cards (albeit rather slowly). I'm sure using a USB 2.0 reader connected to the iPod's USB 2.0 slot would be faster and less expensive compared to Belkin's solution. This way you don't have to worry about CF, SD, XD, etc., card size limiting miniaturization of the iPod. Just connect the dongle to the port on the bottom of the iPod and plug the memory into that.
post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by applenut
that is the wrong way to go about it. stop worrying about your camera battery. having a card slot on the iPod is impractical and opens up too many problems with design and size.

Why shouldn't I worry about the camera battery? My camera can take about 450 pics on a single battery charge. Why would I want to cut into the max. amount of pics I can take before I get back to a power source?

It might be impractical depending on how your imagination pictures it in your mind. I'm sure the engineering dept. at Apple could design a solution that no one here would ever think of and at the same time seem so amazingly obvious everyone will be like "Why didn't I think of that?"

Just because you can't think of an elegant solution doesn't mean no one can.
post #36 of 62
Ideally, it wouldnt be plugging the card reader in. It would be plugging the camera in.

I do believe there is a standard protocol most cameras have for transferring files and that's how Apple supports them all in OS X. I'm sure there are exceptions of course. But, I think the only elegant solution would be to be able to plug your camera in and just have them download.
post #37 of 62
Tehehehe - Apple really cant sell this one -

Sorry to dissapoint folks, but music doesn't sound any better whatsoever just becuase u can look a pretty colour screen at the same time.

Eyes and Ears where born seperated. Lets keep them that way shall we?

As for iPOD sales, well - duh - in a word. However, I'm surprised that more people aren't going for the sex appeal of the mini of the masss, and frequesntly unused, storage space of the larger and less sexy iPods.

My $00.02AUD
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I DONT trust your haircut.

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post #38 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by pyriX
Tehehehe - Apple really cant sell this one

Well...so...okay...this doesn't appear to be true. Sorry.
post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by applenut
Ideally, it wouldnt be plugging the card reader in. It would be plugging the camera in.

I do believe there is a standard protocol most cameras have for transferring files and that's how Apple supports them all in OS X. I'm sure there are exceptions of course. But, I think the only elegant solution would be to be able to plug your camera in and just have them download.

Not really "elegant" once you consider the powerdraw from a USB camera, the processing required to negotiate that connection (which the ipod might not yet be capable of), and the fact that having a USB port on the iPod (or a dongle) would get people demanding Apple put in support for keyboards, mice, and everything else under the sun.

I think a better solution would be to make a multi-medium card reader that attaches to the iPod, or a cradle that you put the iPod into with the card reader built in.

This way you have room for a couple AA batteries and the dongle/cradle would be doing most of the work so the iPod would not have to be upgraded.

Not only that but cameras are usually much slower than dedicated card readers.

edit: the best would be, if they did this dongle they might get mobile ipod 2 ipod syncing
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post #40 of 62
Quote:
I think a better solution would be to make a multi-medium card reader that attaches to the iPod, or a cradle that you put the iPod into with the card reader built in.

This way you have room for a couple AA batteries and the dongle/cradle would be doing most of the work so the iPod would not have to be upgraded.

There already is such a "dongle". It's made by Belkin and is called the Media Reader for iPod.
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