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Report: 2GB and 4GB iPod shuffles in the works

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Apple Computer plans to introduce a 2GB iPod shuffle in June and a 4GB version two months later, according to an overseas report.

Samsung Electronics and Toshiba are aggressively planning to ramp up their output of 8Gbit NAND flash chips in preparation for the new Apple-branded players, says the report by DigiTimes.

It should be noted that DigiTimes has been consistently inaccurate in their predictions of future and unannounced Apple products.

Still, the overseas publication which closely monitors Apple's component suppliers and hardware manufacturers in the far east, may be on to something.

AppleInsider sources believe Apple is destine to use at least one of these chips for a future digital music player that will debut in the next month or so.

Rumors of a new iPod using 2GB flash memory have been steady over the past two months. Whether these new players will debut as an iPod shuffle -- in its current form and design -- is a totally different subject.

The most reliable rumors suggest the new breed of flash-based iPods, due this spring, will contain a display screen.
post #2 of 48
I hope it sells better than the 1GB model sells now.
post #3 of 48
I said it before and I'll say it again...the whole beauty behind iPod is the user interface and it's ability to access hundreds/thousands of songs quickly and easily.

The iPod Shuffle does not do that. It does serve a purpose for those who simply just want to hear music randomly...but for all intensive purposes...it's not much different than any other MP3 flash player.

I'd love to see a 2gb iPod (perhaps flatter but wider than a shuffle) with click wheel and display. Price it at the current 1 GB Shuffle price and you've got a winner.
post #4 of 48
I just don't see it happening. It's already takes forever to fill up the 512mb. It would take like an hour to fill up a 4gb.
post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by satchmo
but for all intensive purposes

Must... resist... urge... to... nitpick.... AAAAAAHHH!

It's intents and purposes, not intensive!

**Pant** **Wheeze** I'm just too weak...
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post #6 of 48
people are lso liking the display screen that the minis have and such.... so they might sell a lil better b/c they have more space, but it might not encourage people w/out that display screen, but who knows.. we'll see what happens when it come out
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post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
I hope it sells better than the 1GB model sells now.

I think it's probably a positive that the 1GB model does not sell as well; from what I've heard (probably from reading AI articles), Apple Store employees upsell those looking at a 1GB shuffle to a 4GB mini, which has better margins (I think). I would also think that Apple might stand to benefit more from sales of the mini through accessories (of which there seem to be more for the mini).

In any case, I wonder what would happen to the mini, if 2GB and 4GB models came out. As it stands now, I think Apple's lineup is just about "perfect," but Apple will have to be vigilant in guarding against cannibalization of higher-margin products.
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post #8 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Wormwood
Must... resist... urge... to... nitpick.... AAAAAAHHH!

It's intents and purposes, not intensive!

**Pant** **Wheeze** I'm just too weak...

Maybe it's a Canadian thing!
post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Dirk
In any case, I wonder what would happen to the mini, if 2GB and 4GB models came out. As it stands now, I think Apple's lineup is just about "perfect," but Apple will have to be vigilant in guarding against cannibalization of higher-margin products.

What's the point of higher-capacity shuffles? Without a screen, they become harder to deal with. With a screen, they become bulkier. Either way, they run right into the price point of the mini, which is an all-around better device (screen, support for remote, HFS+ Hard disk support, support for many third-party add-ons, AIFF and AppleLossless support).

The only worthwhile thinking of 2 and 4GB mem cards would be to use them in the mini instead of the hard-disk, cuts the weight, meybe reduce the size a little (or more space for larger battery!). Now that would be something.

But a lousy 2GB screenless MP3 player. Pointless and a bad deal comparitively.
post #10 of 48
It will be interesting to see what Apple does ... they'll have to walk a fine line as they don't want to take away sales of the 4GB mini. A 2GB sounds interesting but one has to speculate on the price.

Possible prices that I anticipate:

512MB $89
1GB $129
2GB $169
4GB $199
6GB $249

Price a 2GB a bit closer in price to the 4 GB so people are most likely to spend more ... my thinking is as follows ... if you price the 2GB closer to the 4GB's price of $199 shoppers will think it's a better to deal to spend either $169 or $199 for the additional capacity than the $129 for the 1GB. This will bring in more revenue for the bottom line and it's likely that the higer priced models have a higher margain. Then phase out the 1 Gb over time.

Just my 2 cents
post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
I hope it sells better than the 1GB model sells now.

http://www.macobserver.com/article/2005/05/04.4.shtml

The shuffle has 58% market share in flash players, and (from what I have seen) the 1GB model sells better than the 512MB model.
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post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
What's the point of higher-capacity shuffles? Without a screen, they become harder to deal with. With a screen, they become bulkier. Either way, they run right into the price point of the mini, which is an all-around better device (screen, support for remote, HFS+ Hard disk support, support for many third-party add-ons, AIFF and AppleLossless support).

The only worthwhile thinking of 2 and 4GB mem cards would be to use them in the mini instead of the hard-disk, cuts the weight, meybe reduce the size a little (or more space for larger battery!). Now that would be something.

But a lousy 2GB screenless MP3 player. Pointless and a bad deal comparitively.

A flash disk rather than a hard drive could improve the battery life in the mini - the actual size must be very close to the golden ratio because the mini is beautiful.
post #13 of 48
As time progresses and prices change, perhaps the cost of flash memory will be cheaper than the cost of the micro hard drives. At that point, perhaps the iPod mini will no longer use a HD inside and could switch to flash memory.

With 4+ GB you easily want a screen, so I find it hard to believe that anyone would make a 4 GB iPod shuffle -- at least with the shuffle's current design. Also, if the iPod mini is the current best seller, all the more reason to focus on improving it. Switching to flash memory could make it lighter and greatly extend battery life.

Personally... I want my cake and to eat it too. I have way more music than I can fit on my iPod mini (rev a) and as we start storing and playing back photos and videos, I can only need more storage space! I guess I'd want 40 GB, a color screen, and the mini form factor. The normal size iPod is good, but I don't like that the high-end model is thicker.
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post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
Personally... I want my cake and to eat it too. I have way more music than I can fit on my iPod mini (rev a) and as we start storing and playing back photos and videos, I can only need more storage space! I guess I'd want 40 GB, a color screen, and the mini form factor. The normal size iPod is good, but I don't like that the high-end model is thicker.

Oo, I want one of those - iPod mini sized and a 40Gb drive. Oh well, not any time soon.

Anyway, my opinion for a sweet lineup (maybe not this year) is more somewhere along these lines;

1Gb iPod shuffle - same price as current 512Mb price
or
1Gb and 2Gb shuffle, larger than just now, with screen

4Gb / 6GB / 8Gb iPod mini flash - Smaller than current mini, with screen, scroll-wheel

Basically, eventually, the mini will move to flash, be smaller thicker and lighter than currently, but still have a scroll wheel. I don't see Apple having a shuffle, a mini, and something in between, so either the shuffle will grow and get a screen, or we will keep the shuffle as it is, and get a smaller mini.
post #15 of 48
Yeah, I'd love a mini-mini using a 4Gb flash chip. Keep the Shuffles in their current sizes, drop the HD mini and replace 'em with a smaller, lighter flash iPod mini.

I knew it was a good idea to hold off buying a new iPod until WWDC.
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Kesh
Yeah, I'd love a mini-mini using a 4Gb flash chip. Keep the Shuffles in their current sizes, drop the HD mini and replace 'em with a smaller, lighter flash iPod mini.

I knew it was a good idea to hold off buying a new iPod until WWDC.

Don't expect new iPods at WWDC. A developer's conference would be the worst place to introduce them. We're getting new PowerMacs at WWDC, but the iPods will be a 'special' event.
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
Don't expect new iPods at WWDC. A developer's conference would be the worst place to introduce them. We're getting new PowerMacs at WWDC, but the iPods will be a 'special' event.

Don't think we'll see flash minis this year at all, maybe a 5th gen later in the summer though.
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by satchmo
I said it before and I'll say it again...the whole beauty behind iPod is the user interface and it's ability to access hundreds/thousands of songs quickly and easily.

The iPod Shuffle does not do that. It does serve a purpose for those who simply just want to hear music randomly...but for all intensive purposes...it's not much different than any other MP3 flash player.

I'd love to see a 2gb iPod (perhaps flatter but wider than a shuffle) with click wheel and display. Price it at the current 1 GB Shuffle price and you've got a winner.

But the point of the iPod shuffle is that it is small. If you added a click wheel and display it would be almost the same as the mini, and would almost completely destroy the purpose of it. It would be too bulky for running and other activities that it is perfect for now. I also don't see any reason that giving you more storage space is bad. The more music you have, the more you can listen to and the more variety you get. You don't need a screen if you always use shuffle, which is the point of the iPod shuffle. You could still listen to your music exactly the same, you would just have more variety. It would also be a much bigger flash drive for transferring files.
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post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
Personally... I want my cake and to eat it too. I have way more music than I can fit on my iPod mini (rev a) and as we start storing and playing back photos and videos, I can only need more storage space! I guess I'd want 40 GB, a color screen, and the mini form factor. The normal size iPod is good, but I don't like that the high-end model is thicker.

The mini is really the PowerBook of the range - it just needs the colour screen. It's thinner, lighter and sexier - also brushed metal rather than plastic and metal (iBook's anyone?) Although I think Apple need to change the background colour on the colour screen to something other than white - make use of that colour.
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
Don't expect new iPods at WWDC. A developer's conference would be the worst place to introduce them. We're getting new PowerMacs at WWDC, but the iPods will be a 'special' event.

They just updated the PowerMacs recently, though. I doubt we'll see anything like that at WWDC. Speed-bumped iBooks are likely (though not Keynote worthy), and I'd expect some new/altered product to show up. But new PMs I doubt.
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by eekles77
But the point of the iPod shuffle is that it is small. If you added a click wheel and display it would be almost the same as the mini, and would almost completely destroy the purpose of it. It would be too bulky for running and other activities that it is perfect for now. I also don't see any reason that giving you more storage space is bad. The more music you have, the more you can listen to and the more variety you get. You don't need a screen if you always use shuffle, which is the point of the iPod shuffle. You could still listen to your music exactly the same, you would just have more variety. It would also be a much bigger flash drive for transferring files.

Which is why I said the Shuffle serves that purpose. If you don't care to access a particular song.

But one can still make it small and have a display. Sony and countless others have done so...and some even have a FM tuner.

Of course I'd expect Apple would do a much better job at it. And it's certainly not as if Apple can't do it...it's just that they won't do it.
post #22 of 48
I envision the new iPod shuffle as... a device with the iPod mini's popular form factor but instead of the hard drive they fill it up with flash-memory so it's probably slimmer. However, I already own an iPod mini and it's hard to think things could slim down even more.
post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
http://www.macobserver.com/article/2005/05/04.4.shtml

The shuffle has 58% market share in flash players, and (from what I have seen) the 1GB model sells better than the 512MB model.

Not true. The 1GB sales slowed down appreciably. The 512 model outsells it by a good margin.
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by bdkennedy1
I just don't see it happening. It's already takes forever to fill up the 512mb. It would take like an hour to fill up a 4gb.

try using the USB2 port on your computer. That might help u a lot...
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post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Not true. The 1GB sales slowed down appreciably. The 512 model outsells it by a good margin.

How do you know?
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post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
How do you know?

The various tracking services have stated so. The analysts have also mentioned it.
post #27 of 48
I think what Apple may do is discontinue the 512MB shuffle model and offer up the 1GB model for $99. A 2GB model would then be $149. mini would be untouched.
post #28 of 48
As an owner of a 512MB Shuffle (my first Apple product purchase in fact), I have to say that it is exactly what I was looking for as a university student on a tight budget - light, small, ultra-portable, decent amount of storage (about 6 hours of music with 192k MP3 encoding), and very economical.

Longer term, I would probably like to buy a higher capacity iPod, but they were out of my price range (since I have to dilligently "donate" nearly all of my extra cashflow to the university...).
post #29 of 48
I would love to see a thin Mini...
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post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by FireEmblemPride
I think what Apple may do is discontinue the 512MB shuffle model and offer up the 1GB model for $99. A 2GB model would then be $149. mini would be untouched.

I'd hope they still offered the 512 MB model at a reduced price: $70 for 512 MB or $100 for 1 GB.

Getting people using iPods generally gets them locked in to keep using iTunes and iPod. For this reason, a super low-cost option is a great idea. Plus its one more way for potential switchers to try out Apple products at a very approachable price point.
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post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by New
try using the USB2 port on your computer. That might help u a lot...

You're assuming he has a USB 2.0 port. Given that it takes so long, I'd say his ports are USB 1.1, like my Powerbook. Which is one reason I haven't bought a shuffle.
post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Atomic Media Fonts
I would love to see a thin Mini...

Any thinner and it would cut your hand!

I am not someone who wants a Shuffle necessarily...I don't jog or workout and I like to change genres and playlists too much. It would be like having a Nokia cellphone Shuffle: "You can call people randomly or in alphabetical order!"

I also agree with others that it makes no sense to have 4GB of songs that you can't search or change playlists. I'd like to be able to at least choose humorous music, traveling music, podcasts and classical music in a small form factor. So some kind of gui would be nice. The 4 GB of mobile memory for files though, is something to think about! I have a feeling the Shuffle is just a stop-gap and will need to evolve abit.

As for the other iPods, I hope the rumors of increasing the numbers of formats and the possibility of streaming Apple lossless to stereos from the iPods are true.
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post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by bdkennedy1
I just don't see it happening. It's already takes forever to fill up the 512mb. It would take like an hour to fill up a 4gb.

Which computer do you have? Do ypu have pci slots, or is it closed? If you have slots, get a USB2 board for $15. Any one will work.
post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Kesh
You're assuming he has a USB 2.0 port. Given that it takes so long, I'd say his ports are USB 1.1, like my Powerbook. Which is one reason I haven't bought a shuffle.

I figured he was filling his shuffle from his keyboard, which is a pretty normal mistake. If you don't have usb2, then buying a shuffle is pretty dumb.
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post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by New
If you don't have usb2, then buying a shuffle is pretty dumb.

Depends how you use it. I only have USB, but what I have done is create a small playlist of 5 star songs. At the moment I have 175 songs in this playlist out of a possible 3033. This means when I reshuffle my shuffle I typically only have about 20-40 songs being swapped over.

When I have a bit more time I might add a few more to this playlist or create a few alternate shuffle playlists to suit my needs, but managed correctly a shuffle can be used on old skool technology.

I also a 30 gigger which has sat unused in my drawer for over two months. Who wooda thunk it?
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post #36 of 48
I have USB 2.0 and my shuffle fills up very slowly - a DivX movie took about 20 mins to copy and it was 700MB!
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
I have USB 2.0 and my shuffle fills up very slowly - a DivX movie took about 20 mins to copy and it was 700MB!

and your sure your using the usb2 port? because some new macs, like the imac, have both usb1 & usb2 ports that look and are placed simmilar.
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post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
I have USB 2.0 and my shuffle fills up very slowly - a DivX movie took about 20 mins to copy and it was 700MB!

The new iPod shuffle video
- the easiest way to enjoy your worst downloaded movies
- No Sound, No image
- 512 Mb for short to medium POS movies
- 1 Gb for full length prime time failure

8)
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by New
and your sure your using the usb2 port? because some new macs, like the imac, have both usb1 & usb2 ports that look and are placed simmilar.

There might not be anything wrong at all.

Don't forget that USB 2 can be much slower than Firewire. I've measured as much as a 40% slowdown when switching to USB 2. It's very dependent on the speed of the buss and cpu, whereas Firewire is not dependant on cpu speed, and has little dependance upon buss speed.
post #40 of 48
Is there no way to convert the USB 2.0 input on the shuffle to a firewire one?

Most apple computers that don't have USB 2.0 still have firewire.
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