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Briefly: Black iPod nano sales trail the pack

post #1 of 54
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When it comes to digital music players, consumers are expressing a reluctance to bite at Apple's "black tax," which has thus far translated into slow sales of the company's $249 black iPod nano.

For the most part, shoppers have been unwilling to plunk down the extra $50 for the black-colored player, which boasts 8 Gigabytes (GB) of storage capacity but is otherwise identical in functionality to a multi-colored array of 4GB models that sell for just $199.

Based on a series of checks, Apple's most popular second-generation iPod nano is its $199 silver 4GB model, followed closely by the similarly colored 2GB player at $149. Next in line at the checkout counters are $199 blue and green 4GB nanos, which consumers are pocketing at a comparable rate.

Apple's $199 pink 4GB iPod nano is the least popular candy-colored model, while sales of the 8GB black player trail all other second-generation iPod nano models. The subdued demand for the high-end nano suggests most customers are willing to forgo the black-color and extra 4GB of space in order to save $50 on iPods that don't sport video capabilities.

It's unclear where the (PRODUCT) RED iPod nanos fall into the mix, as the players are relatively new and sold exclusively by Apple (and select Wal-Mart retail stores). However, early indications are that demand for the 4GB model has been robust, with some Apple retail stores facing issues in keeping the players on the shelves.

Citing an "off the charts" response to $199 player, Apple earlier this month added an 8GB model, of which AppleInsider is still seeking sales data.

Apple donates $10 from the sale of each (PRODUCT) RED iPod nano to the Global Fund to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.
post #2 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

plunk down the extra $50 for the black-colored player, which boasts 8 Gigabytes (GB) of storage capacity but is otherwise identical a multi-colored array 4GB models that sell for just $199.

What a ridiculous thing to say. $50 to double the capacity of something hardly seems like a minor detail. Otherwise the same? Are you kidding? This is poor reporting/writing at best, and at worst an insult to those of us who evaluate things from a less emotional perspective.

Even if it was white, double capacity is still double capacity, and easily justifies the extra $50.

This review is worthless.
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post #3 of 54
Silver is the most popular color, first in the 2GB and then in the 4GB. Seems to me they should offer that color in the 8GB--clearly many consumers think that color best coordinates with their clothes, lifestyle, gadget fetishes, whatever. Perhaps then, people would be convinced to shell out the extra $50 (I agree that DOUBLING the capacity for such a small amount is pretty great, although the video ipod's at the same price offer so much more for what is STILL a very compact, elegant form factor).
post #4 of 54
guest you are being rude. What they are saying is that if black was available in the 4gb model there would be no "black tax". So if you want or would prefer black you have to pay 50$ extra. The capacity is not being compared in this article. Of course some see better value in the 8gb model, the same goes for the 4gb, and 2gb model. Value for money is a subjective measure most apply to their purchase decisions. What is value for money for you may not be for me.
post #5 of 54
I agree with guest. The premise of the article is rediculous. It's not a "black tax", it's a "4 GB more (i.e. double your capacity) tax".

$50 for 4 more GB seems pretty reasonable to me.
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post #6 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by KailuaBoy

Silver is the most popular color, first in the 2GB

The 2 GB comes only in silver.
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post #7 of 54
Whichever, it is definitely something about the color black. The Macbooks are the same thing. They bump the HD up 40G and charge $200 more for the black.
post #8 of 54
I just bought the 8GB black nano two days ago- it's awesome. I don't think you could call it a black tax unless you're getting the same 4GB model in black for an extra $50.

The 8GB nano is beyotchin.
post #9 of 54
I can't imagine the black nano being popular with females. Most of the girls I know that picked up minis and the new nano opted for bright colors like green, blue and pink. If Apple released black in 4GB and the other colors in 8GB, then I think the 8GBs would be more popular.
post #10 of 54
It's probably not as much a "black tax" so much as it is:

"Hum. For an extra $50, I can get either 4 GB more, or 26 GB more."

In addition to 26 GB, it would also buy you a bigger product (has pluses and minuses) and a product which is HDD-based so there's potential damage to moving parts to worry about.

But the potential purchaser, if (s)he is even aware of the moving parts argument, would likely end up unable to help but fixate on the price similarity between 8 GB and 30 GB units. It may leave said potential purchaser involuntarily (and possibly unconsciously) questioning whether the 8 GB model is really such a great buy, or whether they can actually get by on the cheaper 4 GB alternative. The question of colour may not have even entered into the equation yet.

I have never played through the whole 4 GB capacity first generation Nano in one sitting; I don't really know if the 8 GB model would be justified in my case.

If storage capacity is my primary concern (eg. road trip) and battery life can be taken care of by other means (eg. cigarette lighter adapter), then I would opt for my 30 GB 5G iPod over an 8GB Nano anyways.
post #11 of 54
Seeing as most reports calculate that apple is paying about $20 per gig of memory in the machines, that would say that it is costing them $80 more to produce the 8 gig over the 4 gig model. That means that their profit margins are lower when someone buys the top line model.

yeah, they still make money, but if they turn a higher profit with the customer spending less money, why would the make more offerings for them to spend more?
post #12 of 54
For me, it's the psychological barrier. Extra storage, video capability aside, I just couldn't go over $200 for a music player.
post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne

Whichever, it is definitely something about the color black. The Macbooks are the same thing. They bump the HD up 40G and charge $200 more for the black.

The situation with the MacBook is different. It is possible to configure a white and black MacBook identically, and then you discover that you are paying $50 more just for the colour black.

However, the only way to get an 8 GB nano is to buy a black one. Are you saying that $50 is too much for 4 GB extra (when 4 GB costs you $199) what would be a reasonable price increase for 4 more GB?
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post #14 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjojade

Seeing as most reports calculate that apple is paying about $20 per gig of memory in the machines, that would say that it is costing them $80 more to produce the 8 gig over the 4 gig model. That means that their profit margins are lower when someone buys the top line model.

yeah, they still make money, but if they turn a higher profit with the customer spending less money, why would the make more offerings for them to spend more?

i have a(n) HDD ipod, and i'd drop $250 in a heartbeat for a nano if they weren't trying to force me to buy a black one. as others have said, there are times when you want the extended battery life and shock resistance of a flash-based player. but to tell me that i have less choice in colors when i'm buying your top-of-the-line player? no thanks.

if this trend continues, i suspect that apple will either offer the 8GB in colors or (if they read the signs wrong) just discontinue it. if it's the former i'll be in line for one. if it's the latter, i'll wait to see how far the prices drop as it's end-of-lifed. it's not that it'd be more attractive at that point...it's just that i'd only buy it in black if i was completely convinced it was the only way i'd get an 8GB flash player.

btw, i'm not that guest...he just happened to have a very poorly-chosen password.
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post #15 of 54
I have a 4GB 1gen nano - white and I am waiting for an 8GB Nano in Silver. That's why I haven't bought one yet.
post #16 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by guest

but to tell me that i have less choice in colors when i'm buying your top-of-the-line player? no thanks.

I think that's the real problem. I understand the decision in terms of trying to keep inventory down, but it would be better just to invest in better inventory-management. They should have all the colours (including black) available at 8 GB, and the current options at the other sizes.
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post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H

The situation with the MacBook is different. It is possible to configure a white and black MacBook identically, and then you discover that you are paying $50 more just for the colour black.

However, the only way to get an 8 GB nano is to buy a black one. Are you saying that $50 is too much for 4 GB extra (when 4 GB costs you $199) what would be a reasonable price increase for 4 more GB?

No, I think that is reasonable. My point is that there is something special about the color black with Apple. What if I really like black, but don't want the extra 4GB? What if I really like white and I DO want the extra 4GB?

But then again, what if I can only afford a 2GB Nano, then I have to get a SILVER one?????
post #18 of 54
My girlfriend's 1gen 4GB mini went out about a month ago. She went in to buy a new nano, looked at the price points and said "why wouldn't I buy a 30GB video for the same price? I get a ton more storage space and many more functions". To her it was a no-brainer. I'm guessing a good number of people feel the same way and as a result the Black Nano is suffering for it
post #19 of 54
I agree that it's not a "black tax" it's paying more for more capacity. And with the 8gig the same price as the 30, I can see why it's not selling as well. But as long as people are buying either the 4 or the 30, I don't see any reason Apple should care if the 8 sells or not - they just need to have it as an available option, whether it sells or not.
post #20 of 54
There will be certain cost and supply constraints with some components, processes and manufacturing runs. Apple marketing uses these constraints as an opportunity to fuck with your mind. Keeps things interesting. Unfortunately it also encourages complete non-news nonsense like this.
post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by skavon

My girlfriend's 1gen 4GB mini went out about a month ago. She went in to buy a new nano, looked at the price points and said "why wouldn't I buy a 30GB video for the same price? I get a ton more storage space and many more functions". To her it was a no-brainer. I'm guessing a good number of people feel the same way and as a result the Black Nano is suffering for it

Size? Weight? Battery life?

Nanos are nanos, flash vs HDD.

I have nothing againist your gf's decision, but her reasoning as they say economics, false informational deduction. Which is, the decision may be good or bad, but economically right as long as information has been properly compared.

I'm sure she's not the first, but, you could have corrected her, and then let her think it over. (That's what a good rep is suppose to do at stores)
post #22 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuku

Size? Weight? Battery life?

Nanos are nanos, flash vs HDD.

I have nothing againist your gf's decision, but her reasoning as they say economics, false informational deduction. Which is, the decision may be good or bad, but economically right as long as information has been properly compared.

I'm sure she's not the first, but, you could have corrected her, and then let her think it over. (That's what a good rep is suppose to do at stores)


well, she was aware of the differences (sorry, I didn't really explain that originally), but the ability to put much more music, photos, etc on her iPod, and FOR THE SAME PRICE, far outweighed any consideration in regards to (what she considered) a rather small difference in weight, size (she knew it was larger but still small in her opinion). She wasn't concerned in regards to the Flash vs HDD.

Of course I realize that everyone is different and has a different perspective on what they think is important, but it still seems silly to me to have the Black Nano and the 30gbVid the same price
post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by skavon

well, she was aware of the differences (sorry, I didn't really explain that originally), but the ability to put much more music, photos, etc on her iPod, and FOR THE SAME PRICE, far outweighed any consideration in regards to (what she considered) a rather small difference in weight, size (she knew it was larger but still small in her opinion). She wasn't concerned in regards to the Flash vs HDD.

Of course I realize that everyone is different and has a different perspective on what they think is important, but it still seems silly to me to have the Black Nano and the 30gbVid the same price

Actually it may be smart. doubling flash for $50 isn't really that healthy of a product. By moving it into the video range, you can suitibly curb demand to the more profitiable 4gig sections.

Or you steer them into the vipod market. It's all good as long as it's apple, so why not try to profit a little more from it.

Then if you're smart, like say amazon, you bundle it, because consumers can't choose one and get both ipod and nano.

Apple is probably watching it closely, as all they need to do is make less 8gig, and not have it overstock.

Personally I can't decide because 24hr battery life and the weight class is very important for me, but I like my big library.
post #24 of 54
What most commenters here have forgotten is that black was the in color before Apple reintroduced the other colors. The black 30GB and 80GB still outsell the white ones (at the same price) by a huge margin (check it out at Amazon). So the 8GB in black was intended to be a premium color.

What has happened is either people are:
a. going for cheaper (i.e., for Xmas gifts),
b. in choosing the 30GB over the 8GB for the same money, going for video and storage over size, or
c. going for the new colors since black is becoming less unique (the cool and new factor), and especially if someone already has a black 1GB or 2GB nano.

In any case, Amazon still shows relatively good sales for the black 8GB.
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post #25 of 54
If you want Apple to make 8GB model in other colours too, use the feedback. That's what I did. It's like voting
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post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by guest

i have a(n) HDD ipod, and i'd drop $250 in a heartbeat for a nano if they weren't trying to force me to buy a black one.

There's a red one too. I really don't think an 8GB nano is really necessary though. It's also pretty unusual for Apple to have product lines overlap like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H

I think that's the real problem. I understand the decision in terms of trying to keep inventory down, but it would be better just to invest in better inventory-management. They should have all the colours (including black) available at 8 GB, and the current options at the other sizes.

The margins on the 8GB are smaller than the 2GB and 4GB models, so I think the limited number of color choices makes sense.
post #27 of 54
This depends on your POV....

- If your focus is obtaining a black Nano then you DO have to pay a $50 premium.
-
If you want a Nano and the most storage for your money then you have to purchase the Black or (RED).
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post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by skavon

well, she was aware of the differences (sorry, I didn't really explain that originally), but the ability to put much more music, photos, etc on her iPod, and FOR THE SAME PRICE, far outweighed any consideration in regards to (what she considered) a rather small difference in weight, size (she knew it was larger but still small in her opinion). She wasn't concerned in regards to the Flash vs HDD.

Of course I realize that everyone is different and has a different perspective on what they think is important, but it still seems silly to me to have the Black Nano and the 30gbVid the same price

It's not silly because they aren't really even the same type of product. If you want the best durability, the flash iPods are more durable. Running with an HDD in operation is very hard on them, or if you accidentally drop it when the drive is seeking, it's asking for problems. I'm not sure why size and weight wouldn't be a consideration, I don't mind the nano, but I'm not walking around with something as distracting as the regular iPod in my pockets for hours at a time.
post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by furious_

guest you are being rude.

If you considered the article as insulting to one's intelligence, he was just giving back what he received...
Quote:
Originally Posted by furious_

So if you want or would prefer black you have to pay 50$ extra.

Seen like this, there is also a blue, green and pink tax. If I want these colours I have to pay $50 more than I would pay for silver...
post #30 of 54
Exactly. I wanted a nano because I like to do exercise, like a lightweight small iPod, and my 3g iPod's HDD went tits up. I knew all the benefits of the larger player, and even though I have a massive library realised that I only regularly listen to a fraction of that. I still however wanted the most storage possible for the form factor. As such I chose the 8GB nano, (black was the colour I'd have chosen anyway, probably) and am happy with my purchase.
post #31 of 54
What I don't get is this: the 8GB Nano is the exact same price as a 30GB iPod.

Yes, some people will want/need the form-factor of a Nano, but wouldn't most people - if, as people here are saying, they decide using value for money proposition - go for the extra 22GB?

Yes, I understand that they are different products, yes, I understand that some people will NEED/WANT the Nano form factor - that's not at issue here... the value proposition arguement is at issue.
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post #32 of 54
I know for me - the 8 GB Nano was exactly what I was waiting for Apple to release...I've got a 40GB $th Gen, and don't feel the need to replace that until there is a full screen HDD...but, the 8GB Nano was exactly what I looking for to replace my Mini

for many people, myself included, they are totally different products - the HDD for long trips, long car rides, hooking up to my stereo,...the Nano for day-to-day use, working out, wearing around the appartment
post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

When it comes to digital music players, consumers are expressing a reluctance to bite at Apple's "black tax," which has thus far translated into slow sales of the company's $249 black iPod nano.

For the most part, shoppers have been unwilling to plunk down the extra $50 for the black-colored player, which boasts 8 Gigabytes (GB) of storage capacity but is otherwise identical in functionality to a multi-colored array 4GB models that sell for just $199.

Based on a series of checks, Apple's most popular second-generation iPod nano is its $199 silver 4GB model, followed closely by the similarly colored 2GB player at $149. Next in line at the checkout counters are $199 blue and green 4GB nanos, which consumers are pocketing at a comparable rate.

Apple's $199 pink 4GB iPod nano is the least popular candy-colored model, while sales of the 8GB black player trail all other second-generation iPod nano models. The subdued demand for the high-end nano suggests most customers are willing to forgo the black-color and extra 4GB of space in order to save $50 on iPods that don't sport video capabilities.

It's unclear where the (PRODUCT) RED iPod nanos fall into the mix, as the players are relatively new and sold exclusively by Apple (and select Wal-Mart retail stores). However, early indications are that demand for the 4GB model has been robust, with some Apple retail stores facing issues in keeping the players on the shelves.

Citing an "off the charts" response to $199 player, Apple earlier this month added an 8GB model, of which AppleInsider is still seeking sales data.

Apple donates $10 from the sale of each (PRODUCT) RED iPod nano to the Global Fund to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Well in New Zealand where I live the black Nano and the 30GB iPod video cost the same. Now which would you buy? Me, I'm like Tim the toolman and want "More power...!"
post #34 of 54
Frankly, I thought they just threw it out for the negative nellies out there and non-thinking analysts/journalists who would've started out a sentence with ... "But if you want the largest flash drive, you have to buy a SanDisk" (never mind it's weight or its no ipod/itunes UI) if anything, I think it falls into line with Apple' expectations otherwise the 8 Gb would have all 5 colors.

This was just a 'yea-whatever' product with just 1 color to save on inventory and like adding RED, if it sells well, it would've been easy to add colors - always better than to subtract.

So not only does it dagger Sandisk, it helps to sell the 30GB video ipod because a lot of people will think - for a few ounces more and only $50 bucks, I get video + games, etc ... so it makes the 30GB ipod look better for many people ...

The facts are that the bulk of DAP/ipod buyers are pretty content and find it hard to fill 2GB or 4GB, let alone 8GB (it's not me, I could fill 6 80GB ipods ... I'm no Lagerfeld though) ... :-)

but the bottom line - those guys at this Apple company - no dummies they :-)
post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbelkin

The facts are that the bulk of DAP/ipod buyers are pretty content and find it hard to fill 2GB or 4GB, let alone 8GB (it's not me, I could fill 6 80GB ipods ... I'm no Lagerfeld though) ... :-)

I can fill up an 80, but with iTunes' Smart Playlists, I don't need to. I just have it keep track of the play count of all tracks, and anything on the iPod that's been played gets replaced with an unplayed track.
post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by deckard

What I don't get is this: the 8GB Nano is the exact same price as a 30GB iPod.

Yes, some people will want/need the form-factor of a Nano, but wouldn't most people - if, as people here are saying, they decide using value for money proposition - go for the extra 22GB?

Yes, I understand that they are different products, yes, I understand that some people will NEED/WANT the Nano form factor - that's not at issue here... the value proposition arguement is at issue.

Flawed argument and somewhat american. While it is true that we tend to think the "most bang for a buck" It is also true that that can also be a problem.

Take cars local vs foreign. Big gas burning muscle car's were king, why the japanese small ones were taken as stupid. But as time went around, we saw a shift. The advantages of small, gas saving, compact cars began to be felt.
post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by guest

What a ridiculous thing to say. $50 to double the capacity of something hardly seems like a minor detail. Otherwise the same? Are you kidding? This is poor reporting/writing at best, and at worst an insult to those of us who evaluate things from a less emotional perspective.

Even if it was white, double capacity is still double capacity, and easily justifies the extra $50.

This review is worthless.

The issue is that the price bumps up very closely against a 30gb video iPod. The math is very simple. $50 for 4GB extra and black, 8gb total, ............or............ 30gb video iPod white OR black.

Bingo bango --- you can get BLACK video iPod for same price as black iPod 8gb.

The article had some useful sales data on iPod nanos in general especially colour differences.
post #38 of 54
Apple is trying to charge a premium on a colour (BLACK nano), which unfortunately is also available with no premium when you look at features (ipod video BLACK). Assuming smarter consumers buying the iPods around the $250USD range compared to those at $50-$200USD range, the "trailing the pack" of the black nanos is not surprising, but interesting to note. Apple will learn from this, which is great.

We do not have information on profit margins though so sifting through that data, when/where available, may be more useful.
post #39 of 54
I think the nano is most interesting in 2-4 GB. At 8 GB I feel like I'm half way to a full size iPod, but I still can't play games or video. But still I think just $50 extra for double the capacity is very generous. It's a good bargain... the black MacBook though is just pure evil. I don't understand the strategy. Don't they want to sell black MacBooks?
post #40 of 54
The problem is that the 8GB black nano is priced the same as the 30GB iPod with Video, so for the same money you get a lot more.

There's not enough differentiation between the 4GB and 8GB nano's, since there's not a whole lot you can do with 8 that you can't do with 4GB in a player. The added functionality of the larger iPod would polarize sales between "I want small/light" (nano) and "I want features" (iPod).

I still don't understand the thinking behind the 8GB black nano. The PRODUCT (RED) nanos make sense, however - you're donating to charity, as well as getting an "exclusive" colored pod (and they look SWEET!). There's enough in that (exclusive color + charity) to differentiate an 8GB RED nano from a 30GB larger iPod as it's no longer "small/light" vs. "features", but "small/light/charity/color" vs. "features"

This article is off, however, as there's no "black tax" on the nano - it's just a different product. You're not paying more just for the color.
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