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iPod classic: the last hurrah for HDD-based iPods?

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 
The latest incarnation of the classic iPod appears to be a stopgap measure targeted solely at consumers who make extensive use of storage capacity, but at the same time may signal the beginning of the end for hard disk drive (HDD) iPods, based on inferences derived from a recent report by iSuppli Corp.

Echoing sentiments first outlined in AppleInsider's review of the iPod Classic, the market intelligence firm believes the player's days may be numbered, as sales of the Classic are expected to begin their slow and inevitable decline beginning sometime next year.

"Apple’s continuation of the iPod model without adding new features suggests a stopgap measure necessitated by lack of time to develop an HDD-based touch iPod," said consumer electronics Chris Crotty.

Still, the Cupertino-based firm has seemingly managed to squeeze additional gross margin from the new Classic line when compared to last year's offerings, despite its uncharacteristic backward-looking approach to the player.

The new iPod classic carries a Bill of Materials (BOM) of $127 for the 80Gbyte version, and about $190 for the 160Gbyte model, according to iSuppli’s teardown of the players. This includes estimated costs of $78 for the 80Gbyte HDD in the low-end classic and $140 for the 160Gbyte HDD in the high-end model. That means the new 80Gbyte model sports a BOM that is 11.2 percent lower than that of the company's 30Gbyte model ($143) released last year.

However, the Classic’s dated features suggest stopgap measures that are likely to limit the product’s longevity and success in the market, iSuppli believes. The firm tentatively forecasts that iPod Classic shipments will start with a bang this holiday, rising to about 3.1 million units in 2007. However, growth will likely slow markedly after that, with shipments rising by only 12.9 percent to reach 3.5 million in 2008.



In contrast, combined shipments of the new NAND flash memory-based iPod nano and touch models are expected to amount to 26 million units in 2007, rising to nearly 40 million units in 2008 -- a 52 percent increase. iSuppli believes Apple will continue to take advantage of the 50 to 60 percent annual reductions in flash memory pricing to maintain or decrease its production costs, while doubling its players’ storage capacity every year with the solid-state storage technology as the HDD iPod slowly fades into the distance.
post #2 of 83
I've been buying CD's for about a zillion years now and have amassed an enormous collection of relatively useless plastic. With the 160 GB iPod Classic I have been able to move almost all of that library onto a cigarette pack-sized device and clear my shelves of what is clearly a media anachronism.

My Point: Until Apple can deliver a flash drive device with THAT kind of storage capacity--at an affordable cost--I'll keep my Classic, OK?
post #3 of 83
As an owner of a 160gb, I don't know why they want to kill it off. I love having 160gb. FINALLY an iPod that can store enough video and music to where i CAN SYNC when I want to. Unless they can break 100gb with Flash, I don't see why the hd based players would be replaced. MAYBE they can break 100gb in a year, but I doubt it. Not because of technology but because of costs. We'll see.

 

 

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post #4 of 83
I don't think you guys are reporting this quote right at all. It doesn't say anything about getting rid of HDD based iPods, rather it refers to the fact that they didn't have enough time to roll the Touch interface into the HDD form factor.

Don't think for a second that high volume storage is going anywhere. Apple has every intention of pushing storage levels that drive video, lossless audio, and high count music libraries.
post #5 of 83
Flash devices also do have a limited number of times data can be written to it, that limit is far less than hard disks, I'm all for having the option, there is no reason they can't develop both.
post #6 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColeSQ View Post

I don't think you guys are reporting this quote right at all. It doesn't say anything about getting rid of HDD based iPods, rather it refers to the fact that they didn't have enough time to roll the Touch interface into the HDD form factor.

Read it again, it totally does.

"signals the beginning of the end for hard disk drive (HDD)-based iPods"

"the media player line may be the last from Apple to employ the venerable HDD technology for storage"

This doesn't surprise me at all, I've been saying all along that the Classic is just a stopgap product intended to keep an increasingly smaller group happy until they finally switch entirely to flash based models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

Flash devices also do have a limited number of times data can be written to it, that limit is far less than hard disks

Do you have a source on that? Looking online, it looks like flash devices have a limit, but it seems extremely high, with normal use much higher than the average person would be able to wear it out. With no moving parts, even with that limit, it still seems like it would be much more reliable than a HD based unit.
post #7 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Read it again, it totally does.

"signals the beginning of the end for hard disk drive (HDD)-based iPods"

"the media player line may be the last from Apple to employ the venerable HDD technology for storage"

No, the iSuppli quote does NOT. Read the iSuppli quote again:

"Apple’s continuation of the iPod model without adding new features suggests a stopgap measure necessitated by lack of time to develop an HDD-based touch iPod" does not translate into "here comes the end of the HDD iPod - period".

You're reading an article written by AppleInsider which uses this quote from iSuppli as its entire supporting basis. Though there's much less at stake here, this is the rough equivalent of taking the statement "Iraq is developing a nuclear capability" and giving a speech stating that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

Don't mean to come down hard, the average person doesn't read the actual quote used as the basis for a news article we kinda deserve what's brought on by just assuming that because anyone has a web site we should just read and believe.

AI, as time has gone by you guys have done a fantastic job of moving more toward consistently solid, fact-based reporting but you're really reaching here. It might make more sense to rewrite this article and change it to "Next HDD iPod Highly Likely To Add Touch Interface".

Oh, and hate to get cocky but if anyone wants to place a bet with me that this will in fact be the last HDD iPod, I'll take that bet. I need three 320GB iPods for my cars and will buy them when they come out with the proceeds from all takers... ;-)
post #8 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColeSQ View Post

I don't think you guys are reporting this quote right at all. It doesn't say anything about getting rid of HDD based iPods, rather it refers to the fact that they didn't have enough time to roll the Touch interface into the HDD form factor.

Don't think for a second that high volume storage is going anywhere. Apple has every intention of pushing storage levels that drive video, lossless audio, and high count music libraries.

------
El Segundo, Calif., Oct. 11, 2007Apple Inc.s new iPods typically are forward-looking products that push the envelope in terms of functionality and electronic design.
However, with the iPod classic, Apple has taken a backward-looking approach to Personal Media Player (PMP) functionality and technology, according to research from iSuppli Corp.s Teardown Analysis service.

While the rest of the iPod line has migrated to solid-state flash memory, the new iPod classic continues to employ venerable Hard-Disk Drive (HDD) technology for storage. Furthermore, the iPod classic lacks some of the other advanced features found in the other new iPods, namely wireless capability and a touch screen.

On the inside, the classics design is essentially the same as the existing flagship iPod, with a few changes in parts and component suppliers.

This allows Apple to offer the product at a lower price and with more storage capacity than the existing iPod, while maintaining a healthy margin. However, the classics dated features suggest stopgap measures that are likely to limit the products longevity and success in the market, iSuppli believes.
------
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post #9 of 83
Cole, you're right, I misunderstood your point.

If that's all the source said, it does seem more like they're saying a HD version of the touch could be coming. What they say doesn't imply that they're dumping HD at all, it seems like AI is jumping to conclusions unrelated to their comments.
post #10 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

------
El Segundo, Calif., Oct. 11, 2007Apple Inc.s new iPods typically are forward-looking products that push the envelope in terms of functionality and electronic design.
However, with the iPod classic, Apple has taken a backward-looking approach to Personal Media Player (PMP) functionality and technology, according to research from iSuppli Corp.s Teardown Analysis service.

While the rest of the iPod line has migrated to solid-state flash memory, the new iPod classic continues to employ venerable Hard-Disk Drive (HDD) technology for storage. Furthermore, the iPod classic lacks some of the other advanced features found in the other new iPods, namely wireless capability and a touch screen.

On the inside, the classics design is essentially the same as the existing flagship iPod, with a few changes in parts and component suppliers.

This allows Apple to offer the product at a lower price and with more storage capacity than the existing iPod, while maintaining a healthy margin. However, the classics dated features suggest stopgap measures that are likely to limit the products longevity and success in the market, iSuppli believes.
------


So what does this have to do with hard drives being removed from the iPod lineup?

- Continued use of same parts/functionality? CHECK
- Need for advanced features like wireless and a touch screen? CHECK
- Need for a product refresh to keep the product selling? CHECK
- Acknowlegment that the storage employed is a hard disk drive? CHECK
- Statement that iSuppli believes hard drives will not be employed in the future? STILL MISSING

I see what I think you're trying to convey, Kasper, which is that they must be doing away with hard drives because they're acknowledging that everything else in the box is getting long in the tooth, but it still seems like quite a reach to take your source to mean that this is the last HDD-based iPod we'll see. People have been saying that for two years, but those people haven't been considering how increasing demands for mobile video storage - and Apple's desire to make sure they're positioned to accomodate larger video libraries just as they have done for audio and photo libraries - will drive the storage component of the market just as it did before it accommodated 90% of us finally.

BTW, does this mean you're in on my bet? ;-)
post #11 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

------
El Segundo, Calif., Oct. 11, 2007Apple Inc.s new iPods typically are forward-looking products that push the envelope in terms of functionality and electronic design.
However, with the iPod classic, Apple has taken a backward-looking approach to Personal Media Player (PMP) functionality and technology, according to research from iSuppli Corp.s Teardown Analysis service.

While the rest of the iPod line has migrated to solid-state flash memory, the new iPod classic continues to employ venerable Hard-Disk Drive (HDD) technology for storage. Furthermore, the iPod classic lacks some of the other advanced features found in the other new iPods, namely wireless capability and a touch screen.

On the inside, the classics design is essentially the same as the existing flagship iPod, with a few changes in parts and component suppliers.

This allows Apple to offer the product at a lower price and with more storage capacity than the existing iPod, while maintaining a healthy margin. However, the classics dated features suggest stopgap measures that are likely to limit the products longevity and success in the market, iSuppli believes.
------

The full article is here:
http://www.isuppli.com/news/default.asp?id=8546

It doesn't say anything about Apple dumping HD's, just that the classic probably won't be a huge seller and won't be around that long. It looks like the "no more HD" conclusion is something AI came up with on their own, unrelated to the article.
post #12 of 83
It sure would be interesting to see an HDD touch this time next year when so many claimed it was impossible (battery life constraints, etc.).
post #13 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

The full article is here:
http://www.isuppli.com/news/default.asp?id=8546

It doesn't say anything about Apple dumping HD's, just that the classic probably won't be a huge seller and won't be around that long. It looks like the "no more HD" conclusion is something AI came up with on their own, unrelated to the article.

I'm with you totally. It seems there's no way they'd support that interface anyway, just on continued development costs against diminishing returns. The cool part of all this is there's likely a group of people at Apple that know exactly how long they can milk the "Classic Cow" before they have the HDD designs from R&D to production. Based on history and share, it looks like we'll see the last of Classic right after the holidays so they can get one last bang from the investment and follow it up with HDD iPod buyer's remorse by springtime!
post #14 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

The full article is here:
http://www.isuppli.com/news/default.asp?id=8546

It doesn't say anything about Apple dumping HD's, just that the classic probably won't be a huge seller and won't be around that long. It looks like the "no more HD" conclusion is something AI came up with on their own, unrelated to the article.

Common guys, you have to read between the lines. The HDD iPod is going away regardless. And in our defense, I just did a quick search and we're not the only ones to interpret the report as such:

http://www.businessweek.com/technolo...mpaign_id=yhoo
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post #15 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Common guys, you have to read between the lines. The HDD iPod is going away regardless. And in our defense, I just did a quick search and we're not the only ones to interpret the report as such:

http://www.businessweek.com/technolo...mpaign_id=yhoo

Blame me - I started this! <grin>

BTW Kaspar, are you sure Business Week isn't just taking some moron reporter and having him regurgitate your stuff? That's what I'd do, and they're in good company based on recent world events...
post #16 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Common guys, you have to read between the lines. The HDD iPod is going away regardless. And in our defense, I just did a quick search and we're not the only ones to interpret the report as such:

http://www.businessweek.com/technolo...mpaign_id=yhoo

...oh, and you're totally right. The iPod HDD is going away.... in the year 2011 based on some rudimentary calculations of Moore's Law!
post #17 of 83
No time to put an HDD in a Touch? How much time would that take?

I'm sure it's more a matter of how much such a device would COST, and how bulky it would be if both the screen and HD got good battery life.
post #18 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColeSQ View Post

I'm with you totally. It seems there's no way they'd support that interface anyway, just on continued development costs against diminishing returns. The cool part of all this is there's likely a group of people at Apple that know exactly how long they can milk the "Classic Cow" before they have the HDD designs from R&D to production. Based on history and share, it looks like we'll see the last of Classic right after the holidays so they can get one last bang from the investment and follow it up with HDD iPod buyer's remorse by springtime!

I'm not so sure about "milking" the design. There are a few people who really want such large amounts of storage. It's been shown that most people never fill up their smaller capacity models. I don't think Apple feels there is a need to raise the price of these models by enlarging the LCD, and draining more power.

I think Apple is just fulfilling the needs of that smaller audience.

It's possible they will continue to do so as long as it is profitable for them to do so.

But, at some point in time, they will stop.

Will they support an iTouch with a HDD?

If they find that enough people are willing to buy a model that is thicker, heavier, and either with a shorter battery life, or even bigger and heavier because of a larger battery, then sure.

Otherwise, no.

By the end of 2008, if not sometime sooner, they will have a 32GB iTouch. That will satisfy most everyones concerns for storage for a while, until 2009, when it will increase again.
post #19 of 83
"Apple’s continuation of the iPod model without adding new features suggests a stopgap measure necessitated by lack of time to develop an HDD-based touch iPod," said consumer electronics Chris Crotty.

Um, "said consumer electronics Chris Crotty" doesn't make any sense. How about "Chris Cotty of Consumer Electronics?"

-=|Mgkwho

EDIT: Jasper, it's "come on, guys" not "common guys"
post #20 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Common guys, you have to read between the lines. The HDD iPod is going away regardless. And in our defense, I just did a quick search and we're not the only ones to interpret the report as such:

http://www.businessweek.com/technolo...mpaign_id=yhoo

You guys can go ahead and make that conclusion. But your article shouldn't say "iSupply believes..." it should say "Based on what iSupply says, AI believes..."

There's nothing wrong with AI giving an opinion. The problem is you're putting your opinion in the mouth of iSupply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

No time to put an HDD in a Touch? How much time would that take?

I'm sure it's more a matter of how much such a device would COST, and how bulky it would be if both the screen and HD got good battery life.

Well, that's the point. They could have quickly taken the touch and dumped in a HD, but it wouldn't have optimal form factor and battery life. They didn't just take the iPhone and rip out the phone, they tweaked the design to make the most of it. Assuming they do a HD version of the touch, it will be the same thing, they'll take the time to get the design right.
post #21 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkwho View Post

"Apples continuation of the iPod model without adding new features suggests a stopgap measure necessitated by lack of time to develop an HDD-based touch iPod," said consumer electronics Chris Crotty.

Um, "said consumer electronics Chris Crotty" doesn't make any sense. How about "Chris Cotty of Consumer Electronics?"

-=|Mgkwho

No, no. You misunderstand. He's a robot made for consumers, rather than industry.
post #22 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm not so sure about "milking" the design. There are a few people who really want such large amounts of storage. It's been shown that most people never fill up their smaller capacity models. I don't think Apple feels there is a need to raise the price of these models by enlarging the LCD, and draining more power.

By the end of 2008, if not sometime sooner, they will have a 32GB iTouch. That will satisfy most everyones concerns for storage for a while, until 2009, when it will increase again.

Of course they're "milking" the design, and storage capacity and design are not the same thing. If they were, Apple wouldn't command the market and we'd all be buying whatever the heck Seagate or WD cooked up in a small form factor and calling it an iPod.

Product Development must account for the distribution of R&D costs over the longest timeline possible while maximizing long-term marketing prospects. If Apple pulls a reasonable dollar for a protracted period of time on their HDD design without jeopardizing/destroying the market they expect to retain/gain in the longer term through competition or lost/lack of interest, they would be crazy to jump the market with the next (Touch) iteration of an HDD device.

Milking isn't a technical term, but it's definitely apropos when referring to any company in an industry where they hold market leadership. So when does a company stop milking and start developing and releasing new product? Watch what Apple does, because they tend to do it right. You start with a wide-windowed development and release roadmap and you narrow down the windows as you get closer and learn more about current market conditions.

So again, yes, "milking". And again, separate the whole HDD thing and what you think about your own library from the discussion. Your library, and everyone else's library, is going to dramatically change in size thanks to evolving video technology and a shift to higher quality audio compression algorithms - at least I'd bet you Apple's thinking this.

Mark this thread... HDD form factors aren't going anywhere soon.
post #23 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColeSQ View Post

...oh, and you're totally right. The iPod HDD is going away.... in the year 2011 based on some rudimentary calculations of Moore's Law!

Ah yes but by then you will need your 320 TB HDD to store all your holographic movies!
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
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Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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post #24 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

You guys can go ahead and make that conclusion. But your article shouldn't say "iSupply believes..." it should say "Based on what iSupply says, AI believes..."

There's nothing wrong with AI giving an opinion. The problem is you're putting your opinion in the mouth of iSupply.



Well, that's the point. They could have quickly taken the touch and dumped in a HD, but it wouldn't have optimal form factor and battery life. They didn't just take the iPhone and rip out the phone, they tweaked the design to make the most of it. Assuming they do a HD version of the touch, it will be the same thing, they'll take the time to get the design right.


Nicely put on both counts. It makes me nervous - regardless of the importance of the article - when an artistic reach like that in this article is made.

BTW, betcha Apple's got it fairly nailed right now and are just waiting to move it to production in time for early '08. Those guys are crafty at timing (read: making us regret purchasing quickly outdated models during the holidays)!
post #25 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

Ah yes but by then you will need your 320 TB HDD to store all your holographic movies!

So true. It's ALWAYS something next, isn't it?
post #26 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColeSQ View Post

Of course they're "milking" the design, and storage capacity and design are not the same thing. If they were, Apple wouldn't command the market and we'd all be buying whatever the heck Seagate or WD cooked up in a small form factor and calling it an iPod.

Product Development must account for the distribution of R&D costs over the longest timeline possible while maximizing long-term marketing prospects. If Apple pulls a reasonable dollar for a protracted period of time on their HDD design without jeopardizing/destroying the market they expect to retain/gain in the longer term through competition or lost/lack of interest, they would be crazy to jump the market with the next (Touch) iteration of an HDD device.

Milking isn't a technical term, but it's definitely apropos when referring to any company in an industry where they hold market leadership. So when does a company stop milking and start developing and releasing new product? Watch what Apple does, because they tend to do it right. You start with a wide-windowed development and release roadmap and you narrow down the windows as you get closer and learn more about current market conditions.

So again, yes, "milking". And again, separate the whole HDD thing and what you think about your own library from the discussion. Your library, and everyone else's library, is going to dramatically change in size thanks to evolving video technology and a shift to higher quality audio compression algorithms - at least I'd bet you Apple's thinking this.

Mark this thread... HDD form factors aren't going anywhere soon.

I understand the business aspects. I was in that business.

But, "milking" is a pejorative term. Sometimes a design is fine for the purpose, and doesn't need much development, without changing the entire design.

What I think is that Apple has looked at what people want, and decided that they would rather have much more storage, at similar prices, than much more sophisticated machines that were heavier, bulkier, and much more expensive. If these sell well enough, they will have been proven to be correct.

I really don't agree that many people will want to carry their Tv and movie libraries around around with them. Music is different.

When my daughter was 4, she watched the Little Mermaid over and over, she doesn't do that anymore.
post #27 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I understand the business aspects. I was in that business.

But, "milking" is a pejorative term. Sometimes a design is fine for the purpose, and doesn't need much development, without changing the entire design.

What I think is that Apple has looked at what people want, and decided that they would rather have much more storage, at similar prices, than much more sophisticated machines that were heavier, bulkier, and much more expensive. If these sell well enough, they will have been proven to be correct.

I really don't agree that many people will want to carry their Tv and movie libraries around around with them. Music is different.

When my daughter was 4, she watched the Little Mermaid over and over, she doesn't do that anymore.

I hear you and you might be right. I don't understand portable video enabled by an iPod either, but I'm holding out the possibility that your iPod's going to drive larger screen content the way a TiVO does now, only with the benefit of carrying a much smaller box that will also likely easily connect to the auto multimedia and hospitality multimedia systems of the future. Heck, frankly it would be nice to carry some HD company presentations on there, too.

Sorry about the term 'milking' in the era of "do no evil". I guess I'm a little skeptical and believe (also as a product guy) that particularly market leaders don't have the onus of releasing next generation products as quickly as their corporate muscle will afford despite Apple's consistent record of market leadership. If a 6 month release delay gets you an extra $400 million it gets a little hard to blindly adopt the first to market principle sometimes and easy to overlook the long term risk when there isn't much there at this point.
post #28 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

Flash devices also do have a limited number of times data can be written to it, that limit is far less than hard disks, I'm all for having the option, there is no reason they can't develop both.

IIRC most Flash is rated for something like 100,000 erase/write cycles. (That is, each individual "block" in a Flash device - it's akin to a "sector" on a hard drive - can be erased one hundred thousand times. You typically have to erase the entire block before you can write new data in any previously-used byte within a block.)

So, if you totally fill the entire device, then erase everything, then fill it back up again and repeat, you'd expect to go through 100,000 iterations before you start being in danger of having data loss. (In reality, the number is a little less, because most filesystems have something like a block allocation map or file allocation table which will likely undergo several interim modifications through the process of filling up the device each time. As soon as the blocks currently housing the allocation map die, the entire device becomes unreliable.)

If you never totally fill the drive, and if you only modify a few megabytes at a time, then your effective write lifetime will increase dramatically due to wear-levelling techniques which are employed by most high volume Flash controllers.

In the end, I've heard it suggested that when you compare the electrical lifetime of most high-capacity Flash under typical usage patterns against the mechanical lifetime of hard drives, it's pretty much a wash.
post #29 of 83
Question: Is a HD fast enough to run the iPod Touch software?
Wouldn't the HD be spinning all the time and therefore the battery be drained quickly?

Isn't this, together with the higher price of Flash memory, the reason the iPod Classic is now indeed a Classic?
post #30 of 83
it is inevitable that someday the HDD iPods will dissapear.
it is inevitable that someday all iPods except the shuffle will have a multitouch screen.

However, this will be gradual.

I think next there will be a HDD iPod touch, maybe by holidays '08, especially since apple is pushing video content more and more. But battery life might not be what Apple is targeting yet... that's why it is not out right now.

Then, when flash iPods with 64+ GB of storage can be produced at a reasonable price, the classic will dissapear.

And somewhere down the line there will be an iPod nano touch.

So, yeah HDD iPods will be gone, and the clickwheel will be gone too...
post #31 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

No time to put an HDD in a Touch? How much time would that take?

I'm sure it's more a matter of how much such a device would COST, and how bulky it would be if both the screen and HD got good battery life.

My impression from reading on-line is that current HD-based iPods do some level of buffering in flash to both help with reliabity and power management. I would guess that Apple has not yet implemented this on the version of OS X used by the iPhone/iPod touch platform. Either that or timing of the market showed there was more money to be made from one last iteration of the iPod classic. Or possibly some combination of both if the software is not yet well tested and not quite ready to go.
post #32 of 83
Using the iTouch and doubling every year.
2007 = 16 gig
2008 = 32 gig
2009 = 64 gig
2010 = 128 gig
2011 = 256 gig

So it is 2011 by the time it catches up to today's 160 gig.
But how much would the hard drive grow by then if development continued?? 320 / 500 ??

I'll stick with my 160 gig today...
post #33 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by S10 View Post

Question: Is a HD fast enough to run the iPod Touch software?
Wouldn't the HD be spinning all the time and therefore the battery be drained quickly?

Isn't this, together with the higher price of Flash memory, the reason the iPod Classic is now indeed a Classic?

Considering the price of fast Flash memory, I doubt if Apple is using it. HDD's are generally much faster than most Flash.

Look at Flash cards, and find the speed rating. It's rated as 8x, 20x, 40x, 80x, 133x, 266x, etc.

x=150KB/s.

When a card has no speed rating, it's usually 4x. Pretty slow nowadays.

A medium speed HDD,or medium speed Flash is more than fast enough for anthing an iTouch must do.
post #34 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifiredmyboss.com View Post

Using the iTouch and doubling every year.
2007 = 16 gig
2008 = 32 gig
2009 = 64 gig
2010 = 128 gig
2011 = 256 gig

So it is 2011 by the time it catches up to today's 160 gig.
But how much would the hard drive grow by then if development continued?? 320 / 500 ??

I'll stick with my 160 gig today...

We probably won't see doubling every year, for various reasons, but it will go up fast enough.

At a certain point, size becomes irrelevent.
post #35 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

As an owner of a 160gb, I don't know why they want to kill it off. I love having 160gb. FINALLY an iPod that can store enough video and music to where i CAN SYNC when I want to. Unless they can break 100gb with Flash, I don't see why the hd based players would be replaced. MAYBE they can break 100gb in a year, but I doubt it. Not because of technology but because of costs. We'll see.

HDD capacity to cost ratio will win over SSD capacity to cost ratio for many a year to come. Even if 100GB NAND iPod was cheap, I'd still want a 1TB 1.8" iPod Classic with a 3.5" 600ppi screen that can hold entire seasons of my favorite shows and my music and movie libraries while I travel abroad for long durations. They released the iPod Classic so it doesn't sound liek they are killing it off.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ColeSQ View Post

[Apple] didn't have enough time to roll the Touch interface into the HDD form factor.

I don't think it's possible right now, or for awhile.
You'd have to increase the thickness for the HDD
You lose speed due to slower access speeds of the HDD so you have to have a faster more power hungry processor to compensate as well as more RAM
The battery wold also have to be larger also increasing the thickness
Sorting 160GB of data will slow down the access times even more..

Even with the latest iPod Classic update to fix the speed issues, the Flash based models are still well ahead of the Classic. As much as I'd like to have an iPhone with 1TB HDD that plays videos for 24 hours straight I don't think my wish will come to fruition anytime soon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

Flash devices also do have a limited number of times data can be written to it, that limit is far less than hard disks, I'm all for having the option, there is no reason they can't develop both.

And our sun is dying, too. We apparently only have 5 billion years left! The write limits are high enough that it will outlast most HDD based drives moving parts.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #36 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by S10 View Post

Question: Is a HD fast enough to run the iPod Touch software?
Wouldn't the HD be spinning all the time and therefore the battery be drained quickly?

Isn't this, together with the higher price of Flash memory, the reason the iPod Classic is now indeed a Classic?

A hard drive is plenty fast to run your computer, isn't it? Should be fine for an iPod. And the HD doesn't have to be spinning all the time, just when it's loading or streaming material. Running the software is usually done mostly from ram anyway, or only swapped when a new app is run (if needed).
post #37 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Considering the price of fast Flash memory, I doubt if Apple is using it. HDD's are generally much faster than most Flash.

Look at Flash cards, and find the speed rating. It's rated as 8x, 20x, 40x, 80x, 133x, 266x, etc.

x=150KB/s.

When a card has no speed rating, it's usually 4x. Pretty slow nowadays.

A medium speed HDD,or medium speed Flash is more than fast enough for anthing an iTouch must do.

Thanks for answering, but the HD would be running all the time and drain the battery much faster than a Flash based iPod?
post #38 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

My impression from reading on-line is that current HD-based iPods do some level of buffering in flash to both help with reliabity and power management. I would guess that Apple has not yet implemented this on the version of OS X used by the iPhone/iPod touch platform. Either that or timing of the market showed there was more money to be made from one last iteration of the iPod classic. Or possibly some combination of both if the software is not yet well tested and not quite ready to go.

Previous generations of the iPod had used a small general purpose NOR Flash to contain the low-level firmware required to boot the full software from the hard drive or start a USB-assisted firmware restore. They used RAM to buffer the data being pulled in from the hard drive for power-saving purposes.

I hadn't thought to look into the possibility that the iPod Classic did things any differently - personally, I think it'd be a mistake to use Flash for that purpose instead of RAM because it would increase software complexity and introduce additional parts that can potentially wear out, without adding any substantial benefit I can think of over real RAM.

I'd be interested in reading about it, though, if you have a link.
post #39 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I don't think it's possible right now, or for awhile.
You'd have to increase the thickness for the HDD
You lose speed due to slower access speeds of the HDD so you have to have a faster more power hungry processor to compensate as well as more RAM
The battery wold also have to be larger also increasing the thickness
Sorting 160GB of data will slow down the access times even more..

None of those don't mean it's not possible, those are just design constraints. They definitely could make one, the question is cost and size. If they made a touch with HD, the expectation would be that size would be similar to classic, not to the flash models.

Also, the speed issues of the HD and the size aren't really relevant. HD is plenty fast to do what an ipod can do, and bigger hard drives aren't going to slow down anything except maybe for file search (which I suspect isn't done that often by most people). A bigger issue than HD speed is probably giving the unit more ram to cache data, things like keeping album covers in memory and full songs.
post #40 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by S10 View Post

Thanks for answering, but the HD would be running all the time and drain the battery much faster than a Flash based iPod?

No, because there is as much as 30 seconds worth of delay memory in the machine. The HDD runs much faster than the device needs the information. so the drive can burst it out for a few seconds, then stop.

While Flash based iPods have better battery performance, it's not that much better.
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