Flash iPod

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Source Story



SigmaTel stock rose Friday after a Wall Street firm said the semiconductor company will supply chips for a music player from Apple Computer Inc.



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Citing "numerous sources in Asia," Thomas Weisel analyst Jason Pflaum said Apple will use SigmaTel's controller chips for a player it's planning to launch this Christmas.



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Unlike Apple's hugely popular iPod and iPod Mini players, the new player would use solid-state flash memory, which has less capacity but can make for a lighter, cheaper player.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    It's getting there. Recently announced CF prices are dramatically lower. They're not yet at the point where they'll threaten 1" micro-drives, but in a year's time?



    Sandisk announcements:



    2GB $249.99 Now

    4GB $479.99 October

    8GB $959.99 November



    Was not long ago that these capacities cost over 10K USD...
  • Reply 2 of 35
    escherescher Posts: 1,811member
    I bought a 1GB SanDisk Ultra II card for US$96 about three weeks ago. So if Apple were willing to reduce storage capacity below the current 4GB minimum, I think they could make an attractively priced Flash-based iPod mini.



    Personally, I would pick a Flash-based iPod mini over a micro-HD based one any day. I just don't like the though of moving parts in my MP3 player.



    Escher
  • Reply 3 of 35
    mikefmikef Posts: 697member
    There was a rumour floating around the time of the Mini's announcement that Apple was going to have a $99 solid-state model. Perhaps this is it?



    A solid-state 1GB iPod for less than $200 would probably work as well.
  • Reply 4 of 35
    Apple seems to like nice round numbers of song quantities. I can imagine a 2GB iPod Mini ("500 song in your pocket"...or whatever.) Perhaps flash techology can get them there.
  • Reply 5 of 35
    mikefmikef Posts: 697member
    The only problem with the 2GB solid-state is that at current prices, it'd be more than the Mini. I am not sure if the public will accept that. I would think that a lot of people don't know nor care about hard drive vs. solid-state.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    Flash cards are very small. Is there any technical reason an iPod couldn't have a stack of smaller & cheaper cards these inside? If you compare the iPod to other flash players, the iPod size is pretty large, but that hasn't hindered its success. Given all that space to work with, how many flash cards could you put in it and still keep things cost effective?
  • Reply 7 of 35
    Fortunately the retail price of flash memory does not mean much when trying to work out Apple's cost. First there is strong competition for Apple's business (not available when costing a HD for the mini) and then there is the issue of very high quantities. Suppliers are going to be cutting prices very deep to get this sale.



    I'm one thinking that it would be possible to offer two versions with the higher capacity using two flash chips if that is the cheapest approach. The only problem would be the programming necessary to use dual chips.



    Maybe we'll see it at the Apple/U2 music show.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    cubistcubist Posts: 954member
    If Apple came out with a 1GB flash mini iPod for $150, I'd order it immediately -- and I imagine a lot of other folks would too. Actually, IIRC the drive in the mini is using a CF interface already, so there shouldn't be any hardware or software changes necessary.
  • Reply 9 of 35
    My prediction from the Apple music event thread:



    I believe the new U2 album will be on flash memory.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    From www.macminute.com



    Analyst: Expect flash-based iPod by Christmas

    October 22 - 10:38 EDT
    __ Thomas Weisel analyst Jason Pflaum has reiterated his belief that Apple will introduce a flash-based music player before the holidays. "I recently spent two weeks in Asia meeting with a number of folks who are in a position to know details of SigmaTel's supply chain," Pflaum said. "Based on our industry contacts, we are confident that, one, Apple is planning to launch a flash-based player, and two, SigmaTel is the provider of controller chip for that device.

  • Reply 11 of 35
    I've been looking at different flash based players to compare their specs (not that I would ever buy one of these unless it came from Apple). Anyways, the nice thing is that most flash based players have an impressive battery life. I hope if Apple makes a flash based iPod it has around 20 hours of playtime.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    *IF* Apple can put the exact same iPod mini interface, clickwheel and all, into a flash based player that is the same height and width as the existing mini, but MUCH thinner and MUCH lighter, give it a 1GB/250 song capacity and price it at $149, then they will literally put every other digital music player manufacturer out of business.
  • Reply 13 of 35
    gavrielgavriel Posts: 175member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ensign Pulver

    *IF* Apple can put the exact same iPod mini interface, clickwheel and all, into a flash based player that is the same height and width as the existing mini, but MUCH thinner and MUCH lighter, give it a 1GB/250 song capacity and price it at $149, then they will literally put every other digital music player manufacturer out of business.



    I would simply *love* that player from now until eternity. I swear!
  • Reply 14 of 35
    mikefmikef Posts: 697member
    Agreed. That would be a not-too-expensive good idea for a Christmas gift as well. I'd buy one for myself, of course
  • Reply 15 of 35
    drewpropsdrewprops Posts: 2,321member
    iPod Micro



    iTeeny-Weeny



    iPodlet



    iPod-ette
  • Reply 16 of 35
    m01etym01ety Posts: 278member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by drewprops

    iPodlet



    Hell Yeah!
  • Reply 17 of 35
    I actually think they'll use a new form factor for the flash based iPod, if they can manage the same interface and a clickwheel on a new form factor and keep it sub $199 it would sell very well.
  • Reply 18 of 35
    I would really like an iPod but for me the price has been the prohibiting factor. If they could get a $99 flash based player on the market I would buy one so fast they wouldn't know what hit them. I really only need 512 MB at the most because I only listen to maybe 30 to 50 tunes regularly at any one time even thought I have 5000+ in my collection. The tunes rotate every now and then but I'm never that far away from my Powerbook to switch them up. Also the whole moving parts issue has put me off because I would like to use it while exercising. I would also think they could get some amazing battery life as well.



    Here's hoping for the $99 iPodlet.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    mikefmikef Posts: 697member
    $99 would be the perfect price point, however it won't have the capacity that most people want for that price... bigger is better when it comes to storage
  • Reply 20 of 35
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ensign Pulver

    *IF* Apple can put the exact same iPod mini interface, clickwheel and all, into a flash based player that is the same height and width as the existing mini, but MUCH thinner and MUCH lighter, give it a 1GB/250 song capacity and price it at $149, then they will literally put every other digital music player manufacturer out of business.



    Except for the ones that allow you to record high-quality audio, since Apple has been refusing to do this so far.
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