iPod Update

Between the office move and the markets lately, I didn’t get a chance to address the new iPods/iPhone. Let’s do that now.

Back in January,
I noted why I did not think the iPhone would cannibalize the iPod:  Apple would migrate the touchscreen downstream to the smaller
and non iPhone "pods." Nine months ago, I noted it was only a matter of time before Apple would bring out a touchscreen (non-phone) iPod.

Well, that came to pass.

As to the rest, I got some of the new products, prices and capacities right. I got some aspects wrong. Back in January, I estimated what Apple’s products and price points might look like.

Here is a comparison with those forecast and the actual products:


  Product Pricepoint Actual Product Actual Pricepoint
Apple iPhone
10/5 GB
$499/439 16 GB $399
iPod touchscreen*
100/60 GB
  $379/329 iPod touch
16/8 GB
iPod "Classic"
80/30 GB
$279/229 iPod Classic
160/80 GB
  iPod Nano
10/5 GB
$199/139   iPod Video Nano
8/4 GB
Shuffle 1 GB $59 Shuffle 1 GB $79


First, it turns out that my estimates of 12-18 months was off — it only took nine months. Second, I wildly under-estimated the capacity of the classic iPods. Third, I wildly over-estimated the capacity of all the flash based iPods and iPhones.

But I did get many of the products, names and pricing pretty darned close. 



The WSJ has an interesting history of all the iPods, and Apple’s stock price:
click for larger graphic


BTW, if you want to have a laugh, go to Amazon and search for the the existing iPods — an 80 Gig iPod is $349 . . .


UPDATE:  September 6, 2007 7:32pm
To Amazon’s credit, any search for iPod also includes this result: New iPods



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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. tom b commented on Sep 6

    I’m glad they did the “phoneless phone”. I’m far more interested in surfing the web over latte than actually TALKING to people.

    If I were and exec at Nokia, NBC/Universal, MSFT mobile division, Verizon, I’d be checking the straps on my Golden Parachute about now.

  2. Ron commented on Sep 6

    Huh, except for the new model, I own or have owned every single thing on that WSJ chart! It’s just so easy to fill up whichever one you have, then you need the bigger one, and you give the old one to your friends.

    All this goofy talk about zune, archos, whatever is just off track. iPods just work, they are simple to use and there is a complete ecosystem around them. I have a built in dock in my car (control the pod with your steering wheel buttons and you will never go back), a Bose sounddock, an Apple HiFi, the tv cord, everything.

    Those who discount the “it just works” part must not have been there when the first Windows iPod came out. It only had MusicMatch or something like that, instead of iTunes. I remember spending two hours to get 10 songs on the pod with that crappy program. It failed 90% of the time. When iTunes came to windows, it was game over for every other player.

  3. Armchair Fed commented on Sep 6

    I just hope he doesn’t come out with another press release saying it’s all my fault because of interest rates.

  4. iPhone Sucks commented on Sep 6

    BR: I predicted that anyone who buys 1.0 version of anything is a fool. Close enough?

    Yes, you said that you would wait for the less expensive and better second/third version before considering buying it.

  5. iPhone Sucks commented on Sep 6

    Armchair Fed,

    At least iJobs was smart enough not to blame it on high gas prices.

    Apple fan-boys have overpaid for their overhyped, made in Chinese sweat shops, iPhones.
    There’s a sucker born every minute. I have a revolutionary iBrooklyn Bridge for them on sale.

    LOL :)

  6. Jon H commented on Sep 6

    ” iJobs (Apple) would be unable to meet the sale targets?”

    Apple never stated any sales targets.

  7. Cracked Screen iPod commented on Sep 6

    Two weeks ago, my son’s bought an iPod with his hard earned summer money. Yesterday, he was very angry because he paid full price for an obsolete and no longer cool model, and this was before the screen cracked.

    Now, he wants a Blackberry.

    P.S. What sucker will ever again buy an early version of future Apple products?

  8. RG commented on Sep 6

    Any thoughts about the possibility that they cut the iPhone prices in pursuit of handset-maker quantities? How would their strategy need to change to sell 50M iPhones in the next 2 years (I think the RAZR did something like that)? Or heck, even half that at higher margins?

    Does anyone think AAPL thought for a second that the iPhone would be immune from the ruthless handset downward price curve?

  9. wnsrfr commented on Sep 6

    Ron, I had one of those first Windows iPods also, and found EphPod, a great program that I still use–it has one feature that iTunes doesn’t have: you can highlight any number of songs on ANY iPod and right-click to “copy to folder” and your songs will go on to disk (don’t forget to set your artist/album/song title preferences for folder naming first).

    For me it works great because I have all MP3’s I ripped myself…it is another thing with copy protected crap…

    Yer right about filling them up, I have my eye on that new 80Gb classic, which is lower in price than a refurbished 80Gb at a repair site…(http://www.rapidrepair.com)

  10. Jon H commented on Sep 6

    “Any thoughts about the possibility that they cut the iPhone prices in pursuit of handset-maker quantities”

    I think they cut the prices because of the iPod Touch, which even now costs less and has more storage for the price.

    If the iPhone were still $599, people could get most of the experience from an iTouch combined with a cheap phone.

  11. Jon H commented on Sep 7

    “P.S. What sucker will ever again buy an early version of future Apple products? ”

    The alternative, I suppose, is a sucker who buys from a one-product wonder that never ships an update. 3DO, for instance.

    The 2nd most annoyed person after a recent buyer whose purchase has been replaced with something better and/or cheaper, is a customer with an older product that is getting long in the tooth when a good new version hasn’t yet been replaced.

    In other words, people who’d been waiting to replace their older iPods for the last 16 months.

  12. Jon H commented on Sep 7

    ” buy an early version of future Apple products”

    Oh, and it’s quite a stretch to call any iPod that Apple has sold in 2007 an “early version”.

  13. Aaron commented on Sep 7

    Good predictions on the new products coming out of Apple. I find most interesting the PR problems that Apple had today with the whole iPhone price drop. I’m sure Apple isn’t too happy that the iPhone price drop PR gaffe is actually bigger news now than the iPod touch launch. Steve Jobs went from saying basically tough cookies to those who bought the iphone previously, to saying that he is very sorry and offering $100 credit.


  14. patf commented on Sep 7

    One thing that drew my attention, in that part of my life which is as a techie, is that the iPod Touches came in with disk capacities of 16 and 8 (Barry predicted 100 and 60).

    The original iPod became possible only once Toshiba perfected the first high-capacity 1″ form factor hard drives. Probably the most important single technical criteria for Steve’s need for sleek appeal.

    And 1″ has remained the standard (some lower-end iPods have moved to flash memory – but at least for the time being flash won’t produce anywhere near the same capacities as 1″ hard drives).

    I assume from the 16/8 that actually appeared that the limitation was not cost (the two costliest parts being the screen and the drive). But rather you can’t fit both the full, iPhone-like touch screen and a 1″ hard drive into the same whats-become-the-standard-sleek (required) form factor.

    Should have looked it up before writing this. Not if, but when I go to look up the Tech Spec on the Touch iPods, I find that the ‘persistence’ is flash memory and not 1″ form factor hard drives, then that would draw closer to closing the case (but not fully).

    In other words, I could be wrong.

    Gee … now that wasn’t so hard was it? Looked up what the 16/8 actually are. Yes flash. Well it could be cost. Or it could simply be: “what fits in a box that size”.

  15. KP commented on Sep 7

    I’d say that your predictions…assuming that you are inline with most of the rest of Apple’s customers…pretty much proves that they can under-deliver and overcharge on almost everything they make and still their customers are satisfied.

  16. Don commented on Sep 7

    The current iPhone is only 8 GB, not 16 GB (though I would suspect a 16 GB model will appear sooner or later).

  17. Jon H commented on Sep 8

    “Gee … now that wasn’t so hard was it? Looked up what the 16/8 actually are. Yes flash. Well it could be cost. Or it could simply be: “what fits in a box that size”.”

    There are two issues: cost and power.

    The hard drive would likely use more power, when Apple wants to dedicate that to the large, bright screen and wifi. So that means they need to use Flash.

    Flash prices for 32GB and above are still wildly prohibitive at this time. Last year, a 64GB flash drive cost several thousand dollars. The necessary silicon simply isn’t being produced yet in sufficient quantities. And it doesn’t seem to be practical to just put in four sets of 16GB flash storage to make 64GB (otherwise, you’d see people doing that.)

    When the factories start cranking out the chips, the price will come down quite rapidly, but until then there really isn’t any point producing a high-capacity Flash iPod.

  18. Dervin commented on Sep 8

    I have a question for Ron, how do I become your friend? I’m funny, reasonably intelligent and if we go out cruising for chicks, I’m a great wingman.

    Anyway, I’m still rocking my 10G second generation Ipod, it’s been to Europe (everywhere from England to Poland), Australia, China and Southeast Asia. Only had to replace the battery once.

    I think the best rule of thumb is to by even number generations of tech gadgets.

    1st gen – cutting edge, cool yet lots of flaws.
    2nd gen – get rid of all the flaws.
    3rd gen – come up with a bunch of worthless features to justify a high price, lots of flaws.
    4th gen – ok, we now know why we didn’t have those worthless features in the first two generations, here’s what really works.
    5th gen – All the smart guys who worked on the previous stuff are working on other things now (or having sex with 18 year old “actresses”). The product is so successful we are giving this to a VP’s kid.
    6th gen – wow, that didn’t work at all, OK, the adults are back in charge. We’re sorry. Don’t leave us.

  19. svelte tigress commented on Sep 8

    The stealthy 800 lb. gorilla in the shadows is Microsoft. They’ve been quietly getting their act together and soon will have all the pieces in place. Java, Linux and Flash will take a back seat in the mobile OS wars.

    Google will be standing there with their ***** in their hands wondering what hit them and Apple’s Ipod will become an isolated and incompatible paperweight.

  20. helen cleary commented on Sep 16

    i have a 30gb vid ipod which i had changed after a week as it stopped but since then no probs. i now have a cracked screen (despite case) so have a large shuffle basically. in the uk it is around £55 to replace but i’m wondering if i would be better off just getting a friend to pick me up a new one -itouch maybe in the states next month. i’ve been happy with ipods since my first 15 gb one(which came with accessories!) and i just don’t know what to do- i don’t use it to full capacity but do need to see the screen. is it worth replacing it?

  21. Elliott commented on Jan 9

    Glad I found your site! I was looking for statistical info about the ipods and came across your site.

    Nice info and just what I was needing for a report!

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