“The iPod nano, which stores either 500 or 1,000 songs and is priced at $199 and $249, is intended to replace an existing model, the iPod Mini. The new device will be available in the United States, Japan and Europe this week,” John Markoff reports for The New York Times. “‘The iPod nano is the biggest revolution since the original iPod,’ Apple CEO Steve Jobs said. In an interview after his presentation, he called the new player, which is one of the industry’s smallest, a ‘bold gamble.’ By replacing the Mini, which accounts for more than half of all iPods currently sold, the company risked a huge revenue shortfall if the new product had been delayed, Mr. Jobs said. Despite that risk, he said, the nano reflects several innovations.”

Markoff reports, “He focused on the shift away from the small disk-drive storage device used in the iPod Mini to the solid-state flash memory at the heart of the nano. He said the custom chips and the miniaturized circuit board used in the nano had also been potential stumbling blocks. ‘Entire factories were created to make this device,’ he said. ‘Overnight we have become the largest consumer of flash memory in the world.'”

Markoff reports, “Mr. Jobs described an Apple ‘top 100’ meeting earlier this year – a retreat of the company’s top employees – where he urged those attending to take a big risk rather than fall into complacency in protecting the company’s lead in digital music… Several analysts said that Apple had moved the introduction of the nano ahead to ensure it would be widely available for the holiday season… Mr. Jobs said on Wednesday that he was pleased that the details surrounding the nano player had not surfaced prematurely in the press or on the Macintosh rumor sites on the Web. ‘It would have broken my heart,’ he said.”

Full article here.

Markoff also has an audio report on Apple’s New Products here (Requires Real Player).

Advertisement: Apple iPod nano. 1,000 songs. Impossibly small. From $199. Free shipping.
It’s a good thing Steve Jobs doesn’t read Kevin Rose or he’d have been scrambling for a cardiologist. Rose reported on Monday, September 5th: “Why wait till Wed? New 2GB ipod called the ‘Nano’ – it will sport a color screen and will be much smaller and thinner than a mini. Price = $199. You heard it here first.”

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