“For about a week, my assistant Katie Boehret and I have been testing the iPod Mini. Katie has been toting a pink model everywhere — while walking, riding the D.C. subway and flying. I’ve been using a gold one and a blue one in the house, car and office. We both like these gadgets a lot. In our tests, they exceeded Apple’s claims for both battery life and storage capacity,” Walt Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal.
“The iPod Mini is a gorgeous device that displays Apple’s famous touch for people-pleasing design. At only half an inch thick, and about the length and width of a business card, it feels great in the hand and slips into even a small pocket or purse. It is the first iPod that naturally belongs on an armband for exercising, and Apple will sell such a band as an option,” Mossberg reports. “The Mini is clad in anodized aluminum, and feels cool to the touch. The aluminum finish makes the colors pop, and look different in the flesh than in pictures. They are more like metallic pastels than the saturated shades they resemble in Apple’s ads.”
“The Mini has the same audio circuitry as the larger models. In our tests, sound quality was excellent,” Mossberg reports. “Like the original iPod in 2001, the iPod Mini actually exceeded Apple’s claims in our tests on two key issues: battery life and song capacity. Apple is claiming a battery life of eight hours for the Mini. To test this claim, Katie and I ran three battery tests. In one, the results were just shy of Apple’s claim, at seven hours and 46 minutes. But in the other two tests, with two different iPods, the Mini lasted nine hours and 15 minutes, and a whopping 10 hours and 40 minutes.”
Mossberg reports, “…the latest version of iTunes even senses if you have a Mini, and if your song collection exceeds its capacity, the software can optionally auto-choose a selection of songs that will fit. It builds this selection, in part, based on which songs you’ve played most often or most recently, and which you’ve rated highest in iTunes. Like the larger iPods, the Mini can also display your calendar and contact information and notes, and it comes with a few games. You can also use it to store and transfer data files.”
“The biggest downside to the Mini is price. While Apple deserves some premium for style and design, the price of $249 is a little too high when compared with the prices of larger models. This includes Apple’s own base-model larger iPod at $299, which can hold 3,700 songs. And Dell offers a 3,700-song player for the same price as the Mini. I think the iPod Mini really belongs at $199, not $249… Apple’s iPod Mini is a winner, but would be a true home run at $50 less,” Mossberg reports.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Walt makes what is becoming an all-too-common mistake regarding iPod mini’s pricing – he’s comparing it to Apple’s own product, the iPod. Compare it to competitors, Walt, and the iPod mini is a bargain. Do you think Apple really cares if you decide to buy an iPod over an iPod mini? Of course not! The money is still Apple’s. And isn’t that the whole idea? The iPod mini makes the iPod look cheaper and entices buyers to step up to iPod. In this case, Apple’s pricing strategy is brilliant.