iPod mini? For 50 bucks more you could get a 15GB iPod!

“Apple Computer Inc., hoping to extend the success of its popular iPod digital music players, is expected to begin selling a smaller and more colorful version of the device later this week. The new $249 iPod Minis can store about 1,000 songs and are designed to appeal to customers who don’t want the more expensive regular iPods that store as many as 10,000 songs,” Benny Evangelista reports for The San Francisco Chronicle.

“‘How many people really need 4 or 10 or 20 gigabytes worth of music with them all the time?’ said Stephen Baker, a hardware analyst for NPD Techworld, a consumer research firm in Port Washington, N.Y. ‘There is another market for these kinds of players — people who need them to be extremely small, extremely light and extremely mobile,’ Baker said,” Evangelista reports.

Evangelista reports, “However, when the device was introduced at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco last month, some analysts and potential customers questioned whether the minis are priced too high. For $50 more, a consumer could buy a regular iPod with 15 GB of storage, which could hold 3,700 songs.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why not compare iPod mini against other 4GB business-card sized players’ prices? Consumers who want the iPod mini’s unique features (namely tiny physical size, lightweight, 4GB storage) have to compare them to offerings from other companies, too – not just Apple. The final fact arrived at after comparing them all? The 15GB iPod is a heck of a deal! Oh yeah, and nothing on the market matches the iPod mini’s features for the price.

Related MacDailyNews article:
Apple’s ‘iPod mini’ pricing vs. other alternative players – January 27, 2004
Apple iPod knocked off its pedestal – by Apple’s iPod mini – February 15, 2004
Mercury News: Apple iPod mini ‘probably as close to perfection in dimension as possible’ – February 16, 2004


  1. Well, if Analysts said it it must be true! After all, the original iPod was a miserable failure just like they predicted, because it was too expensive.

    What I don’t understand is what are all those white ear buds extending out of peoples collars nowadays?

  2. I think the reason so many analysts are comparing the Mini to the normal iPod is because it’s the only MP3 player on the the market worth making a comparison to. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    It’s funny that the only company that could outdo the iPod was Apple itself.

  3. I wonder if these analysts who think the price is too high have had a chance to play with the iPod mini. I, too, think the price is $50 too high, but then again, I haven’t been able to hold one in my hand. I wasn’t terribly wowed with the original iPod, either, until I actually had a chance to hold one in my hand and use it. Now I use my 2nd gen 10GB iPod every day.

    Apple is probably banking on the fact that people will respond to the feel of the mini and think that the form factor is worth the slightly steep price. I won’t really be sold one way or the other until I can actually hold one.

  4. I think you have misread the article. To me it says “10 to 40 gigs is more than most people need. A really small 4 gigs is just right for many.” The author and analyst do leave it to the consumer to see how competitive the price is, but that is what consumers *do*, isn’t it?

    I do find this quote peculiar:

    “At some point, it does feel like the category is going to hit a ceiling, and that’s probably sooner than later,” Baker said. “It’s not a universal appliance product like the PC or the TV or a DVD player.”

    Why does it feel like that? Are you prescient? Personally, I could not understand fax machines, but I thought everyone would want/need a PDA. I was wrong on both counts. Only time will tell where the ‘ceiling’ of this “category” is.


  5. Mike,

    I take your point, but analysts should also point out that the Mini is a bargain compared to many high end flash-based players, which will set you back $149-299, depending on features. It is an absolute steal compared to the Sony and iRiver players, which have capacity of 512 MB, and cost $299. How come nobody squeals that these are overpriced? At least not that I’ve heard.

  6. The bitching and moaning never ends! The iPod is THE player. ALL players are compared to it, and nothing else. It’s the Gold Standard. That’s why everyone compares the mini with the iPod, not because their trying to sabotage Apple. No one is buying the flash players, so why would they compare the mini to one?

  7. john, you’re right. We definitely need to use more child labour in far-east asian sweatshops! I mean, heck, why should WE have to pay for something as essential as our own luxury. It’s a shameful rip-off that these companies are charging so much for MP3 players. I don’t live in the rich west to have to pay for things you know!

  8. John,

    For me it’s a no brainer, but there are those who prefer something smaller, and for whom a 4 GB capacity is not a drawback. My wife for instance. I passed on my 2nd Generation ‘Pod to her when, wonderful woman that she is, she gave me a 30 Gig for Christmas. She was frankly skeptical about digital music players until she used it a few times, now she never goes anywhere without it. The kicker is that even though she thinks it’s the greatest thing since carbon-based life, she’s been lusting for a Mini since we watched the Stevenote in January. As soon as she decides which color she wants, I’m going to get one for her.

  9. It really doesn’t matter what any of these idiots say or think about the iPOD Mini.

    The simple fact of the matter is, the product is the best selling iPOD model Apple has produced to date bar none.

    Demand has far outstripped supply, pushing the silver version of the mini into the mid 100 sales rank at amazon.com. As a comparison, the 15 gig iPOD is ranked in the mid 8000 range on the same retail site. Looks like only the truly clueless iPOD buyer considers the Mini and the 15 gig product to be comparable products. FYI: They are Apples and Oranges to most with a brain.

    Bottom line… Apple doesn’t need the endorsement or approval of misguided, clueless analysts or cheap skate consumers short on a common sense of value in order to succeed with the Mini. THEY ALREADY HAVE…IN SPADES!

    Anyone who didn’t already pre-order the Mini weeks ago will be hard pressed to find one available for immediate delivery for at least the next several weeks. That doesn’t take an analyst to figure out!

  10. R.V.: Don’t you think you’ve overstated it a bit? Apples and Oranges? They’re the same unit for heaven’s sake! They differ only in disk capacity and appearance. They share the name “iPod”. They have the same connectors, buttons (though rearranged), software, and purpose.

    I agree that all this fuss is useless, since the mini is a big hit. By this time next year, we’ll be comparing the new iPods to the minis.

  11. “Apples and Oranges? They’re the same unit for heaven’s sake! “

    Not at all! Totally different markets completely. The Mini is targeted at truly active, on-the-go type people who want the smallest and lightest unit they can get, while retaining the same feature set. A large portion of the Mini buyers are current iPOD owners, myself included. I already own a 40 gb iPOD and I purchased the Mini the day it was announced without batting an eye. Why? SIZE and WEIGHT!

    I already know that I never need more than 4gb of music with me when I am running or at the gym. I already know that my 40gb is too heavy to run with comfortably and that although I love having the capacity, the only time I ever really need it is when I take a vacation.

    If ever there was a product line that had a totally different market demographic, the Mini and the standard iPOD would be it. The fact that the people who are not part of the Mini’s demographic have such a tough time understanding the product’s appeal should be proof enough of that. ;o)


  12. iPod and iPod mini serve different markets. If iPod mini was priced more than a 15 GB iPod, I am willing to bet that it would still sell well (heh, read that last 3 words quickly). It may not sell as many, but it will sell. What people (geeks like us) don’t realize is that iPod mini is a more than just a digital player. It’s a fashion statement too. How many women actually buy a $(name your price) Prada or Gucci handbags? Or guys buying a $50 DKNY tie? Those things cost pennies (OK, maybe not pennies literally, but cheap) to make and yet are priced a lot.

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