“Apple Computer played a new tune Wednesday with its wildly popular iPod digital music player, cutting prices and adding more storage and features. The iPod mini got mightier as the original 4-gigabyte model, which holds about 1,000 songs, dropped $50 to $199. Apple introduced a 6-gigabyte (1,500 songs) model for $249 and more than doubled the battery life. The iPod photo, which displays digital photos on a color screen and plays music, dropped to $449 from $599 for a 60-gigabyte model (15,000 songs). And a new 30-gigabyte model (7,500 songs) will sell for $349,” Dave Gussow reports for The St. Petersburg Times.
“All of this is for a device that dominates the digital music sector, with about 90 percent of the hard drive market. Experts say it was an effort by Apple to put more heat on the competition,” Gussow reports. “‘They’re willing to do whatever it takes to maintain their market dominance,’ said Stephen Baker, an analyst with the NPD Techworld research firm.
“‘We’ve done very well, but we’re not resting on our laurels,’ Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of hardware product marketing, told the Associated Press. ‘And we’re going to continue to be very aggressive in this market.’ The company is benefiting from what analysts have dubbed the ‘iPod halo effect.’ Sales of the iPod are spurring orders of other Apple products,” Gussow reports. “Eliot van Buskirk, senior editor at MP3.com, says other companies are trying to mimic Apple’s stylish device and its easy-to-use software. But no one has come close. ‘Everybody’s trying to catch up and they just have not stumbled,’ van Buskirk said. ‘If Apple had a weakness, it was price. And they shored that up.'”
Full article here.