Apple’s iPod nano: The ‘thin lady’ sings unwelcome iTune to competitors

“With no iPod Mini to dilute its impact, Apple’s new Nano is poised to become the company’s next best seller — and rivals’ biggest headache,” Peter Burrows writes for BusinessWeek in an article entitled, “Steve Jobs’s Tiny but Sure Bet.”

“Time and again, Apple CEO Steve Jobs gets grilled when he introduces digital-music products. When the iPod came out in October, 2001, critics complained the $400 unit was hopelessly overpriced. Many said the same thing when Apple unveiled the iPod Mini in early 2004, arguing that consumers would never fork over $250 for just a few gigabytes of storage. And a year later, some naysayers called the iPod Shuffle plain silly, given its lack of a screen to navigate through songs,” Burrows writes.

“Obviously, Jobs has had the last laugh — as some 22 million units sold altogether will attest. And now comes a product, the 1.5-ounce iPod Nano, that’s so smartly conceived and well-engineered, the skeptics are hard pressed to find anything to complain about,” Burrows writes. “Sure, consumers will have to pay $50 more to get the same song capacity as with the now-discontinued iPod Mini line. But get one of these gizmos in your hand, and such complaints will fade.”

“While Apple may choose to emphasize its designers’ genius, raw economics may be the biggest problem for rivals. Having purchased 40% of Samsung’s flash memory capacity (see BW Online, 8/26/05, “A Memorable Deal for Apple and Samsung?”), analysts figure Apple got discounts that rivals won’t come close to matching. That’s critical, because memory makes up by far the biggest portion of the bill of materials for a digital music player,” Burrows writes.

Full article here.
The iPod nano is the “thin lady,” and the iTune she’s “singing” (click here to hear a sample of it via Apple’s iTunes Music Store) certainly can’t be melodic to the ears of Microsoft, Sony, Creative, Napster, Real, etc. Apologies to Dan Cook et al.

Advertisement: Apple iPod nano. 1,000 songs. Impossibly small. From $199. Free shipping.

Related articles:
Hands on with Apple iPod nano – September 09, 2005
Mossberg: Apple iPod nano ‘beautiful, incredibly thin, and exceeds Apple’s performance specs’ – September 08, 2005
Over 1,000 accessories now available for Apple iPod – September 07, 2005
Apple’s iPod nano will make competitors whimper, Motorola’s ROKR inexplicably bland – September 07, 2005
Tech pundit Enderle: ‘iPod Nano is a hit,’ Motorola ROKR ‘simply doesn’t have enough Apple in it’ – September 07, 2005
Jupiter analyst Gartenberg: ‘the market is going to go for Apple iPod nano in a big way’ – September 07, 2005
Analyst: iPod nano ‘could be Apple’s next home run’ – September 07, 2005
Video of Steve Jobs introducing iPod nano, ROKR iTunes phone now available online – September 07, 2005
Apple’s Steve Jobs predicts ultra-thin iPod nano ‘will become the highest volume iPod in the world’ – September 07, 2005
Apple introduces iPod nano – September 07, 2005
Apple’s iPod nano will make competitors whimper, Motorola’s ROKR inexplicably bland – September 07, 2005
Apple stomps competitors in flash-based MP3 player market – September 02, 2005
Analyst expects 3-6 million 4GB flash-based Apple iPod mini units to ship in second half 2005 – August 25, 2005
Apple to switch 4GB iPod mini from hard-drive to flash-based? – August 22, 2005
Apple’s iPod shuffle takes nearly 60 percent of US flash-player market in March – May 04, 2005


  1. I got my iPod Nano last night and I LOVE IT!!! It is really cool, but in using it in my everyday routine I find one very poor design flaw. The center select button in the middle of the wheel is completely flat. It has no contour at all.

    In the past it was easy to put the iPod in my shirt pocket and navigate through the shirt material without taking the iPod out of the pocket. I’d just find the raised select button and from there I knew where to move my finger to spin the wheel or pause it, etc…

    With the iPod Nano I can’t tell where the select button is through my shirt. It is frustrating and I’ve had to guess at where it is or take the iPod out of my shirt. Grrrrr…

    Let’s hope the next generation Nano will have this one flaw corrected. Other than that though, it is AWESOME!!

  2. I love the new iPod nano. My 3rd generation 30gb iPod just looks huge by comparison. I’ve got about 14gb in my library but of late I’ve taken to only transferring a few playlists that I’m listening to at the moment – no need to have every track with me. As such I could do fine with a new 4gb iPod nano. The small form factor is a big plus.

  3. Picked up my BLACK Nano this morning at the Apple store in Danbury, Ct. Current score in my family: five Shuffles, one Nano, two Powerbooks and a Mac Mini. Extend to cousins, brothers and sisters and the iPod numbers go into double digits, three new iMacs, two iBooks, and four other Powerbooks.

    Go Apple! Lots of unused Sony VAIO and HP Pavilion laptops around here in the last year or so.

    Note that I paid for all five prior iPod shuffles for various wife/children types and was the last in family not to have one… that’s been fixed!

  4. re: Tactile Disfunction,
    I got mine a coupla hours ago and that was exactly my first impression as well. This truly IS a design flaw, it should definately be beveled! I truly hope they’ll fix this before xmas (the nano is the perfect xmas gift!).

  5. I’ll tell you all a secret

    The iPod Nano is designed to be inserted into a few things that haven’t been announced by either Apple, car stereo makers or really anyone yet.

    That’s why the center button is flat and the stereo out port is on the bottom and not the top like the iPod shuffle.

    You heard it from me first.

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  6. “…get one of these gizmos in your hand, and such complaints will fade.”

    I fondled one yesterday. It was like handling fine jewelery, a far cry from the look and feel of anything else. I bought AAPL in 2003 at $7.50 (adjusted for split). Made enough so far to pay for tuition at a high dollar university. Next we’ll work on paying off the mortgage. I predict $300 per share by 2008. Remember, we’re already at $100 in adjust dollars.

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