Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Yay- new toys!

Apple introduced new iPod models this morning, as expected by the entire universe (as far as I can tell). This is their effort to completely suck all the life out of what little remains of the non-Apple music player market. And they just may pull it off.

First of all, the iPod Mini now has two versions. The old 4GB one is now $199 (a $50 price cut). There's a new, 6GB Mini at the old $249 price. They dropped the gold color, but kept the other four. Also, the Mini now ships with just USB 2.0 cabling as a default - it still works with Firewire but the cable now is extra. And the battery life has been boosted way up - Apple is now claiming 18 hours of playing time. Sweet.

Then, the old 40GB iPod is dropped, and replaced with 30 and 60GB versions of the iPod Photo. Lower prices ($349 and $449), the same USB 2.0 default, and a new Camera Connector for $30 that lets you plug your digital camera directly into the iPod for downloading. 20GB and U2 iPods are still around, with no price change.

With these, Apple is now hitting every price point from $99 to $449 - the Shuffle at the two lowest increments, the Mini at the next two, the classic 20GB iPod at the $299 price, and the Photo models up to $449. Which neatly cuts off the air supply of pretty much all the competition.

It's a nice change to see Apple doing it to someone for a change instead of someone doing it to Apple.

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