Monday, July 19, 2004

New iPods released today

Apple officially announced the new 4th generation iPods today.

Key points include the adoption of the iPod mini's interface, increased battery life, changes in the menu, and lower pricing. Pricing is now US$299 for the 20 GB iPod, and $399 for the 40 GB, down $100 each (although the dock is no longer included with the 20 GB model, and neither includes a carrying case now). It's also very slightly thinner, at 0.69" (vs. 0.73") and 0.57" (vs. 0.62") for the 40 GB and 20 GB models respectively. The iPod mini remains unchanged, but will be available worldwide this week.

What we didn't get was the 60 GB model iPod, despite Toshiba's statement last month that Apple has signed on as a customer for their 60 GB 1.8" drives. Some might guess that the rumoured brouhaha over Toshiba's premature announcement might have something to do with the missing 60 GB model, but it's more likely that Toshiba simply has not yet supplied Apple with sufficient numbers of 60 GB drives. Expect to see the 60 GB iPod in the next few months, probably filling that $499 price slot that used to be filled by the previous generation 40 GB iPod.

In addition, HP announced today that it will begin selling the HP-branded iPod in September, and it will use the updated 4G iPod design.

[Update 3:44 pm]

Apple VP Greg Joswiak states in this Reuters article:
"We have no plans in regard to announcing 60-gigabyte models... We are trying to create a much more compelling lineup with two models for 20 and 40 gigabytes at extremely compelling prices."
The wording is interesting. He doesn't come right out and say that there won't be a 60 GB iPod, which suggests the claims by Toshiba that Apple will be using their 60 GB drives are accurate.

Also announced was that Duke University plans to give an iPod to each of its 1800 incoming first-year students. The iPods will be preloaded with various school related material.

One wonders how much the Duke iPod program is going to cost the university. Undoubtedly most of the students will be happy with their new toys, but I'm sure that some of the departments who didn't get as much funding as they might have liked and some of those paying the students' tuitions might not be as impressed.

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